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Apr 15 2011

Movie Friday: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Someone back in the time when there weren’t a lot of phrases that had been popularly coined began calling the Bible “the Greatest Story Ever Told”, and it caught fire. Despite the fact that the Bible is not a story at all (unless you consider it a bizarre, rambling and bloody one that delves into non-sequiturs every chapter or so), it’s far from the greatest. There is much more insight into the human condition from reading Les Miserables or Roots or even some of the better sci-fi/fantasy titles out there than there is to be found in the Torah. Even if you want to stay in the realm of religion, the Bhagavad Gita is breathtakingly beautiful, or even Milton’s Paradise Lost or Dante’s Divine Comedy is better told story than the Bible.

However, there is some appeal to a story that tries to explain the existence of the world, humankind, and to explain how we got here. The Bible gives us a narrative of how that happened – the problem being that it is all either outright fable or sexed-up oral history. David Christian has a much better story:

This one has the added bonus of being true. While it lacks heroes and struggles between good and evil, it does a very good job of both explaining how we got here, and putting our monstrous self-importance in a context that is sorely needed.

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