Monday, 24 March 2008

A N Wilson: A little help in reading the Bible

Doctor Johnson was talking to a friend about a young woman who had converted to Quakerism. Mrs Knowles, his interlocutor, described the woman as "an amiable young creature" who had left the Church of England to embrace "a simpler faith". Johnson was having none of it.

He described the poor girl as "an odious wench… She knew no more of the Church which she left, and that which she embraced, than she did of the difference between the Copernican and Ptolemaick systems."

Mrs Knowles: "She had the New Testament before her."

Johnson: "Madam, she could not understand the New Testament, the most difficult book in the world, for which the study of a life is required."

Having been studying the New Testament all my life, I heartily echo the Great Cham's words (and please, those of you who have cracked its secret, don't write). It is a very difficult book. Read more
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