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Although Dan Brown's and J. K. Rowlings' books sell well, another volume, many centuries older, has them both beat — and its lead is formidable. The Bible, in all its editions and translations, is a perennial bestseller. (In the last 200 years, billions of copies have been sold). Karen Armstrong, one of the most eminent and thoughtful scholars of religion alive, will join us in the second hour, to talk about her new "biography" of the Bible. She'll take us through its books and testaments, provide important history and context, and outline past and contemporary debates over its veracity. What questions do you have for her?



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Karen, Christians have slain more millions than all other religions in the history of the world; however, they drew their models from JEWISH categories in the conquest of Canaan--"kill every living thing"--to overcome Jesus' ethics of nonresistance, love of enemies, etc. It was their use of Saint Paul in Romans 13, coupled with Jewish divine theories for violence. Please make this distinction: that Christians used resources from Judaism to enact their centuries of anti-semitism, Crusades, the Wars of Religion, and opposition to science, etc.

Sent by John Willis, PhD - | 3:15 PM | 11-12-2007

In the article on the website and in the intro to the show, it has been posited that there are "66 books" in the Bible, and yet the majority of the world's Christians hold that there are at least 73 books (which includes the deuterocanonicals or Apocrypha).

Sent by Joseph | 3:26 PM | 11-12-2007

I've come to believe that the major religions of the world, Christianity, Islam, and Bhuddism, for instance, arose in the context of radical changes in human society and economics.

Humans moved from small hunter-gatherer tribes to large agrarian societies in the blink of an eye. New religions arose to address the change, focusing on such things as property rights, community relations, and heresy.

Now as then we humans face unprecedented problems, mechanized and nuclear war, democracy, trans-national corporations, and global warming, to name a few. I'm most familiar with Christianity and believe attempts to make its teachings relevant to these issues strained at best.

The problem with "revealed-truth" religions is their inability to grow very far beyond their roots.

Do you agree at all?

Sent by Stephen Brown | 3:26 PM | 11-12-2007

I am sorry not to have found the blog till after the show was over, but was interested in your wrestling notions, vs encyclopedia notions and how folk would put parts aside as not useful to the current times (that time being 1600 years ago now)and how much would have to be "reworked' in light of currrent understanding.

On a different note I would wonder at your thoughts about the groups I think of as Theofascist, Kahanists among Jews, Islamists and Dominionists, in each of their versions. About what they are doing to their respective religions and what can be done about them.

Sent by Freedem | 9:47 PM | 11-12-2007

I recommend reading "Reinventing Jesus" by J. Ed Komoszewski (et al) and "What Are the Gospels" by Richard A. Burridge for some balance regarding the New Testament and what we can know about Jesus.

Sent by Greg | 12:35 PM | 11-13-2007

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