So, did you hear the one about burning Bibles on Halloween?

No kidding.  Some group in North Carolina plans to burn Bibles on Halloween.

Funny part, or ironic part:  It’s a church doing the burning.

And in case you’re hungry, “We will be serving Bar-b-Que chicken, fried chicken, and all the sides.”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Dispatches from the Culture Wars — great comments there, including this one, a favorite of mine:  “I’m going to have to address the menu, however: Chicken is not even mentioned in Leviticus.

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6 Responses to So, did you hear the one about burning Bibles on Halloween?

  1. Top class web-site yours sincerely, Lizzie Scaccia


  2. sbh says:

    I did a piece on this myself, and I looked over the church’s website quite a bit. According to his own account the writer is a Tennessee Temple University dropout who couldn’t handle learning Greek and Hebrew and never mastered the basics of textual criticism. He appears to have a bad case of envy over those who did stay the course.

    His issue is a textual one; he believes that Bible translations should be based on the Textus Receptus (for the New Testament) and the Masoretic text (for the Old Testament). [He makes this point confusing by referring to this combination as the “TR”, though properly it should be “MT+TR” or something like that.] This particular combination of texts was used by Luther, Tyndale, and eventually the King James translators as the basis for their translations, though not exclusively–the KJV often falls back on the OT Greek version for the meaning of obscure Hebrew words.

    For sound textual reasons most modern New Testament translations are based on some version of the Nestle-Aland text, which is based on the collation of thousands of manuscripts and versions, rather than the Textus Receptus, which is based on six late Greek manuscripts (and some guesswork where there were gaps in the available copies). The book-burner doesn’t like this. This is why he is burning copies of the New International Version, the Revised Standard Version, and so on. It’s also why he’s burning the works of famed NT textual critics Westcott, Hort, and Metzger. He didn’t say, by the way, that the Tyndale and Wycliffe translations were based on the KJV; he said that they were based on the TR, which is true for Tyndale but not for Wycliffe; Wycliffe’s version was based on the Latin. (I don’t have my copy any longer, but as far as I recall the New King James Version–which is also being burnt–is in fact based on the TR+MT hybrid text the book-burner so admires.)

    I don’t find the guy particularly likable myself, but it is pleasant to see somebody so enthusiastic over textual issues, even if he’s completely ill-informed, wrong-headed, and spiteful. At least he gets it: text matters.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Good words, Jim. Good point.


  4. Ed, I am going to surprise you, but, insyead of reading the ‘other Ed’s’ comments, I had read this when it first came out, and went directly to the website. I’m still not sure if it is a spoof or not — the only clue it is, other than the choice of targets, every religious nut out there, including Benny Hinn, is his statement that the “Tyndall and Wycliffe” Bibles were based on the KJV. (The guy can’t be that dumb. Check the dates.)

    But if it is for real, I actually, once I read most the site, found the guy likable. Yes, he has some screwy ideas — but he doesn’t see them as an excuse to hate, he doesn’t mix them into a poisonous political stew. (For example, Clay Aiken is ‘condemned’ for being gay, but with no more passion than he ‘condemns’ Faith Hill for wearing a bikini — in a SHAPE Magazine foto-shoot.) There’s no anti-Obama paranoia, or even any politics at all.

    He has screwy beliefs, yes, but I live in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, where the building of sukkahs is a cottage industry once a year — if you don’t know, they are little tents you put up in your back yard and eat your meals there for the period of a week. (And the local kids have tons of street-level stands selling ‘lulavim and esrogim,’ decorations for the sukkah.) The question of beliefs is not what matters, the question is whether beliefs lead to hate or oppression, and I can’t imagine his would.

    In fact, since he condemns abuse rather than alcohol — and I entirely agree on that — I could easily see the two of us having a great time over a couple of drinks, arguing at the top of our lungs but ending the evening friends.

    (In fact, I’d rather spend time with someone like him than I would with a certain prominent atheist who recently mocked the death — by dementia — of a very eccentric cult leader. But then I am an atheist third, a rationalist second, and most of all I am a humanist. I happen to like those two-legged contradictions that I share the same species with –If I didn’t, why would I care what crazy ideas people had — if they didn’t try and use them to oppress me?)


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    You know what the KJV literalists say: If the King James version was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for you.


  6. Porlock Junior says:

    And you know it can’t be a spoof when they hate Billy Graham, James Dobson, and Mother Teresa. Nobody would be bold enough to make that up.

    Thanks for the links. I’d lost the URL of a site someone found for KJV literalism, and now I’ve got one again.


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