So, last time we looked at several reasons the Bible still has importance in today's society, even among those who don't believe its spiritual message. It has great literature, useful wisdom, and literary references we need to understand much literature.
In addition, our language has been enriched by the Bible as well. Think about these phrases: the tower of Babel, an eye for an eye, the scapegoat, the promised land, the valley of the shadow of death, inherit the wind, feet of clay, my brother's keeper, the straight and narrow, the handwriting on the wall, a house divided against itself cannot stand, a pearl of great price, the blind leading the blind, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword, the meek shall inherit the earth, the salt of the earth, a city on a hill, turn the other cheek, oh ye of little faith, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the good Samaritan, eat drink and be merry, the prodigal son, born again, doubting Thomas, a Damascus Road conversion, it is more blessed to give than to receive, the wages of sin, you reap what you sow. These all have their origins from biblical passages. In addition, all sorts of common terms have come straight from the Bible – heaven, hell, angel, devil, Satan, atonement, Antichrist, Armageddon, apocalypse, babel, evangelist, mission, pagan, redeem, sabbath, testament, worship, Messiah, philistine, scapegoat.
We have been discussing the value of the Bible. In past blog posts we mentioned its great literature, worldly wisdom, literary inspirations, and its words and phrases that have entered our language. Let's end this discussion on perhaps its most important characteristic--the Bible is the cornerstone book of the Western world. Think about what we value in our society – an emphasis on the individual, the elevation of women, freedoms and civil rights we enjoy, the development of science, the emphasis on laws, our morality, our economic system. All these owe their ascendancy in the West to the Bible.
In recent research 41 outstanding teachers said that knowledge of the Bible is crucial for a good education and provides an educational advantage. Another survey of leading figures at secular colleges said the Bible is the key book for high school students to know.
It might be good to end with several interesting quotations about the Bible. One person said, "The Bible is the learned man's masterpiece, the ignorant man's dictionary, the wise man's directory." William James, the famous psychologist, noted that "the Bible contains more exquisite beauty, more morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence than can be collected from all other books." Reid Buckley, a person who trains professional speakers, claims that if someone doesn't read the Bible, he/she is "irreparably ignorant and culturally deprived."