This week at Carey we are celebrating Literature Week. Each section of the School will have special activities as well as guests to highlight the delight of getting ‘lost in a book’. By any reckoning, the Bible is an amazing book. The history of the Bible is fascinating. The Hebrew Bible (The Old Testament) as well as the Gospels and letters of the New Testament constantly speak of notions of equality, charity, social responsibility and spirituality. Sadly, the ethical ideals highlighted in the Bible were in sharp contrast to the way the leaders in the powerful medieval church were living. Rather than change their ways, they embarked on a deliberate policy to deny common people access to the Bible. The irony of it all! So threatened was the church by the teachings of the Bible, that in 1408 a decree was proclaimed that anyone making or using an unlicensed copy was liable to be put to death.
It is so sad to think that the church was prohibiting its people from reading the Bible. We are blessed to live in a nation in which we do have unlimited access to the Bible. Its impact is profound in democratic nations as so much of their foundation is influenced by the biblical understanding of equality, justice and compassion. Sayings that have their origin in the bible are part and parcel of everyday speech (e.g. the writing is on the wall, a Good Samaritan, baptism of fire, David vs Goliath, feet of clay are but a few). Even from a literature point of view, the bible’s influence on society has been profound.
But greater than all that is the impact upon individuals who have discovered God’s love and forgiveness within its pages. The flow-on effect upon families can last for generations, all because one member of that family decided to base their life upon the teachings of Jesus. Our school came into being because a group of individuals led by Revd Leonard Tranter believed that young people should hear the stories and teachings of the Bible.
It is indeed a ‘good read’!
Grace and peace,
Senior School Chaplain