The Book of the People: Part I

A series of voices on the many voices that make up the world’s best-selling book.

“It’s the most read, most owned, best-selling book of all time.”

The Bible has over the centuries seeped into our language, our stories, even what we value and imagine. It’s true to say that it’s the most read book of all time – but we could equally call it one of the most unread, and sometimes one of the most badly read. 

In this two-part episode of Life & Faith, three passionate readers of the Bible – Ben Witherington III, Darrell Bock, and Sarah Golsby-Smith – explain what’s unexpected and even shocking about it, and what it means to live in a Jesus-haunted culture. Featuring the seasickness that comes from trying to navigate English literature without it, why the female heroes of the Bible are so appealing, and what a personal encounter with this very ancient and surprisingly modern book can be like.

“Reading the Bible as literature – I actually think it saved my life. I can remember sitting in church in first-year uni thinking I wish I got as much enjoyment out of reading the Bible as I do sitting in a lecture, listening to one of my professors talking about Hamlet … I think about the people who wrote the Scriptures, and the time and effort they put into making something beautiful so it could speak to us, and we read it like a recipe book! That to me seems like a crime.”