On the Bible
I’ve been reading the King James Bible lately. I like it and always have, but it’s too damn long. I mean, it goes on and on and on.
Check out Proverbs. Yeah, there are some nuggets in there. But the signal to noise ration is pretty low. In fact, a lot of the book is like that. Goes on and on and on. In the Old Testament, it’s blah blah blah “Obey me” blah blah blah. In the New Testament, it’s blah blah blah “I died for your sins” blah blah blah. Even Matthew has a lot of extra junk in it. I like Ecclesiastes the best. (Tell it, brother!) And yet even there I’d pull out the red pencil and cut some stuff. It was as if they didn’t have e-mail and IM back then. I mean, get some message discipline.
I also think reading that King James stuff is a bit like reading Wallace Stevens or Heidegger: it renders you unable to think. Sometimes there just is no there there. Way too much antanaclasis, epistrophe, and scesis onamaton. It numbs the brain. It’s like, dude, What’s the point here? Can you just, like, tell me so I don’t have to read the same words rearranged it 47,321 different ways? Didn’t you people have anything better to do back then?
And another thing: the stories don’t have dramatic structure. My god, they go by so fast, too. It’s like Jonah is in the whale, then—boom!—he’s out. The whole story is over in maybe three pages. Job is no better. And, going back to Matthew, Jesus’ life story is laid out in a few paragraphs. And then the writer bullshits us my calling these little sections “chapters.” Yeah. Whatever, dude. That’s like calling PowerPoint slides chapters. Doesn’t make it a book.
How did this thing ever get so popular? Harry Potter is far better.