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Secular Bible Channels the Voice of … Reason

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: religion, Bible, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, secularism, books, spirituality, Keith Goetzman,

The Good Book by A.C. GraylingLiberals, atheists, and Satan’s henchmen are trying to remove God from our schools, our government, and even our private lives, goes the frequent Christian conservative complaint. Well, author A.C. Grayling has gone a step further and taken God out of the Bible.

The Good Book: A Humanist Bible is Grayling’s attempt to create an inspirational book without a supernatural being at the center, writes Matthew Adams in New Humanist’s May-June issue.

“The way I made it,” Grayling tells Adams, “was to plunder from the great traditions texts on which I had performed redaction, weaving them together, editing them, interpolating other texts and sometimes my own, just as the Bible makers worked on their texts. It was tremendous fun.”

Writes Adams in “The Man Who Would Be God”:

The inclusion of a scientifically coherent creation story is probably the most markedly irreligious aspect of The Good Book, and might well end up, when the creationists get to hear about it, being the most controversial. But the work as a whole has none of the combativeness that one might expect. [Grayling says:] “This book is not against religion, it just ignores religion, and by ignoring it shows that there is as much if not more of a resource already in our hands.”

Like the Bible, The Good Book is organized by book, chapter, and verse and laid out in double columns. But the Bible never sang the praises of nonprocreative sexual love, described Newton’s discovery of gravity, or incorporated the ideas of great thinkers from Thucydides to Kant to Darwin.

Here are some verses: 

• “Let us help one another, therefore; let us build the city together. Where the best future might inhabit, and the true promise of humanity be realized at last. —The Good, Chapter 9, Verses 10-11 

• “Do I love you for the fine soft waves of hair That fall about your neck when you undress? Or that ivory pillar of your neck, or your breasts Soft and fair with rosy nipples crowned?” —Songs, 108 

• “This is the final consolation: that we will sleep at evening, and be free for ever.” —Consolations, Chapter 26, Verse 31 

Source: New Humanist