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February 25, 2013
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Influence of Bible on Literature

:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Feb 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Right now I'm taking a literature course called "Biblical Heritage." The whole class is basically about how much the Bible has influenced literature (from a secular, scholarly standpoint). I think it's a really interesting class, so I really wanted to start some discussion on the subject!

:bulletblue: How much do you think the Bible has influenced literature, as a whole? Why or why not?
:bulletblue: Has the Bible (or stories from it) influenced your writing in any way? How?
:bulletblue: What importance do you think the Bible has in literature and writing?
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This question requires a pretty big answer... One way you could start gauging its influence on literature is to check out this list of book titles inspired by lines from the Bible, which includes titles like Stranger in a Strange Land, A Scanner Darkly (from "through a glass, darkly"), and East of Eden.

There are also many English idioms that originated in the language of the KJV: [link]

Even a strictly secular reading of a large part of the books of Kings, Chronicles and Judges can prove enlightening when it comes to learning how to plot stories and character arcs. I mean, just look at the stories of David and Solomon, plus the repercussions still felt hundreds of years later as a result of their decisions.

The "wisdom books" - e.g. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms - catch a lot of flak for some of their contents, but I'd say that any reader who exercises some discernment as opposed to passing everything in them off as antiquated or silly will learn practical as well as more over-arching thematic lessons.

Also, Victor Hugo had this to say about the book of Job: "Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job."

Though I'm Christian myself, I also try and pull ideas from other kinds of literature, religious or secular. As noted elsewhere in the thread, the writers of the Bible did the same thing. One example that comes to mind is that there are instances in Paul's epistles where he directly quotes Greek literature that would've been known to his audience at the time of his writing.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow, that's a lot of information that I really didn't know. Thank you for your insight!
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No probs.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Mar 6, 2013  Student General Artist
:)
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Whoops, here's that first list: [link]
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:iconjesseallshouse:
Did any one watch the first episode of The Bible TV mini series? I only caught a couple minutes of it.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Mar 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Haven't heard of that! Sounds cool! :)
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:iconjesseallshouse:
It debuted on the History channel last night.
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:iconkythkyn:
Kythkyn Mar 12, 2013  Student Writer
Being that it is the History channel, I have to ask: were there :alien: :alientwo: ?
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Mar 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Nice! :D
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