Sunday, September 19, 2010

The C. S. Lewis Bible: Something we don't need

This looks like a bald marketing ploy and an appeal to Lewis hero-worship. I think this proliferation of study bibles is kind of ridiculous. What's next, the Calvinist Bible and the Arminian Bible?

9 comments:

Alex Dalton said...

How is it different than a commentary though (other than the fact that Lewis was not a biblical scholar)?

steve said...

But, Victor, we already have the Calvinist Bible. You just combine the OT and the NT.

Victor Reppert said...

I would have thought Lewis's not being a Bible scholar would matter here. He has things to say relevant to what is in the Bible, but what I suspect you may end up with is a lot of Lewis-to-Scripture connections that are more the work of the Bible's editor than what is really there in Lewis.

JD Walters said...

I disagree, I think this is an awesome concept. Though Lewis was not a professional biblical scholar, there is no doubt that he was thoroughly familiar with Scripture and in the case of the NT in its original Greek. He knew the Gospels at least well enough to make distinctive, confident judgments about their genre and easily incorporates Scriptural commentary and references into his apologetics works. He often has very interesting insights on particular passages as well, agree or disagree.

And I don't see the proliferation of study bibles as annoying or pointless. The Bible is complex and mysterious enough to have generated innumerable volumes of commentary from every conceivable denominational and academic viewpoint. This is true more generally of most bodies of influential literature. It is the distinctive hallmark of humanistic scholarship to carry on a conversation that has no clear beginning or foreseeable resolution. I welcome the proliferation of study bibles, as different interpreters may have noticed things I have not.

Alex, a commentary typically exegetes each and every passage, or at least the vast majority, and it was composed intentionally with that end. Lewis never intended to produce a work like this, so as Victor says it is largely the result of an editor matching a Bible passage to a Lewis passage where he happened to comment on it or at least the themes alluded to.

Alex Dalton said...

I realize that this is a sort of patchwork commentary. I think it would be more insightful than alot of the commentaries intended for lay audiences though. I would probably buy it. I've read some of his commentary on the psalms and I thought it was insightful. Victor is more familiar with the entire body of his work so I guess he would be able to give a better judgment on whether or not they are going to be stretching here.

BenYachov said...

I for one would like to see how Lewis interpreted various passages.

Gregory said...

Crass marketing, if you ask me.

It's not dissimilar to the clutter you find on the shelves of book retailers, especially in the Philosophy section, with books like
" (Insert any Pop culture phenonmenon here>>>>_______________) and Philosophy".

Let me use "Family Guy and Philosophy" to illustrate the problematic nature of marketing this uber niche material. People who watch "Family Guy" are probably not philosophers. And those philosophers that do watch "Family Guy" will probably not recommend it as a helpful resource that contributes to our understanding of epistemology, axiology and metaphysics. Also, I highly doubt whether Seth MacFarlane, himself, is capable of understanding such subjects.

What's more, you will find that trying to make sense of the absurd is actually an exercise in true futility.....and not of "reason".

But you know what....when I was watching the "Family Guy" episode where Peter, Stewie and Brian gulped down a bottle of ipecac, I was reminded of the time I was reading Revelation 10:9,10 and had decided to gorge on my Bible for dinner. I can tell you that it was neither sweet in my mouth nor my stomach....especially my stomach. My doctor told me that I need to stop eating books and increase my fiber intake. Yeah? What does he know?! So I'm like "So, Doc, is there any relevant books you can recommend on the subject?"

Also, the episode where Peter takes wings in "The Neverending Story" reminded me of the mythology of Icarus. So I decided to design and build a winged flying apparatus for dogs. However, I had to abandon my research because I quickly ran out of dogs. Plus, the time I was putting into the project was taking up too much of my time. I had mouths to feed and people to love. I'm a family guy, after all.

Jason Pratt said...

Eh, I can see pros and cons on it. I would be interested in thumbing through it at least.

I'm lazy: is there an Amazon link, or IVP or Eerdsman or something? Who's putting the thing together? Is it Hooper? The Estate more generally? Poe? (Someone who actually lives near me, and even goes to the church I attend, but I've never managed to meet...!) What translation are they building off? NASV? (70s version or the update, which incidentally seems really rare?) NIV? Holman? English Revised Standard? (That would seem especially fitting! {g})

JRP

William said...

This news was released around 1 April. I wonder if that is significant.