Jerry Johnston Interviews James Charlesworth on The Rise of Biblical Illiteracy
If Christians remain untaught about the basics of the Christian faith,the atheist position will remain undisputed. While filming at The Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. James Charlesworth in Atlanta. Charlesworth is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. I questioned Dr. Charlesworth regarding the church’s shocking trend of Biblical illiteracy. He told me,
“The problem is somewhere along the way from my grandfather to now people stopped reading the Bible. Biblical illiteracy means that people don’t know what’s in the Bible. As you have said in some of your publications they cannot put in chronological order Enoch, Adam, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Paul. I see it today even in theological students. What we assumed as knowledgeable for everybody in the ‘50s is not knowledge in the 2015 seminary because you don’t learn it in one day. You don’t learn it in one year. It’s either a part of you and you and I grew up with it in our being. Now why should someone take the Bible seriously? First of all it’s had such an unbelievable impact on our culture. If you want to understand our culture and what you do and why you think you do and where we get our laws and why our country was established you better look at the Bible. Read the Bible. Don’t be afraid of the Bible. And there’s a power there. There’s also many, many things that will cause you to wonder and to study.”
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