tv Literature and the Bible CSPAN March 24, 2018 3:01pm-4:33pm EDT
programming at 11:00 p.m. with the presentation of the british circle award. that all happens tonight on c-span two book tv. forty-eight hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. now we take you to the museum of the bible just a few blocks from the capitol in washington dc. it houses eight floors. focusing on the bible including an entire second floor dedicated to exploring the impact of the bible. inside the museum on the second floor no other book of any kind ever written in
english has ever affected the whole life of the people. how was that reflected is that reflected here in the bible museum. i think it looked at three different angles on the influence of the bible. it's what the history of this book. it just spreads around the world. and finally about what is the influence and the ripple effect of the book as it is translated and goes into different cultures and certainly in western culture are story of american history is full of how many people interact with the bible in thece difference it made on those different cultures within american culture. certainly they are drawing upon their own experience looking over all of the efferent things we try to branch out and look at the influence of the bible across
the whole globe with different cultures beyond america. one of the ripple effects as the bible's influence on literature. that's what we want to talk to you about today.ic how is the bible used in western literature. the bible has become so common in an ordinary discourse. with concepts or ideas. with characters.s, with expressions. and so this becomes pretty familiar that they can oftentimes draw upon. they can draw upon it for different reasons as well. w let's start and look at some of the books that you head on display here. that includes john steinbeck east of eden. and what is the biblical influence. we have our display set up. were putting on a selection of books and showing titles that draw upon typical
expressions. is drawn on genesis four verse six in the story of cain and abel. and in the bible you have god sending cain out to the east and banishing them after sort of breaking the code of conduct. in killing his brother. steinbach in his total narrative is drawn on this novel of a good and evil. the struggle between brothers that are trying to please their father and so he is able to pick up on this title to give it some extra meaning. the sun also rises. let me pass on that one for a
moment. a time to love and a time to die. that title of polling from ecclesiastes. it's a deeply meaningful book because it starts out with vanity in the struggle of fighting where we find meeting and life in a life so full of turmoil. you have this quote. a time to be born and a time to die. looking back on this experience. all you see around you is carnage.
they are finding coming back and rekindling an old relationship of love. in this devastation the same time you can find love. in this sense they're drying on that biblical quote from ecclesiastes that evokes the sense of toil, struggle and carnage and yet finding meaning in life. there is a fiction book a historical fiction book we've talked about. but you also have nonfiction here.. a very well-known holocaust survivor. all rivers run to the sea and the sea is never flow -- full. they are dried drying all rivers run to the sea. it is this idea of the cycle
and even though the waters run to the see the y sea the sea is never full. you have this sense of trouble and toil. and yet at the same time there is hopeye it is the cycle he is looking back at his childhood as well as the atrocities of the holocaust also looking at the life after war. it evoked the sense of constant hope. that we as people as well as this greater sense and yet the hope does not extinguish either.
i think even in our recent history there is a theme and a lot in a bit. as part of the wisdom literature. is attributed to king solomon is viewed as the time. in ancient israel. you have king david and his son solomon. it is sort of reflecting on israel's view of god that they are celebrated. and how do we make sense out
literature. so it can be on a different field. appeared and be able to work with a and we spent a lot of time. two advisors from baylor university. they spent quite a bit of time in the classroom. that's not what i majored on in college. the depth of evoking the different ideasvo and the different ways of using ideas whether it is for support or not. or whether it should draw on the team. good afternoon and welcome to book tv on c-span two. and our visit to the museum of and our visit to the museum of it just opened in november of last year. about 30 million bibles are
sold every year. the number one best-selling book in the world. it was to talk about literature in the bible. you can also contact us. i want to ask you first about this exhibit that you have on band bibles and burning of the bibles. it went through its own learning curve of figuring out how we wanted to present it.
we really wanted to take a different turn. it was here to talk about the influence. we decided to look a little bit more specifically. oftentimes it leads to identity. different ethics or morals within the larger society. specifically the exhibit discusses what happens when people talk to become different than the larger regime that they are a part of. we focus some stories on the holocaust and the soviet times during a red china into older periods where you have feuds
between protestants and catholics and they were both persecuting jews. the government that is in place. it's oftentimes looking down to the minority groups in trying to squash them. and make sure that they don't get out of line. as the bible the most band book ever. i think you could say so. books are oftentimes caught in the crossfire. during the holocaust you have many books burned. it's not just that hebrew scrolls and the sacred writings of the jews. a lot of other cultural books that were viewed as dangerous were also with band as well as
burned on many occasions. another exhibit that you have here is the gutenberg printing press. what is the significance. it influenced the rest of the world society. essentially they weren't completely novel. it may maybe as we might assume. for centuries you have the chinese and koreans also working to build a press and put letters in place. it was gutenberg that really turned into a machine that was replicate a ball and certainly the first in western europe. when he put together this printing press a gold worker.
who have the finest skills and being able to put these letters together into a form. it set off and inspired a revolution. they were able to start printing books much more quickly and eventually it led to an economy in price. in the net also pushed greater literacy and demand for that. in other languages. there had been a lot of bible translations started in the first century even before that it translated what we have. bce. they have slowly grown. but after the printing press it really led to an explosion of the opportunity. what was the version of the bible that they were printing.
this is prior to that time. he was printing on a latin bible that was part of that tradition.e. is there a printed bible here at the museum we have a section of the bible. the library of library of congress has a full version a but our goal has been mainly to set out we have several sections of it in a larger exhibit. it allows kids to be able to try to put the letters together. to give the opportunity for them to considerably contribute. just to give people a sense of where we are. where we seated right now. we are seated closer to the opening of the bible exhibit. section we call it the bible in the world.
the floor is 55,000 square feet total. we have a flight through washington which is really a ride and people will stand on the platform it will give you that for d experience with sound and water and smells and it will take you through 11 different places in washington that feature inscriptions throughout the city.y. i bible now media experience and then we are in bible in the world which has 23 pavilions all focusing on different topics that you can see throughout the world. thethroughout the world. topics we are talking about right now. let's talk about some of the other books that we head on display here. and that includes an edith wharton's house of works.
we are kinda giving people an introduction to how may people have pulled on biblical quotes and ideas for their titles she pulls on ecclesiastes seven verse four. the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning. but the house of fools is in the house of mirth. it is a social critic. writing about this lavish and excessive element in the gilded age. how the wealthy were really the value through their materialism. we have the expectation to the life of glitz and glamour and popularity.
and actually that we find meaning through morning with their own challenges and struggle. at least the reference when you talk about margaret gravel and the needless -- the needle's eye. it comes from her quote of matthew 1924. this is for discussion on the values in the social statusus of the rich and poverty. and how she is drilling down into this life of poverty.
some people find value in that versus the automatic assumption off comfort. there is a lot of interpretations of that quote. is it a sin to be rich. that is the beauty of the literary you are able to pull off of quotes and be able toin bring into a new setting and give it new meaning. we can pull it in and give sort of our own different spin to it. in this sense the textuality in the play of words. i think throughout time there has been arguments against where the value of poverty and you think of the social movements that have been important to caring for the port which is a large topic in
the bible. it is certainly without dispute that folks have taken these themes and debated them. and that's part of what has led to this rich history of diverse biblical participation. it came out in 1941. what's the book about. this title is drawn from ecclesiastes in chapter 44. let us praise famous men. and also praise those who had no memorial. i think by default part of the value of the title is that when you first read it you would probably imagine it's referring to the popularity i
think they're able to turn this on expectation because he's talking about that share coffers families that are trained to elude death in the deep south. inherent dignity of people within their poverty and their hardship and these are the people that had no memorial. i think it's the volume to celebrate the dignity of the people. our these authors in your view. are they well-educated. what's in the bible. they don't have to be. because the bible has been so prevalent to western civilization they are often time able to grab expressions without necessarily being deep
in their own interpretation of the bible. they're able because if you -- themes are familiar. they are devotees just to be able to b to be able to pull on that from culture. a lot of the quotes that we are talking about our not necessarily familiar to most people and so at times you do have writers as well as critics who are steeped in the bible because it has been such an important source of limitary thought. both in ancient times but throughout many generations. it has certainly taken many twists and turns. our own day w where we are deeply thoughtful of a social justice issueses it becomes it presents different views on different topics.pi
wrestling through what is the meaning of life and the toil and life. there are different things that seem to be happening. it happens with many other writers as will you can read different portions of the book and then you ask are they saying the same thing. it becomes a book with great fuel. a wrinkle in time. now a movie. those are some of the other books that had ethical represents. you can go ahead and call and for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zone and let's hear from william in lake charles louisiana that afternoon from the museum of the bible. i wanted to ask a 1611
addition of the kings angels bible. i have heard it contained if it contained first and second maccabeess and if he could comment on that. the six to 11 version of the bible. what we often called the old testament or a group of jewish writings that were written during the second temple times were written in different locations ranging from the area a around israel to down in egypt. a little bit further west. expressing different views as they were spread around. the christian bible for many
generations predominately featured these books that are in the old testament. the old testament apocrypha was included in the translation that the christians and the western church used as a basis for their bible. it wasn't until the protestant reformation that some of those reformers when they started going back to original languages in translating.nd it did not include these additional writings. they debated whether that should be included. many of the english translations do not include the apocrypha. but it was still included in a number of translations and even until today as we are
saying. they are common for the catholic bible as well as ether -- eastern orthodox christian. michelson. fayette alabama. i have heard much about the museum of the bible through beauty -- moody radio. you hear all too often from protestant leaders and holy mother church from catholic leaders. i'm sick and tired of these leaders not telling you how to think about what to think. and i want to prove that a christian can take the bible
ultra- seriously but think for himself or himself. so which are the books that the old testament describes did not include. i know the book of the unit is a one. there are additional books. the first and second maccabees. there is a collection of them. and they actually range. have different booksll within eastern christian orthodox is not extremely simple. and fortunately we have a large display on her history floor where you can explore the different books involved.
in different bibles that people have around the world today. we would encourage youto to come. and this is not opening day of that museum. it opened in november of last year. where does here on book tv talking talk about literature and the bible.. next call is dennis and west palm beach florida. good afternoon. i called ups to ask one question and now you got me on another one also. i will try to be quick. my understanding is regarding what you're referring to. the have of egypt wanted two copies of every book in the world for the library of alexandria. and 70 rabbis put the book together. that's why it was called in any event all of those old books that is not in the
protestant old testament now. it was there. i ask them one day. if they included the books that were not in the catholic bible and they were not there. he called me up five minutes later and said i have a confession to make. i was hoping that they would not be in the scrolls but they were. moving away from that. my other question is can you explain to everybody the misunderstanding regarding the catholic church and the bible prior to the protestant rebellion in the printing press been printed in the earlyy 1440s. if the situation is explained. the catholic church did not want anyone to read the bible. to make one bible out ofo animal skins and everything cost a fortune and then of
course when the printing press came out. everybody started getting bibles and catholics. we seem to have a pretty deep knowledge of the bible and its history. why is that. we seem to have a pretty deep knowledge of the bible and its history. why is that. i'm roman catholic. but that's not why i have the deep knowledge of it. i used to do a radio shows and religion politics. anytime i have a thought of anything i would research it and do a show on it. and that's how i happen to do that shows that i'm mentioning right now. d thank you. >> to your question history is compensated. there is or where only one reason for it. topick a very important
is the issue of c in the middle ages it was low and people's access to the bible was very visual -- visual. it was very communal. you go to the cathedral for example. and that something that people do together. is not really reading bibles on their own. when the printing press comes along it opens and opens new channels for literacy that will revolutionize society. i think that is a topic that is important. another presidential quote that you have here at the museum. no study is more important to the child than the study of the bible and of the truth which it teaches.
even in our early years. the bible was just a part of this both motivator is subject that was studied. many people in the desire to read the bible wanted to spread education. at the same time many people used the bible as a tool for education. it was one of the early years of development. it was a largely the main source to be able to used to supplement and illustrate and even running up the bible is just a very common source of ideas and expressions there is a term that a lot of our viewers of a certain
generation will remember and that is the mcafee reader what was it? i did not read that as i was growing up. they started it in 1830s. you have less education. side side-by-side with using the bible to kind of teach these biblical lessons. this is really a primary book that is used throughout the schools. by the time you get to the 1960s they have published over hundred 20 1 readers so a very primary book used in education significant for american history and even the bible's influence within american history. you have educational lessons.
the ethical and moral lessons that were included. have a great influenceha on shaping the american mind. especially in the earlier days. now it's a little bit more of a distant memory. it did and that was part of the purpose. and of course there is so many of these volumes out here.e. you can sort of see the very symbol of side-by-side examples. you also have a display or someone mentioned here. it is fascinating to realize how the bible partnership in a sense with early public schools so he was one of the
leaders helps with the development of the curriculum. in the 1830s when the states began establishing the support of public schools. he was very instrumental in having the bible become part of the curriculum and this resulted in treating the christian values and talked about responsibility and virtuous citizenship. and certainly man have the view that the bible would have a good influence on people if it was used. that turns out to be part of our american history. you're on book tv. >> can you talk a little bit about james baldwin.
with the societal issues. thank you. a reminder to our viewers if you are on a cell phone make sure to talk right into it. we want to make sure that we hear you clearly. i am afraid i don't have any good comments on that one. i would encourage reading some of the volumes out there on literature. i know there was an important social critique there. even as we are talking about the relationships between different communities and racist. it's a very important question now.ut't i don't think we have the confidence to talk about it. >> think of it you for taking my call.
we are sort of a blended family. i was wondering where you are focused on the family. the way should -- relationship between husband and wife in the children. a declaration of interdependence now has to be a declaration of interdependence. the family had. thank you ma'am. i think we are touching on it some and not touching on other areas. the importance of the civil relationships and constructive relationships between different traditions. as well as people from different cultural backgrounds.
they will demonstrate how the bible will be part of the discussion and well lead to social harmony as much as the bible has been a part of disharmony in the past i think we are able to touch some on that. when it comes to the family specifically we chose to use an exhibit about the influence on family specifically to talk about how it has have a different influence on the way families relate together in different faith traditions as well as areas from around the world. we would show a little bit of blend there. it's really important we felt like if you have a much bigger museum museum maybe you could get to it. unfortunately we were not able to go in depth on how does it inform.
unfortunately maybe in the future. eight floors in this museum. 280040 items. about half of them are on display. it would take nine days eight hours a day to tour the entire museum. high orlando. i was wanting to know the catholic church changed the sabbath day from saturday to sunday. and jesus when he made the covenant a covenant can't be broken after the purpose that makes the government is dead. they did until the day he died. and even at his death they
wouldn't take care of the body on the seventh day and paul went back and preached three times to the italians and all of that were in some of the places where they were established. all of the churches up until about hundred 50 to 200 years and then constant teeth changed the sabbath day of saturday to the day of the sun.da there were certain worshipers in rome. the early christians were all jews. they were a branch off of judaism at that time. it have a fair number off different groups and the followers of jesus became one of those different groups. jesus and his followers would have observed that sabbath within their jewish context. by the time we see the book of revelation we see that there
is this worship on what they call the lord's dayhe which was celebrating this memory of a resurrection and so i'm not sure i know the details exactly as we move from a six day to a seventh date let's say but i believe it's pretty early. we are appear on the second floor of the museum of the bible and this is the impact floor. we are talking about literature in the bible but one of the biggest impacts of the bible is on early america. in our companion network. has taken a two or of the bible museum. we want to show you a little bit of their tour when it comes to their view of the bible.
>> this is one of my favorite cases. i out and ask what is the favorite artifact. we have with some equal things here. one of the things i want to talk about they were not allowed to print bibles in english language. the crowd literally held the rights to that text. the catholic bibles would come from if you well. and it was brought to the congress attention. we have a lack of english bibles. they presented the idea to produce and english text.
they would produce the english new testament. they are still holding the rights to this text. there are only two of the first english new testament printed in america or you can come to the museum of the bible and see this one here. they would it is reviewed by the chaplain's congress. two congress itself. and reviewed. to print this bible. this will be the first complete english bible ever printed in america. the only bible to receive congressional authorization to by robert aitken.orization to knowing that the crowd literally held the rights and each and every one of his
bibles. the united states citizen at the time. not produced by the crowd. you can now see they have allowed you to be able to earn this particular bible. and so not only did you include that in this text we've also included the original congressional authorization shortly. they included into his text. one of the thing i really find amusing is on the very front page. he tells you how to find them and isnd three doors down above the coffee shop. there was only starbucks at the time. in philadelphia if you looked at this particular authorization you will see the name of charles thompson. he is the very first secretary
of the continental congress. when charles thompson retires. he was a group scholar himself. so he himself would produce the first or the great. and this would make charles thompson not only the first secretary of the continental congress but he also was the authorization of john hancock's signature. he designed the great seal of the united states and that he would become the very first united states citizen to translate the bible in america. he was a pretty interesting fellow. he was.en and that is a little bit about the bible in early america. that is part of an american history tv to her of the bible museum.
they are with us here on the second floor of the bible museum and we want to talk about the conversation about education. and its use in schools, universities into christian colleges et cetera. certainly,er outside of the united states but also in the united states we had mentioned on our display. even back in the 1500s. there is an effort to establish christian schools for the purpose of they want to read the bible. they motivate education and we talked to the mcduffie reader. to have people read the bible as well.
the has been happening for quite a while. here in the united states we see this in many communities as they have haven't set up schools the books of moses are great but is bashan of what they're trying to train people they're trying to train people this book communicates their own identity and shapes their identity and who they are as a community. we see that also with the african-americans using the bible as part of their book in setting up their schools. we see this with protestants and catholics.s. later on as we half greater immigrations of muslims they will use the quran as well.l. throughout all of these different communities we see how the important writings are instructive and they want to
put the sort of at the center of their education. was the bible the only way to have that book in the house. because of how many times it was printed. i think you would see other books certainly as time gets on longer and more books are printed. i don't know if i am aware of studies and what would be the most common books and when do they bit appear over a hundred thousand copies sold fairly quickly. i think you will see other books. the bible is certainly not the exclusive book. it just happens to be one of the most common books. and it fuels other interests we see you mention uncle tom's cabin.
an easy one to grab. there is associations but you certainly can be seen other books. the science in the bible literature section. let's hear from james in danville virginia first. i was just curious with all ofh the different publications that have been printed over the years to any do any of them refer to the church other than the church of christ or church of god or their geographic origin? thank you for letting me calling. >> when you asked that question. i've just never found any church other than those in the body and there so many within the world i was just curious how their interpretations came about. church oftentimes is a termm
about a community or a gathering of people that would breathe -- believe similarly. early on you do have a distinctions within the community.mm the west has thiss schism with the east. and then you have a eastern church and western church. they develop their own distinct decisions and ways. and later on is going to a split off to the west and well had many denominations as well. not sure if i'm hitting on your point exactlyct but definitely will get into some very importantnt distinctions that reflect and at least subtle if not quite a bit different senses of identities between these communities as time goes on. >> back to literature and the bible. stranger in a strange land. this is science fiction isn't
it? the bible has been so influential across genres in different genres can appeal here. we highlight the title referring back to exodus to verse 22. speaking about moses who is in the land of midian. the story goes. he runs away from egypt. and is running for his life after he's killed in egypt. after he has killed an egyptian. they had been able to pull on that idea in comparing this with the science fiction with the trip to mars and the survivors coming back to this world that is post- world war iii a in the world is looking totally different as he comes back to it.at another great exampleou you mention here of how people can invoke the bible for sort of
an ancient idea or expression but pulled into a contemporary agent. he's able to make something new with it. it is right outside of raleigh north carolina. in a masters in divinity it is in southern california los angeles area. >> i have not been a pastor. but definitely enjoyed the environment of a museumm where i can be a very civil discussion over how do we understand historyta and it's been a great environment. thanks for having me ask a question.
the question is in this museum do they have any kind of history of how our bible comes to us like the four gospels matthew, mark luke and john were actually written after these apostles have died and if the bible museum has a section on the council in compiling the bible at that time and all of the archaeological finds that have been discovered recently that showow at the beginning of christianity and the first and second century there were books that used to be in the bible they banned those bibles
and those people that read the bible's and stuff like that. do you have a history section like that in the museum? >> we do to an extent. these are very complicated topics a full of a lot of different historical theories they are in discussion but debatable of what as evidence and what does a .2. here is some of the topics in the factors involved so for example we feature many scripts that demonstrate as you mentioned the four gospels that are traveling around with each other. with a meaty script that shows thejo luke ending and the john beginning. we have a replica of the
gospel of mary and so yes in that time there are many writing that have circulated. they had beenom shared among different communities so there is a lot ofdi factors involved of how many communities are reading it. are they reading as encouragement. even in some of the discussions you gave. there is a lot of complications to. these are deeply debated issues. what part of the bible comes from an oral tradition and what part is a transcription of a written source.e. it's a very, located topic. in the early societiesga there is literacy that is extremely low. is an oral tradition societies throughout the ancient northeast. they are passing traditions
along through the generations and they have systems of memorizing those. does memorization's are not exactly the way we think of it. about how the oral society develops. the one that wewe read about with noah and the arc in ark in the bible. it sounds a little bit different there is a lot of similarities as a similar type of story is passing through again a complicated topic but very important. even at how the bible is understood by the hebrew people and how we understand people and how we understand and an age where we are doing a lot of critical study of looking back in understanding how the bible was formed. f >> it's located just off the mall off of washington dc. the next call is joe and
laredo texas. the previous caller almost all my question. i would like for you tohe comment on the conclusion that inclusion and then the exclusion. >> the hebrew bible has had in the christian literature as well it would've continued that tradition. during the second temple a time. you have the development of literature which is going to have a much more developed sense of angels and sort of a celestial dimension. that will tie into the questions of how that relates.
these things. it's probably a regular concept but did develop a little bit more and the second temple.nd and today. the times in the literature. it's an area where we don't necessarily see so it is fruitful for imagination and even about the ratings writings earlier. a lot of these writings are attempting to fill in a lot of the gaps and understanding again that culture. it's a lot of stories being told. they bring together different ways of understanding how angels and god's agents direct with human history. a lot of potential for literature there.
each reader brings interests and interest and background to their own understanding of the loads in oftentimes extra, you know, interactive dimension to how read reverse thinking up on ouron title. >> you have a display with isaac newton what is that? >> good question. we have in our science pavilion we have three, you know, statues with a little bit of description of the importance much each person. isaac newton is arguably -- one of the most significant scientists, you know, of his generation, and some would argue of -- all time. prince or for him was a volume
where he wanted to express some of his key -- key ideas what turn into modern physics. theory of gravity and you know number of different elements that are involved with it. but or for him he saw this volume as an opportunity to demonstrate how his, his view of border, that he read are about in the bible was consistent with with science that he was seeing. so this -- this book you know has been very important through scientific discussion ever since. >> and here's a, quote, from galileo the astronomer, the bible tells us how to go to heaven. not how the heavens go. galileo u you know was caught up in -- many a dispute, you know, on trial withw, the catholic churc. he wouldn't think of him necessarily as somebody who is
scholarred it in the bible. >> and i -- in this case, you know, i don't think they were well versed in the bieblg because that was such a part of their culture new our day bible left part of the culture but that was not the same experience they had, and -- for him -- arguably much of this trial is based on politics. you know, but one of the and how are his ideas potentially challenging to, you know, the larger church structure that he was a part pa of, of course, we talk about, you know, the american and our -- our separation of church and state well with that's a time when the church and state are put together and that's the ruling body. but or for galileo i think part of his pushback was it shall -- you know, the baseball may teach us about religion but in question form does that means it
means to be the source of authority on science, and so that's, you know, that's been a deeply -- debatable question ever since. >> jeanie north folk, virginia, hi jeanie. >> eve a question. do you believe in the rapture of the church before the end to christ comes? i do not. >> yeah jeanie thanks for the question. you know, with this is another topic that's greatly debated among different groups. you know, one of the reasons in even tieing to back to our goal here one of the g reasons why te bible is so right for -- expressions in literature is the bible is not always necessarily leer exactly what it is expressing sometimes you have different writers like in mod rn day writers you know they have a different points of emphasis
dirveght ways of expressing things, certainly many would agree that bible agrees with itself.. and so -- you know, we read, read about this from some of, from the writings attributed to paulri wn it comes to it rapture some appoint to book of revelation but this is an area where there's -- where there's different expressions and -- you know it will be debated from time goes on. so for myself it is not an area where -- that i have a lot of personal commitment to. as t much as sort of interest in following from a discussion where it goes. >> and this text from deb. says that bible is vague like the constitution both written by men and inspired by the define interpreted and understood by the same number of people who ever crafted open and bothered to read are even one sentence. any comment for her? >> so i think deb is eloquent.
[laughter] youel know, the constitution is that -- is a reality that is important for our nation that we continue to discuss. and we have to sometimes have the supreme court make judgments on how is it that we are applying that now. well very similar to this concern to this, you know, the jewish bible, the christian bible, i mean it's concern it's astonishing and i think that's part of the -- of the amazing reality here is that if you have -- a book that was written a really long time ago, and you look at its continue knew try throughout history of people interacting within their own setting like what we have to interpret the constitution now, into our -- into our own -- you know, internal disputes this our other american comupght, that's exactly what's happening with the bible with people saying how u did does this influence our own sense of yiet and what we should do and shape ethics and shape morals so i think -- i think the constitution is actually a very good comparison
of the challenge of interpretation withinha additiol communities as time goes on. >> talking about literature and the bible today onbook tv it and kanny is calling in from yorba linda, california, go ahead danny. >> great show and fascinating museum i'll try to get it one day. my question is -- is more of a general question for seth. in -- in starting this had museum, did you find challenges in manageing bias for what would be included in the museum and what would not be included in the museum and to a more specific level i have a number of friends who are jay jehovah witness and theye have a translation of the testament partly inspired by charles russell but a number of prevalent denominations that may have influence from ellen white
or joseph smith, and were -- were those reconciled in to the museums presentations and -- and again, just managing bias i think from a general perspective. that must have been very tough. >> yeah. danny, managing bias is always difficult. and with the bible it is extremely difficult. because again, as you look at the bible, great geographic thread great historic, you know, continue knewty of youth. but there's also of youth with different peoples so there's, you know, each of these peoples have different bias. what we try to do is a museum was to be more descriptive rather than prescriptive based on one person's bias you've described how -- how peoplee have had different approach the to the bible throughout places and times that's really what this impact is ked kateed to. they challenge with bias, of
course, as always to be qear of it. to recognize it. to acknowledge it and try to control it in the sense of knowing what you're doing with it. so when it comes to the jehovah witness and what our theme is on history of the biewbl we look at the spread of the, spread of this -- jewish and christian bible throughout the world and different time. so we do have a new world translation talk a little bit about the, you know, the history of that. and we put this in the context of this is really sort of an expansion of this sort of, you know, traditional book we call the bible. very simplistic to say the bible but we do try to put the jehovah witness version into that stream of history. >> do you have a -- team of biblical or literature consultants to help put this gley together? ivelgtul yeah. great question. we do. so really we have where scholars
are in places. but i tell them the key is balance. but if you're going to have a balance and if you have a museum that's dedicated to -- the bible that is used by the differentth peoples, we it's vey important to have catholic psychological oror particulars o have eastern christian scholar, protestant to have critical and those that are confessional because this is the experience of the bible among different communities as well as jewish scholars so you have the diversity of people involved but then diversity of topics so on thisis floor we have 23 pavilios we have, you know, three ydifferent scholars particulary helped with this pavilion with literature that while i would know very little. they knew a lot and helped to shape it. then we have a totally group for burn that we mentioned than we do for government than human right and merch history for each of the period so to do that well, it took about --
60 to oftentimes up to about 100 in order to have deep involvement constantly. >> well you did mention the bible and government exhibit. we. want to tie that into literature and we want to begin with the quote from another president. up on the wall with here, president truman -- the fundamental basis of this nation's law was given to moses on the mount. the fundamental basis of our bill of rights coming from teachings from exodus and st. matthew from isaiah and st. paul. >> yeah. clearly you know a lot of leaders whether in the judicial system or political system have drawn on the bible and, i mean, in severalal ways. sometimes they're looking to the bible as an inspiration for -- you know, for why they would say what they would say. other time theirs appealing to the bible to justify the positions they already had. so because the bible has been sort of -- a cultural heavy weight with --
oftentimes authority, authority in the minds of the populous, leaders will oftentimes try to use p it. exploit it you know whatever -- whatever may be. now the book we want to ton is lowe wise lou by number the stars, this is from 1989. what's the topic of the book oowhat's tie-in into the bible? >> the topic of the book is it is taking place during world war ii. and they're discussing how the danes were helping thousands of jews escape sweden. the title comes from psalm 147 v.47 4 which tells he calls them by their name. of course this is a -- sort of with referring to god
knowing the stars sort of the association with the star of david you know in later times after the psalms, but yet at the same time god knowing stars calling them all by name so there's sort of this -- u dual mean oing there that i think --an that i think lowery was tiebl sort of appeal to that would -- have special significance for jews as well as referring back to sacred writings of the psalm. so that's later on, it goes into -- into this -- this great excitement of theme of rescue. that during world war ii how can a god care and yet, it have suffering and where's this going to go? and so -- the jews especially are going to be wrestling through, you know, how to we understand writings° that time and how do we keep our hope? >> steve in southfield, michigan, hi, steve. >>how are you doing today?
>> quick question -- sort of three questions -- same video, and i was wondering can you provide commentary on thehe crown? theth commentator saying somethg regarding crown as, though, england had copyright rights to the bible. secondly, was the first english bible was it -- did it have the and perform any acts of e jesus oner serpent sed but from a literary perspective and genesis 3:15? >> all right. well, a couple of callers and it has been a while but a couple of callers early on asked about the
apacrafa reidentify it and why are people interested in it. >> good. i think it is a really -- valuable topic that the museum is -- is eached and also looking for more meaningful ways to describe.. because -- these books, there's an additional set of books that are -- included in the bible that the catholic church read. that c the east -- that eastern christians read sometimes books are the same sometimes there's additional ones that vary a little bit between -- between different people that are reading the bible today. protestants do it not read the, what they would call old testament sacred writings include master's degree the old testament and jews as well do not a include it in the hebrew bible but christians pick up on books included in the first translation of the hebrew bible
into the greek language which we simplistically call it sort of a complex document. a little bitpl more complex than they go into right here. that -- that apacrafa has been included among protestants in some translations and not others. and we're mentioning questioning just asked i'm not sure that the -- that the first precincting of it did include it here in america. but it certainly has been included in -- very common translations and a version the revised version before that. and and even in america, certainly in england before that, a lot of people read aring part of their bible. so there's, you know, clearly a lot of different history had of who included and who didn't include it a a but that --
but that, you know, with hopefully here at the museum we can -- fill that out for you a little bit more. >> he asked about about copyright and -- ther per serpent seed as well. >> a serpent seed you know thers a number of different interpretations of what -- what the significance is of this -- punishment on the serpent or o the seed of the, you know, woman and so on to go -- continue on. i'm not aware buzz i'm -- i'm not in a literature professional myself, but i would believe that you would have probably picking up on that theme and concept quite a bit in some of the kirchght writerrings but i don't know which one specifically that is. >> steven in brooklyn, new york. what's your question or comment? >> thank you for taking my call
original sin is summarized to be treason against god jesus christ executed as part of that. it's clear that bible has been -- a legal document condensed u.n. government and human register religion. how do you bridge or expose that fact in your museum? >> bible is legal document -- >> yeah i think he talked about condemning human government. in first -- first samuel, you know, you have -- samuel comel, and people are demanding a king, and samuel the prophet, you know, challenges that. and, you you know god is showint he's demanding a king and you want a king but that really wasn't part ofin god's plan. you know, it's -- it's fascinating people, poem really look to the bible at different places to, you know,
sort of establish their clear view of way we should live life in many ways including doing government.y we, you know, may get into it here shortly but you know we do talk a little bit about arguments that were made for why --or some, you know, why nations should have a monarchy for, you know, other people appeal to the bible to, you know, resist government. other people, you know, refer to the government more on -- you know to argue for democracy. so -- i think that people have found in the bible different arguments that they've appealed to in different times.ea and because of that it's very difficult to say that, you know, biblee has one position that everybody should follow or when they have made that argument it's -- you know, you have stuck for very long. >> we haven't had this question yet i expected it earlier but what -- or what's your answer to the it shall the fiction nonfiction aspect of the bible? >> of the bible.
>> youou know, the bible even i, recent decades the question of the bible is literature. has been a very -- you know, large topic. is the bible fiction is it nonfiction? you know how to we read it as literature, and -- you know, i think that it's been a huge, you know, huge bible has served as a huge paradigm for reading it as a literal document. seeing, you know, seeing it refer to, you know, literal history that's been to, you know, also look forward to the future for literal history and for, you know, sort of prediction and -- at the same time, you know, it certainly in the rise are of our critical age. looking at the bible as a, you know, sort of e vault comparing it with our unctioning of history or o understanding of science and --
also had a big critical lens as a fiction. so -- i think it's lard to really put one down in the other one up in the sense that they've both formed a rich hair heritage and what we're trying to do at the museum she know people see both sides and understanding that when you're looking at the bible for larger impact, both of those end upf becoming important, you know, important part of the discussion. both now as well as where things are going to go in the future. as farng as what value can can e bible bring to do to people? >> well another quote that you have here at the museum and this is some of the narrative of frederick douglas i'm left in the who isest hell of unending slavery oh god save me. god deliver me let me be free. is there any god? and why am i a slave? >> yeah.
frederick douglas -- i mean was a powerful one and certainly -- you look -- you look at him for to read through his writingings from it it is stirring. it really is. and i think art of what's -- what can challenging is -- you know,al he stands up with a great social critique. you know in the south and i mentioned earlier that you have then bible -- as oftentimes been used for o oppression as well as liberty. i mean he's living in a society where in the south -- oftentimes you know many of these folks are -- preachers that are saying that god has ordained you know slavery and appealing to sections of the bible like with noah and this curse on ham. and saying that, you know, god has considered a people, and
it's -- as they apply to their own context that white southerners that are benefiting from the prosecution of other people and i think for douglas he had an important critique saying if you use that argument but is that really the heart of -- what the bible is trying to argue? isn't what about the ideas of justice for all people? and so -- so douglas is calling for justice and mercy in in dispute to, you know, these ministers who at least white culture is looking to them to be the representatives of what the bible iss teaching so it's realy a powerful example of how people are different times while people often at the same time in the sail place feeling of the bible for -- for differentth purposes. and it makes you sit become and scratch your head ann say what o i really think? and we've found that with the
museum in the bible it's -- you know or our -- our whole goal is t to invite al people to engage with the bible an engage being, you know, sort of thinking about it of what do you do with this? at that sense douglas is a great example of -- of, you know, trying to think through what is the bible really saying at a time like this when -- when my people and sense of the african-americans are being prosecuted? >> let's hear from angelo and north little rock, arkansas, good afternoon angelo? >> good afternoon. i really appreciate this chance to see about the museum in washington. the question, my question goes to understanding the bible and i wonder if your museum goes into the political aspects of the bible in the sense of why they were written. fairly clear the christian bible is a political tract put together by con stand teened a consulate but my focus is on the
old testament this museum go into -- the historical and political part of the old testament as a document to pull jews together after they came back and demoralized from the disasters when they left babylon? that was born like 600 b.c. by the king who put together a political document. see, thisin might get to you fiction nonfiction if you see this propaganda -- for durchght reasons by different emperors it might explain a lot of nonfiction, fiction aspects. >> thank you, sir. >> it's a good question and according to evidence we -- have a lot of gaps in the record. there's a lot of things that we can't justhi know. but there's a lot of ideas that we can, we can discuss. so you know writings themselves would, you know, talk as if -- it's sort of, you know, contemporary and history.
until we get to dead sea scrolls we don't find writings evidence or earliest evidence for writings so we have to -- sort of extrapolate back about what can e can we know what cant we know. so it's complicated, and certainly different people are going to have different ideas, i mean, you have -- you haveta jews that are going o take early dating of the hebrew bible and late dating in the bible. you have the same as well of the protestants both of the new testament early dating late at a timing, also old testament and so -- it's a very complicated topic and what i think what's important is that the museum can be a place where these things are discussed. but again, you know, you need -- you need open minds by all parties. you need sort of here are the arguments out o as far as what's presented here from -- you know, from early history being written down to a late
history being written down. but to your point, i think it is -- ihi think there's a lot of insit into thinking through how did -- how did an exile, you know, shape the mind of these people. how did coming back from exile influence their desire to pull these writings together to collect them into a book. that book will later be, you know -- in a sense expanded by christians then motivated to sending it out through different regions in the world as their bible goes into -- north africa ands start to, you know, take on different ideas. a different influences from -- you know, from philosophical elements and so it's just -- i mean just a global culture is really rich. preem very different. well the story of the bible is very different and different time and different places there truly is no simple answer. but as a museum we hope to be able to give people an introduction into that and these are topics that people -- you know go on and spend many, many years --
you know discussing learning and even people that have been in the field 40 years still disagree about about it. so -- it's a topic that won't ever stop so i think that's, there's something positive about that. >> here at the bible museum there's bibles from presidents cleveland,le truman, eisenhower, george w. bush and president trump inaugural bible recently added to the collection. here's a quote from president jimmy kater on the wall here. each of us must rededicate ourselves toou serving the commn good. our individual fatesod are link. our futures intertwined. and if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit together, as theet bible says we can move mountains. now before we run out of time i want to make sure we bring up two other o books. and two very famous american authors,fa my angelo, and willim faulkner i know why cage bird sings what are biblical ties to
these two books? >> for my angelo i mean she was deeply steep in the bible even, you know, from her younger years. it was a -- great a great source of inspiration,n, guidance, i mean you know truly a very -- very important part of -- part of who she is. so i think what we try to do we have a large interactive feature here where we allow some, you know, some comparisons to specifically i know why the cage bird sings. we show in her writings a little connection to -- to, you know, one of her quotes where she talks about, you know, she was exploring hope many in the sen of wholeness. and you know, expressing this through the idea of -- of the, you know, the kingdom come andco this o.c. is, you kn, is a illusion to jesus', you know, prayer that he would -- that the gospel attribute to jesus to, you know, to teach the
disciples how to pray. of, you know, thigh kingdom kentucky come thy will be done and deuteronomy was her favorite bock and her effort to even memorize it. so when you have a book that's that significant to you those expressions come out in writings so i think that's what i see with my angelo. >> what are william faulkner. >> and what is that by the way? >> you've picked up in this literature section we have these many different volumes that use theha bible as -- expressions from the bible in their titles. i so abslum is quote from second samuel 18:33 where david is saying -- my son, my son. you knowed a time when abslum is being killed and so for if faulkner he's, you know, tieing
this, this association you have king david you have this rebellious son. you haveve this great, you know, turmoil and struggle over what you do you do about your son that is a trying to -- according to the story is trying to -- pursue david's life to take over, you know, take over the nation. and overthrow him and so -- faulkner says he exist with the civil war with era in the deep south with, you know, where there's -- this great struggle over wealth and the conflicts between a father and a son sort of many this larger -- you know, larger time it is complicated and -- and you know there's deception and there's -- you know twisted ethics and how do you get -- get out ofth this and get invold with it without a family. >> eventually we're out of time seth is director of museum
content here at the museum of the bible in washington d.c.. and he's been our guest for the last hour and a half. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and arngdz around the country c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. wk i'm professor at the a