Language barrier to bible teaching;Letter

17th December 1999 at 00:00
OBVIOUSLY reviewers have the freedom to express their opinions however, quite what Paul Noble's opinion is on the 21st Century Children's Bible escapes me (Primary magazine, November 26)

Is he making a plea for an imaginative retelling of the bible's stories in contemporary English, or is he advocating the continued use of the King James' version?

He is disparaging of the alteration of "swaddling clothes" to the more intelligible "strips of cloth". Why? Surely the important thing is to retell these "stories" (and I use the word advisedly) in a way which makes them intelligible to a modern reader whatever age?

Unless we want a text which can only be approached by students of literature at GCSE or beyond we serve no useful purpose by a devotion to the King James' version, whatever the beauty of its prose and sublimity of its poetry.

My first degree was in biblical studies, my second in theology, throughout my 16 years of ministry as an Anglican priest and my career as an RE teacher, my sole concern has been to facilitate people in their individual walk of faith and in doing this, to communicate ideas, beliefs, practices ... and texts, clearly and intelligibly. Is there any other purpose in teaching RE - not according to the agreed syllabuses.

Reverend RA Cook

16 Vikinglea Drive


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