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


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today