The Book of Job (Pocket Canons)

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Mr Slennett added: "Why get someone like Will Self, who abominates Revelation, to write the introduction to a book of the Bible? Why ask a Buddhist when there are a million Christians who could write about Proverbs? But to Mr Byng, who rescued his small publishing house from bankruptcy four years ago, stunts and shock tactics are the name of the game. Of his Christian critics, Mr Byng - stepson of the BBC chairman, Sir Christopher Bland - said: "I think it's so exciting for the Bible to be published in this way and I find it very sad that they're taking this fundamentalist approach.

Surely they must welcome the fact that it's there for people to read. If people are going to find faith via the Bible, I don't think a Louis de Bernieres introduction is going to tip the balance. Mr Byng, 29, who describes himself as "a spiritual person", was wholly unapologetic.

It's not just a religious text but a major work of literature, and I kind of resent people who have particular religious baggage saying we shouldn't have done it.

Some of the letters coming in about what's going to happen to us. This apocalyptic language - I find it quite difficult to take seriously. To Christians, however, what is offensive is the fact that the introductions are printed alongside the texts of the 12 books price pounds 1 each selected from the Old and New Testaments. Mr Shearer explained: "It's almost deliberately seeking to devalue what orthodox Christians everywhere would regard as the infallible, true word of God under which we humble ourselves.

These authors have made cruel, mocking judgements of the most precious book in the world. Ian Matthews, general secretary of the Christian Booksellers Association, which represents Christian bookshops in the UK, said the major chains had decided not to stock The Pocket Canons.

You certainly wouldn't expect an attack on Muhammad or the Buddha, so I don't see why such an attack should be made on the God and Jesus. Norman Nibloe, chairman of the Christian Booksellers Convention and owner of a chain of six Christian bookshops in Kent and Sussex, said: "The way in which the introductions have been done will cause offence to my customers so I won't be stocking them. It would be like asking someone who knows nothing about football to commentate on the World Cup or asking someone who is tone deaf to review the Last Night of the Proms.

He dismissed the claims of blasphemy, saying: "This reaction comes from a particularly narrow religious background and doesn't acknowledge that the Bible is a library of books which can be read in all sorts of ways. Whatever the immediate result of Mr Slennett's campaign, he is confident that God will avenge the blasphemy by bringing ruin on Canongate Books.

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Not only do we have a God, therefore, who is a frivolous trickster, but one who even botches up the reparations when He decides to make them. There are many episodes in the Bible that show God in a very bad light I read The Book of Revelation once - I never wanted to read it again. I found it a sick text In its vile obscurantism is its baneful effect; the original language may have welded the metaphoric with the signified and the logos with the flesh, but in the King James version the text is a guignol of tedium, a portentous horror film To think this ancient text has survived to be the very stuff of modern, psychotic nightmare.

Did the editors of this series of volumes of the King James realise that I was an ex-orthodox Jew, an atheist and a biologist to boot when they suggested that I write this introduction? Yes, they said, and that's why we asked you. So now, nudging sixty, I have read King James's Genesis for the first time I find Genesis to be full of such seemingly. It may not have been the author's intention, but we see why he caused such anger and resentment, and understand his enemies' wish to have him dead and out of the way.

When he's not. That God of Old begins to transmute in your heart, base metals become silver and gold, and you warm to the world Mark's Gospel is a clatter of bones, so raw, nervy and lean on information that the. And doesn't Paul take up such an annoyingly large chunk of the Bible, after the romance and passion and savagery of the early days are all finished, after that death upon the cross, with his undramatic. Listen to Paul in Corinthians Don't smoke, don't own guns, don't be unrighteous, don't spit in church, let's have no dissension here!

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The Influence of Job in Modern Worship Music

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An Overview of the Book of Job

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