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The Bible without God

The Canongate Bible books are the reductio ad absurdum of protestantism. Do we really care whether Fay Weldon likes St Paul?

By Edward Skidelsky   December 1998

Church goers are outraged, but the publisher, Canongate, is only making explicit what has long been acknowledged by all sides: the King James Bible belongs to literature, not religion. The Church of England admitted as much when it made the Revised Standard Version its translation of preference. And stalwart atheists of my parents’ generation lament the fact that “no one reads the King James any more.” Culture and religion have come apart; those who read the Bible for its prose and those who read it for its truth are two separate groups.

But for all its avowed secularism, Canongate’s publication…

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