Signs of the Times

Topic: The Bible

[Odell Shepard, in the Christian Advocate, New York, New York]

It is a strange development of history that an Oriental book [the Bible], born and bred in the distant East, written down by a poor people living hardly and harshly on the very verge of subsistence, composed by men subjected to kings and tyrants, filled with images of a strange exotic splendor, should yet have become the foremost English classic, the glory of our English speech, the guide and inspiration of the world's wealthiest people—western, industrial, highly mechanized, worldly, and, at least to some extent, democratic.

This book has come a long way. It has surmounted huge obstacles of time and space and language to reach us. Yet it has reached us, and has helped greatly to make us what we are and what we shall be. Our speech is clearer, simpler, more direct, and stronger because the echoes of this book in our ears have always been the charm of our childhood, the inspiration of maturity, and the comfort of our old age.

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December 4, 1937

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