Abraham Lincoln did not have the education to...

The Christian Century

By Kent Gramm in The Christian Century,March 23–30, 1988

Abraham Lincoln did not have the education to read the King James Bible when he started doing so, and its language wasn't the language he and his neighbors used. But he pushed in a direction opposite from the one we are tempted to take today: he got his education from the Authorized Version. None of us is educated enough to read and understand the Bible. What a presumption it is to think that we are, or that we should bring its language any more than its ideas (if they could be separated) down to our educational level! What we know, we have learned from the Bible. An artist learns from her masters, and because Abraham Lincoln did not have [a modern] paraphrase, we have "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right ..." Such words, not to mention the thoughts they embody, spring from the poetry of the King James Bible.

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