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What's in Your Bible?

What’s in Your Bible?

By Kenny Smith, Religion Bulletin….
In a recent piece for CNN’s religion blog, “Actually, that’s not in the Bible,” John Blake examines the ubiquity of “phantom scripture” in American Christian communities. By “phantom scripture” he means ideas, teachings, and passages that sound like they belong in the Bible–e.g., “This too shall pass,” “God helps those who help themselves,” “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” or the notion that it was Satan (rather than a serpent) who tempted Eve in the Garden–but which, upon “close” (i.e., scholarly) examination, are in fact not there at all. A mild deconstruction of Blake’s discussion, I hope to suggest, opens up important pedagogical insights. By way of getting at such insights, consider a somewhat parallel example. In my undergraduate “introduction to religion” course, students watched a documentary about the “Purity Balls” movement popular among some contemporary American evangelicals….