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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Odd Annotation or Two

The C.S. Lewis Bible
via Books Inq.

Not, as you might think, a compendium of facts, snippets, and information about Mr. Lewis, but rather a Bible annotated (if the examples serve) with seemingly every idle thought that crossed Mr. Lewis's mind regarding the Bible.  The problem here is not Mr. Lewis so much as the question of what the majority of these jottings can add to a person's understanding.  This might be considered a piece of fabricated marginalia--and interesting merely from that point of view--but it does continue a long line of Bibles fabricated for nearly every interest--Bibles that add little to the essential understanding, but much to the thick literature of bible studies;  I anxiously await The Charlie Sheen Bible.

That said, if we regard the work as I suggested, I do have a keen interest in what it would tell me about Mr. Lewis--not so much what I would learn from it about the Bible.  Not that Mr. Lewis is not instructive in that fashion--but in reality few of his books were meant to be that kind of in-depth instruction in Biblical literature.  I can think of his book about the Psalms as a overt example of directed Biblical Criticism.  There may be others so intended, but in my wide reading of his oeuvre, Mr. Lewis seems to want to explain and introduce Christianity to both believer and unbeliever more than he wanted to create a dogmatic or even non-dogmatic Biblical commentary.

Later:  This sounds far grousier than I intend.  In all likelihood, being a collector of both the Bibles I have tweaked and C.S. Lewis, this will find a place on my shelves.

1 comment:

  1. I have mixed emotions about the work too, and I laughed at the Charlie Sheen bible reference. (Credo quia absurdum.)

    Something tells me that not ALL the marginalia will be included, for example as when Lewis mentioned that a particular gospel verse (regarding an imminent Second Coming, as memory serves) was the most embarrassing verse in the NT.

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