Greg Clarke explores the key text which has shaped our culture: the Bible

According to Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia, there is a scandal going on in the early 21st century.

“I’m not sure who exactly to blame, or how they have managed to oppress and blind so many people,” Clarke says, “But they have done a comprehensive job of it, whoever they are.”

The scandal is this: “millions of people have been denied a basic knowledge of the key text that has shaped their culture.”

These are the opening lines in Greg Clarke’s recently published book, ‘God’s Library’.

Part of the impetus to publish this book was the Bible Society Australia’s Live Light in 25 Words campaign, running during October 2012 and aimed at helping people read the Bible, starting with just 25 Words a day—the average length of one Bible verse.

Speaking last night at St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Coorparoo for the Brisbane Anglican Dioceses’ launch of the Live Light in 25 Words campaign, Greg Clarke also launched his e-book, ‘God’s Library’, which examines two main questions in an easy-to-read format.

In the Part 1 of the book, Clarke begins by addressing the question, “Why would I bother with the Bible?” and moves on in Part 2 to answer the subsequent question “So what really is the Bible, and what do I do with it?”

The book is an introductory volume for those who “feel that they really should know something about the world’s most influential text, but may have been afraid to ask, put off by the Church, found the black leather cover and cigarette paper pages ominous, or just never got around to it”.

The tone of the book is light and informative, and Clarke has deliberately avoided debates that make people stop in their tracks – like evolution or gay marriage – and there is no assumption as to how ‘religious’ the reader may be.

Clarke says in the preface, “I’m hoping this book will be both accessible to those who don’t read much, but feel they should (especially since 2012 is the National Year of Reading in Australia!), and also interesting to those who do read and do have an education in literature, but for whatever reason have not received enough information about the Bible itself.”

After finishing the book, Clarke’s hope is that readers will be motivated to read a little of the Bible, the ‘Book of Books’. He says, “As CEO of Bible Society Australia, I have the privilege of seeing what happens around the world when a people group receives the Bible in their own language for the first time. It’s quite remarkable; it changes them; they light up. We talk about lightening people’s hearts with the Bible, and I hope that’s your experience too, whether you are completely new to the Bible (like those people groups), or coming back to it after a long absence, or just filling in the gaps in your education (we all have them).”

God’s Library is available as a free online preview until November 9. It will then be available to purchase for e-readers. 

To find out more about the book and contribute to Greg Clarke’s list of ‘Biblical allusions’, click here.