After his mother's death, Walter Kirn sought solace from a source that surprised him—her King James Study Bible. "The Bible can’t be read quickly, that’s the main thing," Kirn observes in his new Byliner Original My Mother's Bible. "You have to slow down for it, step away from life. How long did my mother pick at its huge rock? I can’t be sure, but I’ll bet it took her years."
Christopher Hitchens explained how the King James Version came to be. "An extraordinary committee of clergymen and scholars completed the task of rendering the Old and New Testaments into English, and claimed that the result was the 'Authorized' or 'King James' version," Hitchens wrote. "This was a fairly conservative attempt to stabilize the Crown and the kingdom, heal the breach between competing English and Scottish Christian sects, and bind the majesty of the King to his devout people."
Andrew Sullivan lamented that Jesus' true teachings—those in the New Testament—are too often forgotten. "Not simply love one another, but love your enemy and forgive those who harm you; give up all material wealth; love the ineffable Being behind all things, and know that this Being is actually your truest Father, in whose image you were made," Sullivan wrote. "Above all: give up power over others, because power, if it is to be effective, ultimately requires the threat of violence, and violence is incompatible with the total acceptance and love of all other human beings that is at the sacred heart of Jesus’ teaching."
And Adam Gopnik compared the last book in the New Testament to a Hollywood blockbuster. "Although Revelation got into the canonical Bible only by the skin of its teeth—it did poorly in previews, and was buried by the Apostolic suits until one key exec favored its release—it has always been a pop hit," he explained. "Everybody reads Revelation; everybody gets excited about it; and generations of readers have insisted that it might even be telling the truth about what’s coming for Christmas."