The Bible and its influence on Western culture
The Bible not only has had a great influence on Western culture, including Western literature, but also has been considered a work of high literary quality in its own right, both in its original language and in translation. So it is not surprising that a survey of the Bible and its influence is often considered an important part of an English language or literature curriculum. Bible is more than a religious book. Reflecting most extensively western ideas and culture, the bible is really an encyclopedia. All in one, it is history, it is literature, it is record of great minds. It has left an enormous influence on the human race. Over the ages, writers have loved to mine the Bible’s narrative riches, taking a Bible story and retelling it in a new form: a long novel, a stage play, a musical, an opera, or a screenplay.
ChapterⅠ A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE The Bible is a book that can be found almost anywhere on the earth. It has been translated into more than 2000 different languages and dialects. It is also the world's most popular book. Every year more copies of the Bible are sold than any other publication, and the number of sales is increasing. The Bible is one of the world's oldest books. Its oldest sections were written about 1500 years before the birth of Christ. Even its newest sections were written about 1900 years ago. Clearly, then, having been written over a period of about 1600 years, the Bible was not written by one person. No one knows precisely how many people contributed to the Bible. It is estimated there were about forty authors. One of the most important facts about the Bible is that those who wrote it did not claim to be the source of the ideas they wrote about. Sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, the authors assert that what they were writing really came from God. For example, one of the writers, Paul, made this statement:“All Scripture [i.e., the Bible] is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”(2 Tim. 3:16-17) Another writer, Peter, wrote: “ ... for no prophecy was ever made by the act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God ” (2 Pet. 1:21)Other Bible writers confirm the statements of Paul and Peter. The Bible, as the only collection of writings of Christianity that persisted through the history, really did have a huge impact on the western culture.
ChapterⅡ THE BIBLE’S INFLUENCE ON ART 2.1 It’s impact on painting
In the western world, as in other parts of the world, has always been strongly influenced by religion. So throughout the history of art, many great artists have been inspired by stories in the Bible. Biblical stories are often the themes of western masterpieces. Famous paintings include Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s fresco painting of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling: Genesis. The painting is composed by nine parts: the creation of light and darkness, the creation of the star and planets, the separation of land and water, the creation of Adam, the creation of Eve, the fall and expulsion from paradise, the flood, the sacrifice of Noah, the drunkenness of Noah. And all of these come from one part of the Old Testament. It's just one example. And Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, Raphael Sanzio’s “Deposition of Christ”, are also selected from the Bible. 2.2It’s impact on music
Music is viewed by the church as another way of carrying god’s message to man, and thus numerous composers have written large number of hymns that definitely have biblical references, and some operas that have biblical...
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