Religious Text and James Version

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MILTON AND THE BIBLE- A STUDY OF THE INFLUENCE OF BIBLE IN MILTON’S PARADISE LOST AND PARADISE REGAINED

CONTENTS
Chapter 1- Introduction
Chapter 2- John Milton
Chapter 3- Works of John Milton and his writing style
Chapter 4- Paradise Lost
Chapter 5- Paradise Regained
Chapter 6- Milton and the Bible
Chapter 7- Conclusion
References

CHAPTER 1- INTRODUCTION
The Bible is a book-making book. It is literature which provokes literature. It would be a pleasure to survey the whole field of literature in the broadest sense and to note the creative power of the King James version; but that is manifestly impossible here. Certain limitations must be made. Some things to be left aside, therefore, would be the immense body of purely religious literature, sermons, expositions, commentaries, which, of course, are the direct product of the Bible. No book ever caused so much discussion about itself and its teaching. That is because it deals with the fundamental human interest, religion. It still remains true that the largest single department of substantial books from our English presses is in the realm of religion, and after the purely recreative literature they are probably most widely read. Yet, they are not what we mean at this time by the literary result of the English Bible. Leave on one side also the very large body of political and historical writing. Much of it shows Bible influence. In the nature of the case, any historian of the past three hundred years must often refer to and quote from the English Bible, and must note its influence. An entire study could be devoted to the influence of the English Bible on Green or Bancroft or Freeman or Prescott—its influence on their matter and their manner. Another could be given to its influence on political writing and speaking. No great orator of the day would fail us of material, and the great political papers and orations of the past would only widen the field. Yet while some of this political and historical writing is recognized as literature, most of it can be left out. It may aid in the limiting of the field to accept what Dean Stanley said in another connection: "By literature, I mean those great works that rise above professional or commonplace uses and take possession of the mind of a whole nation or a whole age." This is one of the matters which we all understand until we begin to define it; we know what we mean until someone asks us. The literature of which we are thinking in this narrower sense is in the sphere of art rather than in the sphere of distinct achievement. De Quincey's division is familiar: the literature of knowledge, and the literature of power. The function of the first is to teach; the function of the second is to move. Professor Dowden points out that between the two lies a third field, the literature of criticism. It seeks both to teach and to move. Our concern is chiefly with De Quincey's second field—the literature of power. In the first field, the literature of knowledge, must lie all history, with Hume and Gibbon; all science, with Darwin and Fiske; all philosophy, with Spencer and William James; all political writing, with Voltaire and Webster. Near that same field must lie many of those essays in criticism of which Professor Dowden speaks. This which we omit, this literature of knowledge, is powerful literature, though its main purpose is not to move, but to teach. We are only reducing our field so that we can survey it. For our uses just now we shall find pure literature taking the three standard forms: the poem, the essay, and the story. It is the influence of the English Bible on this large field of literature which we are to observe. Just for safety's sake, accept another narrowing of the field. The effect of the Bible and its religious teaching on the writer himself is a separate study, and is for the most part left out of consideration. It sounds correct when Milton says: "He who would not be frustrate of his Power to write well ought...
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