A little word on the Aitken Bible…

“Resolved. That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an influence of the progress of arts in this country and being satisfied from the above report (by the congressional chaplains), they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation.”

That was the resolution passed by the Congress of these united States in 1782, near the end of the American Revolutionary War.

A few things… This was in 1782, when it was necessary that something American be produced. Why not a bible? Maybe that is too cynical. Okay. Fine.

But, you realize that this Congress, well, the Congress under the Articles of Confederation had no authority to do such things, and thus broke the law in doing so? No… that will not go over well either.

Okay, how about this… Aitken was commending for publishing a bible on American soil. It was an American thing. No? Too close to the first point?

Fine… the Congress of the Articles of Confederation, and thus the first democratic union of States founded upon this continent was considered too weak and ineffectual to fully govern and was thus overthrown in a bloodless coup whereby was born the United States of America.

So, you know. Bully for them.

Do you really want your Government endorsing a bible?

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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