This is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. Last Sunday on BBC1 they have a debate show, in which a socially relevant and divisive topic is put before a room, with one or two experts on the subject thrown in like slabs of meat thrown into a lion pen. Last Sunday the question was raised 'Is the Bible still relevant' - and of course you had the boring atheist type on the show who wanted everyone to know just how smart and rational he was by calling anyone in the room who believed in something he didn't a deluded idiot. But you had actually smart and rational people in the room too, like a professor of bible studies, herself a convinced atheist talking on the subject. What she said I found interesting. She said that while some of the stories found in the Bible are very likely completely fictional, that did not matter, because the Bible is still relevant even if you didn't happen to believe. It has been the basis of our culture for at least 1500 years after all. ('our' being the culture of the English-speaking world of course). I completely agree, The Bible is very relevant to me. I have to read it, and I have to know about it. I can even say I like large parts of it. The King James version, the version I know and use, has some beautiful poetry in it and some really fun stories too. Because my business is literature, and since everyone here is on a writing site my 'business' is shared by you all, too. The finer aspects of so much of English poetry has it's base in The Bible, Shakespeare is at times almost completely unintelligible if you do not have some knowledge of it, even from the earliest of English poetry, Beowulf: if you read the description of Grendel as 'Cain's kin', without knowing the story of Cain the way the Angle-Saxons would have seen and felt about Grendel - the entire effect of the reference is completely lost. Thus an aspect of that great poem is also lost entirely. So, what I'm saying is I encourage everyone to read The Bible, as it can be an amazing tool in the study of literature. How many people here have read the bible, and found it useful? How many of you find it relevant in any way? Even if only as literature?