A Tribute to the Bible

By Winston Churchill

 

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Winston Churchill and the Bible

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, (30 November 1874 24 January 1965) was a British politician, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, he served as Prime Minister twice (194045 and 195155). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.  The following shows the very high regard he had for the Scriptures:

"We reject with scorn all those learned and laboured myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral, and religious ordinances. We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally, and in identifying one of the greatest human beings with the most decisive leap forward ever discernible in the human story. We remain unmoved by the tomes [scholarly writings] of Professor Gradgrind and Dr. Dryasdust (see notes below). We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to Holy Writ. We may believe that they happened to people not so very different from ourselves, and that the impressions those people received were faithfully recorded and have been transmitted across the centuries with far more accuracy than many of the telegraphed accounts we read of goings on of today. In the words of a forgotten work of Mr. Gladstone, we rest with assurance upon The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture. Let the men of science and learning expand their knowledge and probe with their researches every detail of the records which have been preserved to us from these dim ages. All they will do is to fortify the grand simplicity and essential accuracy of the recorded truths which have lighted so far the pilgrimage of man" (Winston Churchill, cited in Our Hope, Aug. 1944, pages 123-124).

Notes:  1)  Professor Gradgrind refers to Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, the notorious headmaster in Dickens's novel Hard Times who is dedicated to the pursuit of profitable enterprise. His name is now used generically to refer to someone who is hard and only concerned with cold facts and numbers.  2) Dr. Dryasdust was an imaginary and tediously thorough literary authority cited by Sir Walter Scott to present background information in his novels; thereafter, a derisory term for anyone who presents historical facts with no feeling for the personalities involved, that is, a dull, pedantic speaker or writer, one who parades his knowledge by presenting detailed minutiae.

 


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