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A Vicar from North London has overhauled the Bible to stop the stories ‘slipping into obscurity’. Robert Harrison, Vicar at St John’s Church, Hillingdon, has written Must Know Stories on the back of a survey to find the most iconic stories from the Bible.
The survey, organised by Christian charity Scripture Union, asked Christians and school teachers which Bible stories needed to be passed on to future generations. The Crucifixion came top of the poll, with 94 per cent of those surveyed choosing Jesus’ death and resurrection as the most important story. Other stories which made the top ten include The Good Samaritan (75 per cent) David and Goliath (61 per cent) and Daniel in the Lions Den (48 per cent).
The Must Know Stories have been written to connect with today’s culture and many traditional accounts have been revolutionised. ‘The Bible was written a very long time ago into a different culture when people had a different way of telling stories,’ says Robert. ‘I’ve taken these stories and presented them in our way of story telling. I love to take one character’s perspective of a story and I thought wouldn’t it be fun to tell the story of David and Goliath from Goliath’s point of view? It ends rather suddenly!’
Robert has also written Must Know Stories to give people background to the biblical references that surround us in daily life. ‘Because we’re so uneasy about things religious, these stories are slipping silently out of our consciousness,’ says Robert. ‘But there are some stories which in every culture, people need to know. No FA Cup campaign is complete without reference to David and Goliath and the killing of the giant and cartoonists and feature editors love to give us the Ten Commandments on this and the Ten Commandments on that. But these wonderful ancient stories are not known by a huge proportion of our society, and they need to be told.’
Those surveyed were asked to choose ten Bible stories that must be passed onto the next generation
1) The crucifixion of Jesus - 94%
2) The birth at Bethlehem – 88%
3) Adam and Eve – 75%
4) The good Samaritan – 75%
5) The 10 commandments – 73%
6) The prodigal son – 63%
7) Noah's ark – 62%
8) David and Goliath – 61%
9) Daniel in the lions’ den – 48%
10) The feeding of the 5000 – 47%
Stories which didn’t quite make the top ten:
• Paul on the Damascus Road (40%)• The Exodus (33%)• Jonah and the whale (29%)• Jesus turns water to wine (24%)• Jesus walks on water (20%)• Joshua/ Jericho (13%)• Job’s patience (13%)• Samson’s strength (11%)• Solomon’s wisdom (8%)
NOTES TO EDITORS1) For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Scripture Union’s media officer, Christina Farley, on 01908 856143 or 01908 856161. Email: email@example.com
2) Must Know Stories is published by Scripture Union on 28 March priced £7.99
3) ‘Must know’ stories for children have also been published. The 10 Must Know Stories for 8 to 11s and The Green Book of Must Know Stories and The Red Book of Must Know Stories, both for 5 to 8s, are all priced at £3.99 each.
4) Scripture Union is an international mission movement working with churches in more than 140 countries to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to children, young people and families, and to encourage them to develop spiritually through the Bible and prayer.
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