‘You and your holy book’

Nowadays, take a drive on S.C. 378 from Conway to Columbia. Count the number of churches along the way. I’m not accusing them of violence, but guess how many different Biblical interpretations they might represent.

Of course I don’t know how many interpretations in any definitive sense, but I can justify my despair: In the 1990s, according to a United Nations estimate, Protestant denominations alone, globally, numbered around 30,000.

A more recent — and broader — number comes from the 2001 World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions  – AD 30 to 2200, which counts 34,000 separate Christian groups in the world.

“Over half of them are independent churches that are not interested in linking with big denominations,” the encyclopedia says.

So, some of those denominations are redundant or similar in belief and practice, no doubt.

But if there were only 34 differences — two figures instead of five — among Bible-based religions, would that be any saner?

Read the entirity of “You and your holy book.”


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