If you were brought up in or perhaps later became deeply immersed in a conservative form of the Christian religious tradition which uses the Bible as its main source of truth, the question of whether or not the Bible is great literature might seem strange.
I was a fundamentalist Christian for about the first two decades of my life. It was study of the Bible itself (again, as a divine revelation rather than literature) that first made me question my basic assumption, that is, that God had actually written the Bible through men.
Further studies led me to conclude that the Bible is wholly the product of man - perhaps men that were "inspired" by their ideas about the holy and God. But that is far cry from thinking of the Bible as God's Word.
I admit the ease with which I slid into adapting a scornful attitude concerning the Bible. I've posted some negative things here at my blog, not so much about the Bible as about the conservative interpretation of it. That's probably a not surprising stance to take for one who has come out from under the spell of Bible inspiration.
In our country there seems to be a culture war taking place between those who still regard the Bible as a revelation from God and those who detest the very idea that anyone could or would hold such a position. Often overlooked in this melee is another position, that which sees the Bible as a piece of historical literature, to be both treasured and enjoyed.
One of this blogger's cyber friends, Sabio Lantz of Triangulations, recently posted a dismissive view about the Bible (see his The Bible is Not a Masterpiece). Then an extended exchange took place between Sabio and one of his readers, Drkshadow03. Sabio's opponent in this debate has a blog of his own, Beyond Assumptions, and responded there to Sabio and atheist hero P.Z. Myers, who also thinks the Bible is a "bad book."
Now in no way do I consider myself qualified to weigh in on whether or not the Bible is great literature. Honestly, I never really thought it about that way. I take the Bible seriously and think it is important for the simple reasons that it is important to so many people and not only that, has played an important role in the history of these United States.
So let me just highly recommend Drkshadow's blog post Is The Bible Good Literature to my readers. It is quite long, which it really needed to be in order to even begin to tackle the question. It certainly made me think seriously about the matter. And it certainly provides a very good argument, for whatever my opinion is worth to you, that the Bible can be considered good literature.
And please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think about this question.