The Bible in Literary Culture

“The Sun Also Rises,” “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” “Chariots of Fire," “A House Divided,” or Harper Lee’s recently released, “Go Set a Watchman.” Just a few of the scores of novels, biographies—hundreds of books—whose titles are based on lines and parallels from the Bible. William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom,” considered one of his greatest literary achievements, drew on King David’s lament for his son, Absalom in 2 Samuel as imagery for the novel’s story.The great mystery writer Agatha Christie used a biblical reference from Ecclesiastes 6:1 for her book title, “Evil Under the Sun.” And holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel’s autobiography is titled, “All Rivers Run to the Sea,” also a parallel from Ecclesiastes. The Bible—ingrained in the fabric of our literary culture in its impact and influence!

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