I had an opportunity to see the traveling exhibition, Ink & Blood in Lexington, KY. I highly recommend it. It will be there for a couple of months before moving on to South Carolina. The exhibit traces the path of our modern English Bible from the very beginning through the present day. It also records the amazing amount of suffering and death that thousands throughout history have endured to make it possible.
One of the things that struck me as profound is our willingness to die for what we believe in. Human history is replete with stories of people who went to their death for not agreeing with the prevailing opinions of their times. In many cases, all a person would have to do is just sign a paper saying that they believed in whatever the official doctrine of the time was and all would be forgiven. But, time and time again, people refused and chose death rather than betray their deep beliefs. Why?
Why would someone deny their most basic instinct – to survive – rather than betray a deeply held belief? Is it because nature assigns some survival advantage to having deeply held beliefs?
All through this exhibit I was amazed by the twists and turns the Bible has taken at the hands of people who simply had faith. The devout will say that the spirit of God was working through these individuals. It’s this same fervor that makes young jihadists blow themselves up daily all over the middle east – they do it for a belief, for a metaphor. Joseph Campbell said, “People dying for metaphors? They’re doing it all over the place. Just pick up a newspaper.”
Check out the website, here.