AN UNBELIEVER’S GUIDE TO THE BIBLE - including the Apocrypha
by Leslie Scrase
With this book Leslie Scrase thoughtfully explains to readers exactly how the
writing of the Bible was compiled over the two thousand years that it came into
existence, he expands on what it means to the various different religions and,
perhaps most importantly to the unbeliever, he uncovers those parts which are
beautifully written and meaningful to humanity in general.
The author himself grew up in a Methodist family, attended a Methodist
theological college, which was part of the London University, and then served
as a minister for about 20 years. He had a few years as a presbyter of the
Church of South India and was also Principal of the Medak Bible School whilst
there. At this time he would read the Old Testament once every three years and
the New Testament every year, giving him a deep knowledge of the text. He has
also included within this guide the Apocrypha, the part of the Bible less read
by Protestant Christians, because it contains passages of great thoughtfulness
Over a period of time Leslie Scrase’s views began to move away from Christianity, and the final realisation that he
no longer had any religious beliefs lifted a great weight from his shoulders.
Now he is able to take a dispassionate look at the Bible, consider it in
context with both history and the many various religions which take inspiration
from it, explain to unbelievers what it means to believers, and also extract
those parts which have appeal and value to all mankind today without the need
for religious ideology.
Following his early childhood, which included attending a Methodist boarding
school as an evacuee during the war years, the author spent his National
Service in the Royal Navy. As mentioned in the main details about this book, he
then attended theological college which led to his time in India. Amongst his
writings during this period were works on the Eucharist (the sacrament of the
Holy Communion) and the nature and meaning of priesthood, with Leslie coming
down firmly on the Biblical and Protestant side of the ‘priesthood of all believers’.
It was in India that his pilgrimage away from Christianity began, although
another 12 years would pass before ‘that great weight’ was finally lifted from him. Since then he has written Humanism in the Ancient
World; a book of Conversations between an atheist and a Christian on Matthew’s Gospel and a series of short essays called Letting off Steam. He has also
written autobiographical fiction, ordinary fiction, stories for adults and
children, and three books of poetry.