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Author Topic: Using the Bible?  (Read 2718 times)

Offline Phoenix

Using the Bible?
« on: March 08, 2016, 03:50:38 PM »
Do you think it'd be ok to take inspiration/ideas from the bible, or would that be kind of offensive and not ok?
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Offline Very Tired Writer

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 04:46:20 PM »
Lots of people already do take a lot from the Bible. A lot of archetypal stories originate from it, and we still use those stories a lot to this day. I guess it really depends on what's inspiring what. If there's a biblical story that you want to reflect somewhat in your novel, I doubt you'd get in trouble with anyone. If there's particular religious imagery in your story, I'd advise doing good research on it before using it.
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Offline xiagan

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Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 07:32:05 PM »
Christian fantasy is a thing, so why not.
Even some classics like the Narnia books are inspired by it.

You could say that the bible is one of the oldest fantasy anthologies anyway. (No offense meant.)
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Offline Saraband

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Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 08:45:24 PM »
The Bible makes use of plenty of other stories that had been around for centuries as well, and many would argue that there's very little originality to its own narrative. You can always look into these older sources that the Bible made use of.

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Offline MammaMamae

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 12:43:41 PM »
My WIP is a duology that is completely made up, secondary world, but heavily uses themes and images from the Judeo- Christian mythos, and the story is basically structured around the biblical story arc, sometimes subversively, and integrates it with Germanic and Slavic folklore.  I think the story grew out of a combination of my love of fantasy and fiction along with my need to mentally have a "playground" when I was a theology student.  (Eventually I got bored of doing academic theology and found the playground much more fun, abandoning the former pursuit in favor of the latter :)

I'm a pretty devout Lutheran (ELCA), and I don't think it is offensive at all to use the Biblical mythos for fantasy.  They are fantastic stories with deep meanings. 

I'm not a fan of literature that uses Christian themes in a didactic way, though. I actually enjoyed Narnia much more as a kid when I didn't realize they were supposed to be Gospel teaching tools.  My story definitely isn't didactic or moralistic.

Offline Roelor

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 03:33:59 PM »
Why should you use this one piece of fiction less than anything else.

Offline treadmikeway

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2016, 09:04:36 PM »
Go for it! In my opinion, don't worry about offending people. And if you do worry about it, maybe upsetting family members who are of a particular faith, then use a pen name. Tell your story as you need to tell it. Write the best story you can.

Just make sure that you are using a translation that isn't under copyright, like the King James Version or the World English Bible. Even then, a translation like the NIV is usually allowed under certain circumstances. Links below: - Really anywhere that has Bible translations will have this one. You can get it at most dollar trees, too. - Good online resource for quotes. - There is a summary of use gratis list if you scroll down and check it out.

Offline Roelor

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 01:02:32 PM »
I think it's fine.

When I tell people the background of my world, I get a lot of questions whether it's derived from the bible and it was not. It just has a lot of almost parody-ish things that could be seen as such..

I'm fine with that.

Offline MammaMamae

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2016, 09:37:41 PM »
It could be helpful to do a little light reading on modern biblical criticism and/or Jewish Mythology if you are going to use it.  Getting a little background into the sources and an understanding of the different literary genres in the Bible - especially the Hebrew Scriptures / OT - can make for a very rich use of the mythology, whether you want to be serious, subversive, play it straight, funny, etc.

(My own WIP is "reverently subversive.")

Some good sources I would recommend, that are academically worthwhile but accessible are Reading the Old Testament from Paulist Press, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture by Yoram Hazony, and anything by Luke Timothy Johnson or NT Wright for the New Testament.

Offline Captain of the Guard

Re: Using the Bible?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 08:08:06 AM »
Sure, why not? If Robert Jordan did it why not you? good luck :)
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