Dean: The Bible Scholar?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:36 AM

I saw this in the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday and couldn't help but chuckle (although fear also hit me when I realized there is a chance we might have to live with this guy being our president). Apparently Democratic front runner Howard Dean, who has been trying to talk a bit more about religion as he attempts to appeal to Bible-belt voters, was asked what his favorite New Testament book was.

As he heads into what H.L. Mencken called the “Bible Belt,” the candidate moved to plug an apparent hole in his resume about an interest in religion. After hearing Dean's observation beginning “If you know much about the Bible - which I do …” a reporter asked about his favorite New Testament book. Dean named Job, adding, “But I don't like the way it ends … there's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later.” [link]

So, it seems Dean's Bible is organized a bit different than everyone else's. Robert Novak, the conservative CNN commentator, explains what happened afterwards in his syndicated column for this week:

Dean returned to reporters, confessing a slight error. When they persisted in asking his favorite part of the New Testament, he prudently answered: “Anything in the Gospels.” [link]

While I always feel sorry for people making dumb mistakes, I can't help but see this as Dean trying to look Christian when he really could care less. For someone who has, as Novak reports, claimed to have read the Bible “from cover-to-cover” and also has also stated, as the Post-Dispatch reports, “If you know much about the Bible - which I do,” it is disturbing that Dean lists Job as his favorite New Testament book and then can't be any more specific than the Gospels when he is reminded that Job happened about 2,000 years too early for the New Testament.

I guess it could have been worse — he could have mentioned his favorite New Testament books where the ones that followed Moses's life or something like that.

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