BAR 38:02, Mar/Apr 2012
The Bible in the News: Plagued by the Press
To the uninitiated, it seems highly improbable that the ten plagues (from Exodus 7–12) would show up often and in varied contexts on the pages of major newspapers throughout the world. However, for the diligent reader of this column (is there any other kind?), it is no surprise at all that even so fearsome an event (or rather series of events) is infinitely malleable in the hands of newspaper writers worldwide.
Naturally, some of the stories are about nature, in this case nature at its most extreme. Thus, a rather chatty story from The Independent: “The British, it is said, love to talk about the weather,” but it’s “in America that people really talk about the weather. One reason is the national addiction to numbers: rainfall, snow amounts, temperatures, windspeeds and so on are paradise for statisticians ... Floods, tornados, hurricanes and drought—it’s like the ten Plagues of Egypt relocated to the south central United States.”