Prepare for the television event of the year. On 5 October Pope Benedict XVI will kick off a six-day round-the-clock Bible reading marathon – and the whole thing will be transmitted live on Italian TV.
The Pope will start things off in St Peter's by reading the first 33 chapters of Genesis, before 12,000 volunteers keep it going in a Rome church. The Pope's segment will be beamed live on the top channel of Italy's state-funded network RAI, with the rest of the epic going out on the network's satellite education channel.
Wondering why the Pope's stopping at chapter 33 of Genesis, Guardian journalist John Hooper did a cheeky bit of research and looked up chapter 34, which begins:
"And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her."
Could this be a hint that Christians aren't so proud of their holy book, in its entirity, after all?