J. R. R. Tolkien

(Lived: 1892-1973)

J.R.R. Tolkien was the author of a series of fantasy novels, the most famous of which was The Lord of the Rings. It is a story about the struggle between good and evil for the control of a world called ‘Middle Earth'. Its main character, Frodo, sets off on a quest to destroy a powerful ancient ring.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, based upon Tolkien's story, came out between 2001 and 2003. The movies rank among the top 20 best-selling films of all time. They also won 17 Academy Awards.

The creator of this epic tale was a devout Christian. Tolkien went to church almost every day and was even involved in translating the Bible.

Important Verses

Tolkien never meant The Lord of the Rings to be understood as a retelling of the biblical story. For him, the epic tale - containing elves, orcs and wizards - was a fairy story for adults.

However, he did describe the story as ‘fundamentally religious'. And he based its most important scene on a passage from Matthew's gospel. He wrote:

The final scene of the Quest was so shaped simply because having regard to the situation, and to the ‘characters' of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, those events seemed to me mechanically, morally and psychologically credible. But of course, if you wish for more reflection, I should say that within the mode of the story the catastrophe exemplifies (an aspect of) the familiar words:

‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil‘ - Matthew 6.9-13

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