So. My time has come to finally sit down and read the freaking bible. If I'm gonna argue against it, I should know what I'm talking about. It is also a part of western culture whether I like it or not.

There seem to be so many books that make up 'the bible' that I honestly don't know where to start. I've also read that there are several versions of these different books. So where do I start?

I have a Nook, and would really prefer to get digital versions of this thing. I figure Barnes and Noble has to have plenty of digital copies.

Does anyone have a 'favorite' version, book, section? I do realize I could Google this all myself, but that's no fun. I want real feedback before I dive into this. If one sucks less than another, I want to know.

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Have 2 on my Kindle KJV, NVI. I suggest reading the version that easiest for you to read. Start at the beginning and go.
New Internation Version is easier to understand than King james
An NIV with a concordance makes it easier to follow (so to speak).
A newer version of the Bible will make it an easier read such as the NIV or some sort of study bible. If you're looking to strengthen your argument an older version such as the King James would be best, but its completely drivel. The American Standard might give you a happy medium (the book is still awful tho). Also you gotta read the Koran. It's way easier, some copies are less than 100 pages. It's important to read both because the Islamic & Christian holy books tell many of the same stories but in completely contradictory ways.

A Christian friend asked me 'how to read the whole bible?' today. Kinda funny when ya think about it, eh? But what I told him was read the New Testament first. It's almost a sequenced tale that can be read in chunks like a Harry Potter story, but Jesus dies way earlier in the story. It's important to read the new testament first because that is the God you are most likely building your argument against if you are surrounded by American culture. When you go on to the old testament I would say read the first 5 books the same way. It's basically like a 5 book Harry Potter/Jesus tale based on Moses. It's hard to get through, but very easy to make an argument after that. The stories of the prophets are a mixture of short/long tales that describe many 'prophecies' some of which you'll notice they tried to attribute to Christ in a poor effort to make him look like the son of God when the publication was put together 300 years or so after his death.

Good Luck! Reading the bible makes it so easy to slap around a believer via debate because most believers have not finished the whole thing (if they did, they wouldn't beileve).

BTW, I didn't mention reading anything else in the O.T. because in all honesty they are pretty irrelevant to both the believer and non-believer in debate. The meat & potatoes is in the pentatuech and scattered throughout the prophets.

 

I most certainly have other holy books on my list of things to read. I figured I should start with the one that's most culturally relevant to me. Thank you for all the help! I know I haven't said much, but I most certainly appreciate the time you took to give me this answer. :)

No problem, it's kinda my thing. I just dropped out of a Christian Reformed Church affiliated college after 2 years of study (and disgust!). I used the experience as an in depth historical and critical view of the 'good book' but it turned out to be the most intriguing study of social theory I've ever experienced. Such an interesting and nonsensical people. After a couple years though I felt like I knew enough (biblically and socially) to move on to something better, the arguments of my peers and instructors had become too laughable for my comfort. Not to mention, pops was pretty upset to find out my entire private school education was no more than a study and a joke to me. Glad I could help.

The New International Version is easier to understand, as it is written in modern English, but the King James Version is the one that most Christians use. I'd recommend trying to read two different versions together, if you have the time and/or inclination. I guess it mostly depends on what you want to get out of reading the bible: Do you just want to know what happens in it or are you interested in studying the historical context in which it was written and what it says about ancient cultures? I went through a phase in which I liked comparing different translations, trying to figure out which is the most accurate word for word translation,but now I feel like it was a totally pointless and time-wasting endeavor.

Lindsey (and Mallory), they do have a print copy of a parallel bible that each page has two columns, NIV (or any other version), and the KJV on the other.  I'm not sure if B&N has a digital copy, but this is the easiest way to read and compare the two.  If you CAN find a digital copy of this, try to see if they have a parallel STUDY bible, as this will have valuable commentary in details that will really help you understand what is going on.  Some words and phrases will sound crazy, but with this little explanation it's much more understandable.  I hope you find a good bible though.

Thanks for the tip! It seems like if i want a good one, I'm going to have to go out and buy a real book. That's fine, except I might be a little embarrassed to have it it my book collection! At least until I learn to think about it as a historical mythology...
There is a really interesting bible, it's called the Archaeological Study Bible.  It will run you about $50 at B&N, has great commentary for understanding, and is in NIV.  It also includes historical archaeology (as it pertains to biblical history mostly in Israel and the surrounding region, I'm not sure of the accuracy as I have not looked at it in great detail).  I thought of this earlier but failed to mention it.  Just another suggestion so you don't have a plain old bible laying around.  It looks like an archaeology book, sort of.
That's awesome! If i ever get a job again and have the spare money, I will look into it.

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