I'm sure a lot of us have read it. I'm curious about your reactions to it. I read it a while ago, and found it disturbing.
I think the Christians in my life thought I was actually looking for their God in it. I tried to be as open-minded as I could, trying to see what they see in it. I found it to be violently, depressingly narcissistic. When I told the Christians my thoughts, they dismissed the OT and praised the NT.
I found the NT to be as insipidly nauseating as the OT. I had to stop reading it somewhere around Paul's Letter to Some Misguided People Somewhere before I imploded.
My response to one particularly rabid Christian is that I have read it, and if his deity had wanted to get through to me it had its chance. He said I need to study it with assistance from somebody who knows how to interpret it correctly.
Nope! Call me stubborn, defiant, possessed... whatever. I say that if people can find guidance and comfort in the Bible, good for them. I haven't - it's not the book for me.
I've read parts of it. Once when my parents made me go to Sunday school when I was about 7 or 8, and again for my World Literatures class last semester.
For a while now, I've really been wanting to read all of it. I feel like I don't know enough about what I don't believe in (if that makes sense...) So I downloaded it for free from Amazon to put on my Kindle and I'm planning on reading it over summer break :)
Yeah, if you ever start to doubt your own doubts about Xtianity, read the Bible. It makes for an excellent refresher course for an atheist.
No offense to adherents, but I personally find the Bible, the Tanakh and the Quran to be silly little fairy tale stories that are obviously of ancient, make-believe and dated origin.
Heh. You are being optimistic.
Unfortunately most of the book is NOT fairy tale stories but ramblings of some sort or another; prayers, prophecy, etc. There are "historical" narratives that manage to ramble a great deal too and even though they narrate rather than babble, they are about as exciting as counting holes in ceiling tiles--and more mentally damaging. The famous fairy tales mostly confine themselves to a couple of books of the Old Testament and the first five books of the New Testament.
Yes. I read it as a Christian when I was trying to get closer to God. The more I read of it, the more I lost my faith. I am no longer a Christian because I read the bible. Whoops!
It is a long book. It is an inane, brutal and disturbing book. Even the language isn't pretty. When I was a Christian I had always resented the expectation that the bible had to be my favorite book. It is mediocre at best. Revisiting the idea that the bible ought to be THE source of one's moral guidance struck me as terribly evil to suggest to anybody and terribly sad when people do.
I've read it straight through, twice. I recently started to re-read Mark, and found it hilarious. It had the tone of a high school pot head trying to convey to his fellow potheads just how cool some messianic pothead might be. Something like, "So there were these guys painting a house, right, and then Chong walked by and said 'come with me' so the workin' dudes just dropped their tools and shit, and left their ladders there, and went along with Chong, because he's like so hip, right? And then they went to some dewd's house, and there was some great food there, and they were eating and Chong was saying all kindsa mind blowing shit, right?"
Anyway, it completely disregards any need for justifying ridiculous claims, which greatly reveals that it was written for an already indoctrinated audience. The non-indoctrinated/recovered just can't see the same book at all.
And Mark is the least whacked out of the four gospels. Not by coincidence, it's the oldest one, before Team Jesus had really built the legend up. Seriously, fewer miracles, no funky nativity stuff, and no weird allegories. In fact a case can be made that Mark didn't even claim Jesus was the literal son of god. (Jews used the phrase "son of god" all the time (for people like Moses, other prophets, and even for the whole nation of Israel) without meaning it the way we think of it today. It took a bunch of Greeks hearing it and thinking of people like Heracles, to get it meaning the literal son of god.)
Anyhow, Mark is the least nutty of the gospels, but that's not saying much.
I read quite a lot of it as a teenager when I firmly believed it was divinely inspired. But I haven't even owned one in decades.
I recently read Jesus, Interrupted out of curiosity and that's been as close to reading the bible as I have been in years.
That is a good book, as are all of Bart Ehrman's books.
Most of the christians do not read the bible themselves. I have read some of it, and I agree it's one of the most violent book ever. Where do christians get the idea of holy, and goodness from the bible? It comes from the pastor on Sundays. They just take his word for it, and don't bother reading it for themselves.
Well, as a student of the Bible and not a Christian I can say that you found what you were looking for, in a sense, and you should be happy about that. It wasn't guidance or comfort you were looking for, and I'm not entirely sure what capacity you could have imagined to find those there, but I digress, it wasn't the point. You found what you were looking for.