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.
As long as we are on the topic of thesauruses (thesauri?):
What's another word for thesaurus?
A book of synonyms?
I couldn't resist. I looked it up. There really isn't a good synonym for thesaurus, but I like the word 'onomasticon'. It's a related reference book, but not quite a thesaurus. I have never had the occasion to need that word, but you never know. I might need it someday.
RE: "I have never had the occasion to need that word, but you never know." - if nothing else, there's always the good old-fashioned bar bet! How do you think I got through grad school?
A woman who can't resist - my favorite kind --
Couldn't just play a mean game of pool like I did, huh?
I can hold my own --
So I've heard...
"It does have practical advice and guidance once you drop the supernatural elements from consideration." While that may be true it does not rise above the advice a father might give a son as he goes out into the world on his own. It is mundane rather than profound.
I found the advice "Return good for evil rather than evil for evil" a good exercise that I've put into practice successfully. Never heard of this "father to son". Our society tends to teach and encourage vindictiveness so in this does tend to the profound. I'll admit there isn't a great deal in the Bible that is particularly profound, but the "Golden Rule" is one of those (and it's unique in it's specific wording of this principle - it's treatment is positive rather than negative as other religious writings tend to phrase it.). The last is considered so vital that Paul actually declared that you could forget the rest of the Bible as long as you followed that simple rule (or whoever the actual writer was!)
True, Richard - though Confucius said basically the same, "do unto others" thing 300 years earlier, he did indeed phrase it differently. The biblical phrasing is unique.
Don't suckered into a fight you can't win. Treat all men well. Don't start fights. Don't go looking for trouble. It is hardly anything new.
If you are impressed by the English translation of the golden rule in Greek then you should actually use that translation. It is correct the idea of far from new.
But at best that is two decent ideas out of a half million words or so.
As to Paul the interesting this is his church started in what is now SE Turkey and NW Syria. That is quite a ways from bibleland without a car.