I’ve decided to finally sit down and read the bible, but I’m finding it to be terribly tedious. This book could benefit greatly from editing. I’m encountering a bunch of useless accounts of lineage and pointless stories that fail to advance the story or even one’s moral understanding. I’m working my way through Genesis right now. Can anyone offer suggestions as to the essentials of this section? In other words, what’s worth reading? I’m finding that a lot of it is a waste of my time.
Oh come off it. No one is going to buy this nonsense.
I am explaining that reading the Bible is not important for countering ID. You accused me of committing 'the same “sin” as many of the god-groupies,' but you were begging the question. That assertion is predicated on the way that you debate believers, but I clearly do not engage them in the same way.
Just like the person I was debating, you know everything you need to know, or can assimilate it on the fly.
One more thing. All of these books can be downloaded for free, from Amazon. Just download the free Kindle software for your computer, and install it. Then search Amazon for Bible. Sort by price, low to high, and you will find many FREE Kindle editions (This is true for many other books also). When you click buy, it will download to your computer in about 30 seconds (could be faster or slower, depending on connection). So now at least, price is no longer an issue for anyone.
Stinking is godly!
Sounds as if you're not reading the wholly comix as an act of piety -- not for “edification”. In which case, I would recommend beginning with a contemporary critique:
• Start reading Michel Onfray, The Atheist Manifesto 2006. Onfray founded his own university in Caen, France -- he has given up on French academics as too obscure and supportive of a dead xian morality.
He critiques very clearly the absurd historical/philosophical/political/cultural aspects of the Big-3 Monster Theisms: judaism, xianity, and islam. More importantly, he proposes a way of life both naturalistic and humane to finally declare God dead and cleanse western culture from xian perversions of morality.
• Also I recommend the only well-preserved anti-xian text from antiquity which is a sometimes very funny skewering of xian low lifes by the otherwise unknown Celsus (ca 175 CE): The true doctrine - against the xians. (trans/intro RJ Hoffman) Oxford. 1987.
Both books should be in college libraries, used copies must abound, and even new they are not expensive. These sources ancient and modern will guide you to texts central to understanding the cultural impact of the monster mega-cults which wield too much secular power worldwide.
But, how about a little “edification” straight from the one person who created Christ-Cosmic-Avenger:
Shall I quote scripture? Why not ? Open your “new testament” comix to listen to evil hero, Saul of Tarsus. Behold! His main sales pitch, an easy to own doctrine of inverted snobbery -- thus “saint” Paul (fl 50-65 CE) in his letter to an underground cell in Corinth, Greece. (In the first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses 26-28):
Brothers [!], think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…1Cor1:26-28 NIV.
Xians stink, but stinking is godly!
Reading 'the bible' [sic] as literature is fine - you will get as far as you got reading James Joyce's Ulysses or Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Did you read either of these recently? How about War and Peace?. If you are seriously serious about learning what is going on I recommend that you read it with someone else - a feared, dreaded and horrendous believer. If you go to Barcelona and want a tour guide - do not hire your brother who has never left Ft. Wayne New Jersey.
Rick, Try downloading a PDF bible (You can find free editions). If you’re like me, and have a terrible memory, it will be handy, because PDF documents are searchable.
In answer to your question, “What’s worth reading?”, well, that depends. Why are you reading the bible?
If it’s just to have a general knowledge, maybe a PDF is your best bet. That way you can search for what interests you.
Now if you’re looking to discuss or debate, I would recommend read most, if not all of it. Of course, you can look up topics as the need arises, but this can be problematic. Just make sure you read a bit before and after the passage you’re responding to. This prevents making an out of context critique.
The reason it’s handy to have read all of it is, while you won’t remember a lot of it, you will most likely remember there was more to a passage being quoted, or it was referenced elsewhere, and all you need do is find it. The PDF is really handy for finding conflicts and inconsistencies.
If you truly want to understand christianity, and it’s followers, I still recommend reading all of it.
Hope that helps.
Thanks Alan. I never considered a PDF version. That would make searching it much easier. That makes me wonder though… If my computer gives out while attempting to download such a large file, can I claim that as an “act of god”?
To answer your question: I am reading it for discussion and debate. I wouldn’t consider putting myself through the effort otherwise.
Recently reading Paul's writing and letters astounded me!
Realizing that the entire Christian religion as it has survived is based on the words and simplistic thought processes - literally: people have been put to death by Christian laws based on the stumbling phrases he wrote in a foreign language - of a murdering former 'anti-Christian gestapo' leader who never met Jesus personally and who even admits he had yelling arguments with Jesus' brother and the other apostles when he crossed paths with them.
I've read the bible and can honestly say that, for myself, it was well worth it, on my second read though I used a hi-lighter. Vastly more interesting than the Koran at least.
The problem is that people from Christian backgrounds approach the Koran as the equivalent of the Bible. The Bible is primarily a book of history, from the day of creation to the whenever it was the Bible was completed. It's very linear and almost completely in narrative form (apart from the odd legislative section here or there).
The Koran is not a book of history, it's a collection of sermons. It's Mohammed (or whoever wrote the book) hammering in his message over and over. It's also often very polemical and sometimes it's a commentary on current events going on at the time. When he mentions older prophets or stories, he's not presenting them as history; he's just citing the stories as examples to support his arguments, which is why he focuses, for example, on one episode of Abraham's life in one part of the book, then focuses on another episode a couple of hundred pages later. If you read it thinking it's just another version of the Bible, you'll be completely lost.