Author Topic: Almost done reading the bible  (Read 1356 times)

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Offline pianodwarf

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Almost done reading the bible
« on: August 01, 2012, 09:06:41 AM »
I announced some months ago that I had decided to bite the bullet and read that damn thing, and one or two people here expressed interest in my little foray into psychological self-flagellation.  It's been slow going, because I do have things in my life that I'm actually interested in, and it's a large and very boring book -- frequently kept falling asleep while trying to read it.  However, as of last night, I'm finally finished with everything except Revelation.  I'll be starting that one tonight and finishing it probably tomorrow night.

This little project has cemented my atheism -- or at least my rejection of Abrahamic mythology -- even more than I thought it would, and even for some reasons I wasn't expecting.  The thing is so self-contradictory and lacking in cohesion that trying to make sense out of it is truly an exercise in futility.

By analogy, I'm reminded of the early days of my "Trek" fandom, where one could say that the original TV series was the source material, and some of the essays and things that people wrote were like apologetics, where they would try to explain how things like the discrepancies in velocities, stardates, and distances between locations in the various episodes weren't really contradictory because of (x, y, z) when the real and obvious explanation is so much more straightforward: the writers simply didn't bother to look such things up when they were writing the scripts, and in all likelihood, they hadn't read many or any of the other scripts written by other authors or memorized the details of such minutiae.

For example.  Just last night, as I was reading James, I think it was, there was a passage saying that faith without works is meaningless, and that if you don't follow up on your faith with good works, you won't be saved.  "Wait," I thought to myself, "Wasn't there that passage I read a week or so ago that says you're saved by faith alone, that you can't be saved by works because God doesn't want anyone bragging about his charitable works or something like that?"  Sheesh.

Just venting.  The office is making me irritable this morning.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Garja

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 09:51:33 AM »
Geez, I tried the cover to cover thing back when I actually believed that book was the word of God and couldn't get though it.  If nothing else, kudos for the self-torture and stubbornness to get though it.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 10:00:47 AM »
Geez, I tried the cover to cover thing back when I actually believed that book was the word of God and couldn't get though it.  If nothing else, kudos for the self-torture and stubbornness to get though it.

Thanks!  Yes, it's definitely not a minor undertaking.  I've tried it several times over the years, and this is the first time I've succeeded.  I think it's a combination of two things: finding a version that's relatively easy to read (ESV) and, more importantly, reading it on a Kindle, which makes it easier for various reasons.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 10:17:06 AM »
Piano, you've just hardened your heart, that's all.  LOL

Ya, I recall way back when I was a christian, taking my little New Testament with me on a hike, wanting to really get something out of "god's word", and after not being able to make any sense out the ramblings of the particular desert man who scribbled those particular words 2000 years ago, this started my awakening from the delusional raft of nonsense that I was raised with.

The bible truly is a train-wreck, and how it ever got elevated to the place it has in the world, is a sad reflection of the credulity of the masses.
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Offline Garja

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 10:51:59 AM »
"how it got elevated" is at least partially because it was to a large extent the only game in town (in N and W Europe).  When you burn all books that aren't the Bible it starts looking like a literary masterpiece.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 12:26:11 PM »
Kudos to you pianodwarf. I decided it was a futile attempt and abandoned that idea long ago.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 12:36:46 PM »
Kudos to you pianodwarf.

Thanks!

Quote
I decided it was a futile attempt and abandoned that idea long ago.

It's a pretty gargantuan task.  I don't know how anybody does it.  Or almost anybody, anyway.

I think my favorite part, as far as the boredom factor goes, was the six chapters in Exodus, I think it was, where the LORD gives unbearably detailed instructions on how to build a tent.  Then, a little bit later, there are six more chapters describing the tentmaking process, almost word for word except for the pertinent changes to pronouns and verb tenses, pretty much; i.e.:

1)  "First you must take a cloth ten cubits long by five cubits wide, and garnish it with gold, then prop it up at the ends with yew wood.  Then you need to encircle the ark with..."

2)  "So they took a cloth ten cubits long by five cubits wide and garnished it with gold, then they propped it up at the ends with yew wood.  Then they encircled the ark with..."

It's been said in the past that if the bible had never existed at all and were just written today, no publisher would ever accept it because it's so badly written.  I think that's absolutely correct.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 01:11:56 PM »
The reason why people get so hypnotised by a book is an interesting thing.  Be it the Bible, Koran, or the latest diet craze, it's so easy to embrace a tome as an authority (ultimate or otherwise) on any subject, and when it comes to how we and our fellow tribes-people ought to live/act/behave, it's so much easier to stop thinking, and just refer to "the book".  Heck, you even get to carry all the answers around with you in one neat little package.  The more I think about it, the more it seems that anyone submitting to the "authority" of any book is stuck in infancy.


"Beware of the man of one book."  (Thomas Aquinas)
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 01:16:18 PM »
The reason why people get so hypnotised by a book is an interesting thing.  Be it the Bible, Koran, or the latest diet craze, it's so easy to embrace a tome as an authority (ultimate or otherwise) on any subject, and when it comes to how we and our fellow tribes-people ought to live/act/behave, it's so much easier to stop thinking, and just refer to "the book".  Heck, you even get to carry all the answers around with you in one neat little package.  The more I think about it, the more it seems that anyone submitting to the "authority" of any book is stuck in infancy.

Reminds me of my former roommate in college.  He was highly intelligent and had a fine skeptical mind.  Then he read "Atlas Shrugged" and completely stopped thinking about everything.  He carried his copy with him everywhere and treated it the same way theists treat their holy books.  It was really sad to see.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 02:20:50 PM »
The reason why people get so hypnotised by a book is an interesting thing.  Be it the Bible, Koran, or the latest diet craze, it's so easy to embrace a tome as an authority (ultimate or otherwise) on any subject, and when it comes to how we and our fellow tribes-people ought to live/act/behave, it's so much easier to stop thinking, and just refer to "the book".  Heck, you even get to carry all the answers around with you in one neat little package.  The more I think about it, the more it seems that anyone submitting to the "authority" of any book is stuck in infancy.


"Beware of the man of one book."  (Thomas Aquinas)

This is so true... It's a relentless battle trying to talk to people who genuinely believe they are thinking these things through. When they have faith, belief, and "feelings" on their side it's impossible to have a discussion otherwise.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 02:37:20 PM »

This is so true... It's a relentless battle trying to talk to people who genuinely believe they are thinking these things through. When they have faith, belief, and "feelings" on their side it's impossible to have a discussion otherwise.
bold mine.

agreed, absolutely impossible.

@ piano even the cliff notes would be unbearable. No doubt some christian would tell you that you dont get it because you dont believe.

Offline Nam

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 04:12:49 PM »
If you read believing it's fiction, the, it isn't torture to read it. That's how I've been able to read so many versions. You should read The Message, it really is humorous even though it's quite serious.

Still my favorite of all the versions.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline NHB

Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 06:19:02 PM »
I read it once when I was still a christian and still in my teens . unfortunately I went to a KJV only church art the time.  So, I trudged through it, but to be honest my comprehension was horrible.  I was just reading the words to get to the end.  So I remember very little.

I even had the bible on cassette tape. (KJV of course)  I used to drive around listening to it.

  The torture!!!!

Offline lomolo

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 07:10:24 PM »
It's been slow going, because I do have things in my life that I'm actually interested in, and it's a large and very boring book -- frequently kept falling asleep while trying to read it.  However, as of last night, I'm finally finished with everything except Revelation.  I'll be starting that one tonight and finishing it probably tomorrow night.

That's how it was for me too, when I was a Christian. I felt so terrible that I wasn't enthralled with it like my peers were and just thought it was archaically-worded most of the time. I did like some of the books of the NT, and Revelation is still my favorite. It's the only one that was at all interesting to me. David's story is supposedly interesting but I can't remember thinking that after having re-read the same two sentences five times while thinking about anything else.

Offline jetson

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 07:17:50 PM »
The KJV makes it absolutely mind-numbingly difficult to focus, thanks to the language.

I also wanted to comment on the idea that most self-professed Christians, or people who love to go to Church every week, have not read the Bible at all.  They just listen to their pastor/preacher/priest, and then go home and live their lives - rinse, repeat.  It's kind of sad really, the delusion.

Offline Nam

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2012, 07:24:34 PM »
^I've mentioned that a few times here, myself.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline muchlove

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2012, 07:27:13 PM »
I also wanted to comment on the idea that most self-professed Christians, or people who love to go to Church every week, have not read the Bible at all.  They just listen to their pastor/preacher/priest, and then go home and live their lives - rinse, repeat.  It's kind of sad really, the delusion.

While most people I know have read "some" of it, most Christians I know are fairly illiterate to what is in there.  So they've read "pieces" of the Bible, but not the entirety of it.  I am aware of a growing number of churches, however, that have formed movements to encourage their congregations to read the entire Bible in a short time frame (90 days to 1 year).  What sort of participation numbers they're seeing, I have absolutely no idea, but I am aware of a church on the Washington peninsula where the entire church went through reading the Bible in 90 days.  I saw a friend of mine on facebook who was involved in that.  So, clearly there is a push among many churches to have Christians take ownership of reading the Bible in it's entirety.  How many, what denominations, etc. I do not know.  I believe my facebook friend's church is a non-denominational independent church.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 07:32:50 PM »
I also wanted to comment on the idea that most self-professed Christians, or people who love to go to Church every week, have not read the Bible at all.

Or if they do, they don't look at it/read it critically.  They have a "truth" or "god's word" filter over their brain, where nothing can be wrong with said text.


Quote
They just listen to their pastor/preacher/priest, and then go home and live their lives - rinse, repeat.  It's kind of sad really, the delusion.

And what they're really saying is that this pastor guy has the real insight into what the bible means.  I recall recently being a building (which I was in for another event), and while out in the hallway, I heard a preacher giving his shpeel, so standing outside the doors watching the darkened environment & listening, I was not only struck by the jaw-dropping stupidity of what he was saying, but to watch a crowd of mindless sheep sitting there drinking it all in as he paced back & forth like some power-hungry ego maniac with all kinds of control-tactic mental manipulations.

It brought back so many memories of my upbringing, and made me wonder how I could ever had believed such utter BS.  Chalk it up to childhood indoctrination I guess.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 07:34:14 PM »
It's one thing reading the Bible. It's another thing understanding what it says.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 07:40:42 PM »
It's one thing reading the Bible. It's another thing understanding what it says.

A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism.  (Donald Morgan)


Most people are bothered by those passages in scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I always noticed that the passages in scripture which trouble me most are those that I do understand.  (Mark Twain)


Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.  (Michel de Montaigne)


Theology is an attempt to explain the subject by men who do not understand it.  The intent is not to tell the truth, but to satisfy the questioner.  (Elbert Hubbard)


I think I do understand god.  I actually think a good working definition of "atheist" is "one who understands what a god is".  It is like magic; once you understand how the trick is done it is no longer magic.  Understanding destroys faith.  (Mark Richardson)


Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand.


What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.  (Alice Walker)


The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who don't understand it.  (George Santayana)


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Offline Cyberia

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2012, 09:55:47 PM »
I hear the last chapters have dragons, so it's got that going for it.
Soon we will judge angels.

Offline NHB

Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2012, 02:44:10 AM »
I hear the last chapters have dragons, so it's got that going for it.

Dragons with several heads.

I have read revelation more than any other book in the bible and I still don't know what to make of it.


Offline fasi345

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2012, 03:48:01 PM »
its the matter of fact that closely you are attach to God so that you prefer his blessings

Offline screwtape

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2012, 03:26:40 PM »
its the matter of fact that closely you are attach to God so that you prefer his blessings

If it is a matter of fact, it should be easy to provide evidence of its veracity.  Please do so.
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Offline Garja

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2012, 11:26:28 PM »
DTE,

Im not usually one to criticize someone's posting style... but any chance we can see fewer exclamation points and some lower caps letters?
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline deconvertedone

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2012, 10:40:58 AM »
I admire you for finishing that boring thing Piano. 

On a related note, has anyone ever read the Book of Mormon? I have tried, but I just can't get through it - too many "and it came to pass" crap to keep me interested.  But with the Republican nominee (most likely anyway) being Mitt, I figured I'd try to read the dang thing; it's really proving to be very difficult for me.  All I wanted was to be a little better informed on the cult that is LDS.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2012, 01:46:50 PM »
I've read the Book of Mormon. I found it highly racist toward non-whites (only white people get into heaven), I found it quite sexist, and demeaning to all religions except itself, mainly the Catholic church.

And, parts were just nutty.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline EV

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2012, 04:24:41 AM »
Well done on nearly getting through it. I bit the bullet as well a year or two back, and I've read it cover to cover about 6 or 7 times now. It's so mindnumbing I forget...

Revelations is by far my favourite bit. That or Acts (which is where the Apostles all seem to die... A good read.)

To be fair, you are not going to find many more failures at literary continuity than in the Bible. My girlfriend is reading Milton's Paradise Lost at the moment, and has to read Genesis and Mark as part of her reading list for University. I fail to see how it's a stunning literary work, but I can concede that it's necessary to understand parts of the Milton.
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Almost done reading the bible
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2012, 07:51:27 AM »
Just venting.  The office is making me irritable this morning.
Wait ... so you're reading the bible and you're complaining about the freaking office? That's like putting your balls in a nutcracker and complaining about the heat.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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