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Old 08-02-2001, 11:58 AM   #1
Xtopher
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Question Any benefit to reading the bible?

I once tried to read it from cover to cover when I was about 12 years old because someone told me you could add seven years to your life every time you read the whole thing. I got through the first few books and begat a great headache when I got to the geneologies, so I gave it up and haven't had the gumption to pick it up again since.

Obviously, many of those who post here (theists and non-theists alike) have an extensive knowledge of the bible and have probably read the whole darn thing several times (you should live to be about 140 yrs old ).

I don't have to read the bible to affirm my disbelief of xianity, but I think I might actually get a kick out of reading it with my "new" perspective and improve my ability to intelligently argue my position with xian friends.

Blatant generalization follows: most xians assume we atheists want nothing to do with god and the bible (true) and therefore have rejected religion without so much as a second thought so we can sin all we want and be as wicked as we want to without any rules (far from true). So, if anything, I'll read it just so I can slap a pompous xian upside the head with it if he waves it in front of me and ask if he has read teh whole goddam thing like I have.

I am interested as to how many non-theists out there see some value in reading the bible as a non-theist (xians need not tell me your perceived "value" in reading the bible -- lemme guess). Are many of you driven to read it as a matter of self-affirmation? Or would I be wasting time better spent reading philosophers / other materials?

Thanks for your input.

[ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: Xtopher ]
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Old 08-02-2001, 12:01 PM   #2
Xtopher
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Red face

Sorry, but maybe this belongs in the "support" forum? It was biblical criticism and being able to cite inconsistent passages from the bible that got me started thinking about this topic, so I thought it would be OK here...I'll move it if inappropriate, thanks.

[ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: Xtopher ]
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Old 08-02-2001, 01:10 PM   #3
hezekiah jones
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Actually a lot of christians claim the reason so many atheists are fascinated by the buybull is because its obviously supernatural qualities have them by the cojones; atheists are just too blind and wilfully ignorant to realize it.

I consider it a valuable cultural artifact, to say the least. And, since it has so completely penetrated our society, especially in these days of fatuous, self-righteous Republican politicians in power, it behooves us to at least have a passing acquaintance with its contents.

What's even more interesting, however, is exploring the mythology, sacrificial traditions, and mystery religions, not to mention Greek philosophy, that predated and clearly influenced the authors.

Plus, you won't understand about 30% of Shakespeare without some familiarity with the buybull.
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Old 08-02-2001, 01:20 PM   #4
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I like the poetry of the bible. These are just the ones I've memorized, and I don't even have the chapter/verse number, but I just like saying them :

For the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Cast your bread upon the waters, and you shall find it after many days.

Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than wine.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens : a time to be born and a time to die, a time to heal and a time to kill...


You don't need to take the whole thing seriously to enjoy parts of it.
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Old 08-02-2001, 01:24 PM   #5
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Hey.....never hurts to have a good understanding of all sides of the issue, does it? ...assuming you have the time to do it of course. I found that reading the Bible cover to cover doesn't really help a lot in terms of really understanding it. If you want to spend some time learning what it means, you have to participate in Bible "study" (....sorry). But the best way I found that you can do this without going to a church is spending time reading and studying John MacArthur's materials and transcripts which can be found at www.gty.org. He is probably one of the premier theologians in the world in terms of expositing the Bible. Give it a shot......I think anyone who wants to participate in these dicussions owes it to themselves to understand both the theist and non-theist world views. On the atheist side, Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (and former preacher) is an excellent source for interpreting the Bible form a secular world view.
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Old 08-02-2001, 01:24 PM   #6
hezekiah jones
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Quote:
Originally posted by QueenofSwords:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than wine.
I believe that was from Kiss Me, by Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy.
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Old 08-02-2001, 02:12 PM   #7
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It's hard to read parts of the Old Testament straight, because you get bogged down in details and strange language.

You might prefer to read books like The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible or other books by Jonathan Kirsch.

The Bible Unearthed does a good job of reviewing the Biblical accounts and comparing them with the archeology.
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Old 08-02-2001, 07:41 PM   #8
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Reading scripture poses a difficulty to fundamental minds. The difficulty arises from the fact that the authors are writing a story on top of a story. The writer is talking to two audiences, "those who have ears" is one audience. A start is from reading the King James version. The All and the Many are opposing views. The secret is that Eve had two husbands and sons and daughters by both. Her children are Jews.
The husbands were brothers and Cain killed Abel. READ. When ever you see Many and All you are reading to levels. The fundie sees a bunch of numbers whereas an intellect recognizes two sects.

thanks, offa
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Old 08-02-2001, 10:01 PM   #9
Amos
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xtopher:
<STRONG>I once tried to read it from cover to cover when I was about 12 years old because someone told me you could add seven years to your life every time you read the whole thing. I got through the first few books and begat a great headache when I got to the geneologies, so I gave it up and haven't had the gumption to pick it up again since.

Obviously, many of those who post here (theists and non-theists alike) have an extensive knowledge of the bible and have probably read the whole darn thing several times (you should live to be about 140 yrs old ).

I don't have to read the bible to affirm my disbelief of xianity, but I think I might actually get a kick out of reading it with my "new" perspective and improve my ability to intelligently argue my position with xian friends.

Blatant generalization follows: most xians assume we atheists want nothing to do with god and the bible (true) and therefore have rejected religion without so much as a second thought so we can sin all we want and be as wicked as we want to without any rules (far from true). So, if anything, I'll read it just so I can slap a pompous xian upside the head with it if he waves it in front of me and ask if he has read teh whole goddam thing like I have.

I am interested as to how many non-theists out there see some value in reading the bible as a non-theist (xians need not tell me your perceived "value" in reading the bible -- lemme guess). Are many of you driven to read it as a matter of self-affirmation? Or would I be wasting time better spent reading philosophers / other materials?

Thanks for your input.

[ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: Xtopher ]</STRONG>
It is a hindrance to salvation. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus explains this very well. Both were dressed in purple to signify their time of advent (involutionary melancholia). The rich man was pigging out on scriptures to try and assure his salvation. The poor man thirsted for the scrarps from his feast whome were like ointment (dogs-licks) to his infirmities. And so on . . .

Amos
 
Old 08-02-2001, 11:28 PM   #10
critical thinking made ez
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I see no merit in reading/studying the Bible. There are many books that read much better and teach more that this antiquated anthology of fables. I only read it in totality while a Christian some 20 years ago. In fact, I breathed it 24/7 back then. But the more I read the more I started to doubt it.

It soon read like fiction to me. Of course, not wanting to lose my "salvation" and go to hell, lose my friends, lose the high I felt when "doing the lord's work", it took a year or two to finally crash back down to earth.

After researching other religions, I found the Bible lacking in much of the deeper spiritual meaning and truth that most cult leaders today deliver much better and clearer. Look at the Bagwan Reshnees, now if there ever was a man that could claim lordship, it was he. Hundreds of books written word for word as it poured from his mouth. Far greater teachings and truths can be found in just one of his books than the entire Bible. Yet he admitted himself, not to follow him, not to believe in a God, to doubt everything he stated until you proved it for yourself and then later it can still change. Yet people still followed him and made him a cult leader because of their weak nature. This is the same group that follows any religion. They will follow even when instructed not to.

The Bible is just another new age/ old age metaphysical book lacking in any real helpful truths that where not here before or haven't been improved upon by other spiritual teachers since.

[ August 03, 2001: Message edited by: critical thinking made ez ]
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