My parents gave me a Bible for Xmas (might be a good sign to come out to them?).

Anyhow, its one of these "Read the bible in 90 days" pieces, and I decided it might be fun to see what all the fuss is about. So, I've started to dig in.

I've gotten to the beginning of Leviticus. I've been amazed by both the contradictions and the incredible BOREDOM. Exodus is the biggest snoozefest ever after the plagues. I completely understand why most Christians have only a cursory understanding of the Bible: its the lamest read imaginable.

I was just curious if there are any other folks who have actually read significant portions of the "Good" Book, and what your thoughts were on the experience.

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I remember reading genesis ,and came across a very disturbing section where Lot gets into an incestuous relationship with his two daughters.Even if the story was added to defame the Moabites and Ammonites,it was a little weird to read it in the bible.
I wonder what was happening in Sodom, if Lot was the standard of morality in those times.
In the movie Hairspray, Penny's mom is sitting by the TV reading the Bible, and she reads, out loud, "Let our father drink wine, and let us lie with him", and my sister instantly knew where that was (Lot). How many Christians could watch that, know where it was, and what it was actually talking about? My experience with church involves very little legitimate study of the Holy Books.
I try hard to read the holy books to become an invincible force for good, it just hurts so much...
I have....and I agree with you. Read the book, taken bible study courses.......the more I got into it, the more convenced I was that it is a big load of grass and hay thats done passed through the male bovine digestive system.
Dionysus writes:

***”Why read the bible when we have Hunter Thompson, Louis F. Celine, Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. They're so much more entertaining to read than any biblical text.”***

I think Dionysus might have hit on something here, but not in the way he might think.
Having read the bible (yes, the whole thing) more than once, I find that reading western literature is more rewarding because I “get” the religious references that are usually introduced as metaphor.

* Biblical names of characters are used by authors to give a coded reference into their natures.
* Oblique references to biblical events are shortcuts to understanding the metaphorical underpinnings of the meaning of events within stories.
Dionysus mentions Hemingway. My gosh, if you have’t read the bible, or are at least familiar with large portions of it, much of Hemingway’s meaning will never be accessible to you. His stories would be simple narratives of a sequence of an old guy catches a big fish.
Biblical references throughout western literature provide authors with short hand allegories or metaphors used as tools to direct the reader to deeper meanings or instant allusions.
* The bible is full of iconography used by writers. To be unfamiliar with biblical references is to miss out on a lot of the meaning of much of western literature.
You don’t have to be religious to make an effort to understand western literature more deeply.
I fear that as we become more secular we will miss, or lose altogether, much of the deeper meanings of western literature.
Then, again, "all things change"
I'm with you on this one Asa. Try listening to a Hold Steady song without knowing a bit of B-I-B-L-E.

"If small town cops are like swarms of flies, and blackened foil is like boils and hail / Then I'm pretty sure I've heard this one before."
Indeed, Hank, and I didn't even touch on the vast number of subversive images artists have incorporated into their paintings that were actually commissioned by the church.
I think as things are now, to dismiss the bible is to miss out on a lot of really important understanding of western civilization and, even though we are atheists, what makes us the way we are.
"To thine own self be true" is that biblical or Shakespearian?
Actually , i thought the incest part was kind of funny,because it was the last thing i expected when i read it .I attended a christian-affiliated school when i was a teen,and i since i was a long way from home ,i lived in the hostel attached to the school.We had a priest who stayed at the campus ,who would come every evening when we had the group prayer .Everyone took turns to read something from the bible and reflect upon its meaning.I was one of only two muslims in the entire hostel (of 40 students) so i assumed(worse of all i was a closeted atheist) i didnt have to do it.But they insisted,and i was curious as well to study the bible, after all i do agree with most of the views on how central the litretue of the bible is to modern western culture.
but i had a rebellious streak in me back then ,so when i came across the incest passage , i so desperately wanted to use that,to the horror on my friends!It was either that or the ezekiel alien visitation!
but ,finally i decided to play nice , and i gave one of my best (sadly last) sermons on the log in the eye parable from the new testament...i 'm such a sell out!
By the way ,the school was neither protestant nor catholic.It belonged to an eastern christian sect.The church of St.Thomas.
The log in the eye. That's the one where Jesus says that if you have a log stuck in your eye, you should get that taken care of before trying to get the sawdust out, right? Classic. Vague enough that it sounds profound and can be applied to just about anything.

Although I've alway been confused about how, exactly, one gets an entire log stuck in one's eye. I suppose that's the beauty of the parable though.
I'm reading it right now and I must say as an atheist all of the sacredness and power of it is gone. Kinda like airing out a tire. I can make a bet that no theist is reading the Bible from the same perspective as I.

Some parts are inaccurrate and boring. Except I enjoyed the Begat parts. They were pretty funny. You can tell the Bible is really choppy with the editing, because sometimes I feel that a whole paragraph got erased.



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