Hello fellow atheists,

I am looking for suggestions for a sort of Bible study guide book. I've read pieces of Bible for my History of Literature class at the uni, but I would like to read all of it now. From my experience, there might be a certain degree of boredom involved. :) To make it easier and more productive for myself, I'm looking for a book that would give me some prior knowledge on the biblical texts-- historical, cultural, textual. Something that would put the books in context and give me certain things to look for, so that I wouldn't have to struggle through hundreds of pages without any real point. It doesn't need to be particularly simplistic, and preferably, it should be written by a secular scholar.

Thanks so much!


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Replies to This Discussion

Study Aristotle and or other Classical Greek philosophers.
And philosophers of the French, English and Scottish enlightenment.
Maybe not easier but much much more intellectually satisfying.
Unless, you love reading mythology and twisted history written by Hebrew tribes in Babylonian captivity.
-- Gary
I've heard recommendations for the Oxford Annotated Bible.
A really great resource for the Old Testament is "The Bible Through The Eyes of its Authors" by Fred March. It's a bit encyclopedic, but he does an incredible job of "parallelizing" the stories (comparing the different versions side-by-side, such as Genesis 1 and 2), and also of looking at why each author was motivated to write a particular story.

For the New Testament, Bart Ehrman's books are wonderful. "Misquoting Jesus" is fascinating, and "Jesus, Interrupted" is somewhat like March's book except more readable.
see also Biblical scholar Richard Price.

On top of the other suggestions like Bart Ehrman, I also suggest Academicearth.org. It has a whole semester of The New Testament as Literature course from Yale and Intro to the Old Testament. They are very interesting and you can have them running in the background while you take care of other things at the same time. I also find that just going to an actual small group Bible study at a local church can be good and helps re-enforce your atheism as well :) Good Luck.
Milt Timmons - Author - The Official Website - Home Page
Everything About the Bible That You Never Had Time to Look Up ... Milt Timmons -- Author -- The Official Website.




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