Saturday, January 8, 2011
Read The Bible
I read the Bible almost yearly and the more I read it the more I can't believe people take it literally. I cannot believe I used to take it literally. This is kind of a shocker to Christians especially those who don't regularly read it. They think just reading it will convict your soul. Then you will repent OR you will turn desperately to the devil and start having sex with your own gender. It is a piece of literature without any special spooky powers. Nothing to be afraid of. When I was a young man and my grandmother was strong arming my parents and me into believing in God. She used to take me to church at a very young age and would tell me to say to my parents "Why don't you go to church and live for Jesus?" At one point she gave me a Bible as a gift, which I appreciated. In it she wrote "This Book will keep your from sin and sin will keep you from this Book. Love, Grandma". So, I reading the book and have become an atheist. Whatcha gonna do?
Reading other books like the Lost Books of the Bible, Sumerian scripture you can see it is all the same stuff. Very primitive ways of looking at life. It was man just trying to understand his world, but unfortunately for us he made up things as he went. For the Jews they were looking for reasons for their suffering, even in a superstitious way. You can see multiple reasons. If you love God then he will bless you. Wait you are being persecuted, oh then He is testing you. No, maybe not that? No, perhaps you are being persecuted for His sake. No? Well, you just can't know these things. Wait till you get to heaven and in glory He will tell you.
The diaspora was the most significant event for honing Jewish theology. I am beginning to think the entire Bible was written during that period. The more I read of the Bible the more it fits. Moses didn't write the first 5 books of the Bible, but it was an oral tradition built up over hundreds of years and then some scribe put it to papyrus while sitting in Babylon wondering why God's promise of living in the Holy Land was not happening.
The Bible's flaws are it is very binary (black or white) in thought and ultimately has little respect for life. It does have its good moments (some of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) but studying other ancient literature (especially older stuff) you can see the Jews plagiarized a lot of the theology around them. Same for Jesus. Rabbi Hillel originated the golden rule for example.
Most Christians miss all this and think the bible came out of void. It slants their view thinking it is some really unique book, when it is not. Building on it to me is the way to go. You don't have to eliminate it but recognize its place in history as any importance piece of literature. Morally (look out fundamental Christians) we have grown as a race. Respect for women, abolition of slavery, not stoning & burning gays, witches of course are important examples. Trying to drag us backwards is a shame and detriment. We can see other fundamental cultures around the world as examples (e.g. Ghana). God, should it exist, help us to not go back there.