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Poll: How do you read the bible?
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Chapter by chapter
33.33%
1 33.33%
Depending on my mood
66.67%
2 66.67%
Total 3 vote(s) 100%
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Reading the Bible
#21
Won't take jabs at other texts but The Bible is the Truth to me.  I'd start with New Testament for sure first.  The Old Testament will make much more sense if you start with who Jesus was and is and realize that the OT points entirely to Him.  Happy reading!
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#22
I'm currently reading the Alter Robert Bible, which is a direct translation from Hebrew to English with a lot of commentary. I chose this Bible to be my first to ever to read because, I don't want to just skim over it, I actually want to study it in depth, even though I've been an atheist for as long as had the mental capability to think about God. Recently I came to a realization that maybe all my problems with God might be originating from other peoples interpretations of poorly translated Bibles that they didn't even bother to read more than once in their life. Staying as close to the original material is the only thing I can imagine will help me circumvent this problem, and help me settle my internal dispute.
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#23
What must be realized is that the bible is not one one but many books. Roughly divided:

OLD TESTAMENT
Pentateuch: Writtern (allegedly 'discovered) by Josiah around the 8th century BC as a collection of old tales and fables rewritten as a psyops to get the Levant to join him in an attack on Egypt. He was defeated and killed in the attack. Much of the content was mangled from other sources, such as Noah from the Babylonian Gilgamesh.
Post Exile: Returnees from Babylonia trying to regain power. Era of 'prophets'.
Hellenic: Latter books as Pharisees are in rebellion with ruling Saducees.
NB: Read Israel Finklestein

NEW TESTAMENT:
The Evangel: Matthew, Mark. Luke and John. Most derived from a single source - Q in the latter first century. Basic teahings of James, brother of Jesus.
Pauline: Written by a Roman Jewish tax collector who was opposed to James and his followers. He reinterpreted the Evangel into a sanitized Hellenic religion to make it more acceptable after the failed Jewish Revolt. However the Romans still regarded Pauline Christianity as a sect of Judaism (which they had just crushed in a war).

The book spans two religions, with very different world views.
For christianity - Start with the Evangel, its the closest to the original gospels and largely derived from the Pharisee Hillel.
For judaism: The pentateuch (Torah) is only a start. The Talmud is the real heart of the religion.

The Bible is an inspirational book. As portrayed in the protagonist of Clockwork Orange.
Personally, for more uplifting ancient works I would recommend the Mahabharata, as well as Lao-Tsu.
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#24
Now, now, waregim, whadda yado for a-living? Don't tell me you're a sales representative for Huges Aerospace Weapons Division...
Great info, I think more lessons on religions and history should be on the standard school program. From a fair neutral point of view, of course.
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#25
I slept at a holiday inn.....

As a pope in the Erisian religion (I have the card...somewhere) I would certainly start teaching paganism in schools.
The Olympians (and the Vedas- NOT Vedanta) had the cosmology closest to modern science.
From Chaos sprang the gods.

But for me the most inspirational of all is the Epic of Gilgamesh. Find a *good* translation.
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