The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149778 Message #3487788
Posted By: Don Firth
07-Mar-13 - 08:38 PM
Thread Name: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
I think one of the big problems in simply reading the Bible is that some nitwit had to go and number all the verses. Now, chapter headings are okay, but all the verse numbers and footnote numbers (concordance) and such that look like they've been fired at every page with a shotgun has people reading it in choppy and disconnected chunks.
What the world needs is a good, modern translation of the Bible (there are, but the fundy churches hate them). And LEAVE OUT THE BLOODY VERSE NUMBERS!!
If you read the poetry, like, say, the Song of Solomon, like poetry and the straight narratives like reading a story, a whole bunch of interesting stuff can leap out at you.
"Oh! THAT's what that means!"
This business of quoting disconnected verses, or putting together selected verses from different parts of the Bible in an effort to prove a point that those who wrote them didn't intend is where the Bible-thumpers stumble way far into left field.
Actually, parts of it are a pretty good read. The whole battle between Moses and Pharaoh and the Exodus are quite an epic adventure. Samson takes on a horde of Philistines in battle single-handed and whups their tails for them; and then there's the seduction scene with Delilah. Jesus says some pretty cool things about the abuses of organize religion in his time, which might very well be quite relevant today.
For those of a non-religious bent, you could always read it as fantasy. I mean, after all, how many people believe there are such creatures as Hobbits, or dragons like Smaug, or elves, or believe in the evil magic of Sauron's lost Ring? This kid Harry Potter is learning to be a wizard? And where the hell is Hogwarts?
Fear not. It won't turn you into a religious fanatic, and if some religious fanatics read it that way, they might learn a whole lot they didn't know before—and become less fanatical.