I started reading the Bible recently. I kept seeing people throw around bible quotes and use the bible to back their viewpoints, that I wanted to read it for myself so I could get and idea of what it really says and to read everything in context. I’m considering taking up reading the holy books of other religions as well so I can get a well rounded base of knowledge concerning the world’s religions.
I’m currently working my way through the old testament. It’s a long slow read. I’m up to Kings and my kindle tells me I’m 19% complete with the entire book.
Here are some of my initial impressions. Keep in mind my impressions are from an agnostic point of view. I’m not going into this as a believer, but I am trying to keep an open mind.
First, I have a very hard time believing the chapter of Genesis as a literal translation. It reads more like a fable to me.
Second, much of the Old Testament is very repetitive. Stories are repeated over and over again in chapter after chapter.
Third, the God of the Old Testament is not very nice. A lot of people get punished harshly for various sins in the Old Testament. Pretty much the only sin that is mentioned repeatedly as being broken is the one about worshiping other gods. Everytime someone starts worshiping other gods they are cut off, usually killed, and usually their entire families are condemned to suffer or die. Also interesting is that time after time, the people turn to other gods and get punished. You’d think they’d learn, given that the stories of reward and punishment are passed down by a single generation. It’s not like they are stories that are thousands of years old.
Another thing I noticed is that it almost sounds like there are actually other gods. It sounds like the other gods are not as powerful as The Lord, but that they actually do exist. Also, the magicians of Egypt were able to do some of the same tricks that God did, like turning a staff into a snake. That sounds like a good trick, and makes you wonder what kind of power some of the other people and/or gods had.
During the time I was reading, I happened upon an interesting documentary on Netflix about the book of Judas. If you are interested in Bible history, it goes into some good detail on how books were chosen for the New Testament. It has a mix of speculation and fact, and is quite interesting.
I enjoy personal growth, and I feel that since religion is such a major part of our world and Christianity is very popular and vocal in the United States, that it would be worthwhile to read the Bible for myself. So far it’s been interesting but I’m looking forward to wrapping up the Old Testament and getting on to the New. Whether or not you are Christian or believe in God, I think it’s worthwhile to read so that you have a better understanding of those that do.
If you are interested in reading it yourself, I am reading the English Standard Version (ESV) of The Holy Bible. It’s available as a free Kindle book from Amazon. This version is written in normal english (as opposed to old english) and is easy to read.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? What are your impressions?