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Thread: Which parts of the bible should I read?

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I do intend to read it all, but given time constraints I want to skip around a bit first. With the number of books I have on the go at any given time, and a baby on the way in four months it'd take me a long, long time to go from cover to cover.
    No problem there. I don't think it's a text that needs to be read sequentially. Indeed, different Bibles are printed in different orders, and none of those orders are strictly chronological or topical, so reading it from cover to cover doesn't necessarily mean the same read for a Catholic as a Protestant, or for a Christian as a Jew. The only books whose order should be maintained are those that were meant as sequels to one another; so Luke and Acts should be read together, as should most books that have a number in front of them. 1 and 2 Kings are actually just one large book, that had to be split into two codices due to technical limitations in the early days.

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    Veteran Member funinspace's Avatar
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    And the below is why a good study Bible is useful for context. Abram, per Genesis came from Ur of the Chaldees, a 10th - 6th BCE empire. The Oxford study Bible's intro provides context to when Genesis was put together with guesses to the sources, whether from oral sources or not (10 BCE all the way down to the much later exile).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldea


    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by funinspace View Post
    I won't bother with further clarifications of your foibles on this, as it would be a derail of the topic...

    I'd luv to know when you think the purported Abraham of the Bible existed, as it is commonly put at around 2100 - 1900 BCE.

    https://answersingenesis.org/bible-t...t-mesopotamia/


    Yeah, what's a half a millennia between foibles...
    https://www.ancient.eu/cuneiform/
    This new way of interpreting signs is called the rebus principle. Only a few examples of its use exist in the earliest stages of cuneiform from between 3200 and 3000 B.C. The consistent use of this type of phonetic writing only becomes apparent after 2600 B.C. It constitutes the beginning of a true writing system characterized by a complex combination of word-signs and phonograms—signs for vowels and syllables—that allowed the scribe to express ideas.
    The point here is that Gods Chosen people - people of the book - originated from Mesopotamia where writing was invented.
    Ur which might have been the largest city in the world at the time, was the birthplace of the patriarch Abraham. Surely this perspective is a good contextual starting point for a journey thru the pages of the bible - unquestionably the most important book of all time.

  3. Top | #23
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    I have heard this before from a Christian. Ancient Jews invented most everything from writing, math, to science. They are responsible for civilization.

    The fundamental problem is Christians tend to see the bible as historically accurate when most of it began as oral tradition. When I read Genesis it seemed obvious the lifespans were made up when putting oral history to paper.

    If Abraham existed who knows when he actually lived or who he really was.

    As god's chosen people they were treated rather badly. I have only seen this broached once in public media. If the Jews are the chosen people, what are they doing wrong to have had so many troubles?

    When did tribes of wandering nomads and goat herders become Hebrews?

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post

    When did tribes of wandering nomads and goat herders become Hebrews?
    Probably either when the Egyptians rounded them up or when the Assyrians rounded them up.

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    I think it was when the first stumbling attempts at Jewish humor emerged. "This manna, it's from heaven? Better you should get take-out from Secaucus." Remember, I said stumbling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    I think it was when the first stumbling attempts at Jewish humor emerged. "This manna, it's from heaven? Better you should get take-out from Secaucus." Remember, I said stumbling.
    Oy Vey! That is actually a very good point. Christians read the bible and recite versus as if the Hebrews were stiff stoic cardboard cut outs. Like Charles Hesston as Moses in the movie 10 Commandments.

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    Senior Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Deuteronomy 20:10-18

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage...18&version=NIV

    It involves God commanding slavery and genocide and possibly rape (taking women for yourselves). It is interesting because it forces conservative Christians to justify it as being moral. The Israelites didn't fully obey the command for genocide - and they were punished for it.

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Preface to this thread: I'm not interested in arguments about how or why the bible is fallacious or not the literal word of God. I'm starting the thread under the assumption that this is true, but would like to know more about the bible from an objective perspective

    I was given an old, readable study Bible for Christmas and have been picking through it, I'd like to know which parts you'd recommend I read. You can choose a part or section for any criteria you choose, but please avoid the look how batshit this is criteria.
    Possibly, at least as regards the NT, consider watching Monty Python's Life of Brian instead. I sometimes think it has more to say on the subject than anything else I know of.

    I'm not kidding.

    But if you want a suggestion from the actual bible then how about The Sermon on the Mount? It might sum up what I see as one pervasive feature of the whole bible, in that it (that sermon) contains, and is a neat summary example of, what to us look like contradictions. Chapters 5-7 inclusive of Matthew for example. Some of the nice bits are very impressive, given the times in which the speech was made.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-23-2020 at 12:33 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Can you explain more fully what you mean by "what to us look like contradictions"? When I look at the main teaching points from the Mount, it seems to me that the Sermon should cause self-reflecting Christians to have a major migraine. To pick out the obvious examples:
    1- MT 5:17-20 seems to say that Mosaic Law is in effect and will be "until heaven and earth disappear". (Don't Christians have to be Orthodox Jewish?)
    2- MT 5:27-32 makes adultery and divorce serious moral aberrations, but we elect Presidents these days who make a sport of them.
    3- MT5:33-37 makes the taking of any oath besides saying Yes or No to be taboo. How did we get to swearing on the Bible, then? My head hurts.
    4- MT 5:39-42 tells you to be a doormat when aggressed against. You don't hit back when struck and you give up any possessions to anyone who demands them. Here, I'm with the Republicans -- that is nutsy coo-coo.
    5- MT 6:1-4 tells you to give, give, give to the needy. Ummmm… does the Christian conservative movement demonstrate their fidelity to this teaching? In the aggregate?
    6- MT 6:16-18 gives you tips on fasting. So why is the Bible Belt population made up of, oh say, 80% lard-asses?
    7- MT 6:25 tells you not to worry at all about your life, how you'll feed yourself, your body, your clothes. This is pure Hippie Jesus stuff, and it's okay if you're basically doing a Jack Kerouac thumb-hitch around the country, free-loading and crashing in anyone's house you can get into, but who reaches the age of, say, 40, without knowing it's complete nonsense?

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Can you explain more fully what you mean by "what to us look like contradictions"? When I look at the main teaching points from the Mount, it seems to me that the Sermon should cause self-reflecting Christians to have a major migraine. To pick out the obvious examples:
    1- MT 5:17-20 seems to say that Mosaic Law is in effect and will be "until heaven and earth disappear". (Don't Christians have to be Orthodox Jewish?)
    2- MT 5:27-32 makes adultery and divorce serious moral aberrations, but we elect Presidents these days who make a sport of them.
    3- MT5:33-37 makes the taking of any oath besides saying Yes or No to be taboo. How did we get to swearing on the Bible, then? My head hurts.
    4- MT 5:39-42 tells you to be a doormat when aggressed against. You don't hit back when struck and you give up any possessions to anyone who demands them. Here, I'm with the Republicans -- that is nutsy coo-coo.
    5- MT 6:1-4 tells you to give, give, give to the needy. Ummmm… does the Christian conservative movement demonstrate their fidelity to this teaching? In the aggregate?
    6- MT 6:16-18 gives you tips on fasting. So why is the Bible Belt population made up of, oh say, 80% lard-asses?
    7- MT 6:25 tells you not to worry at all about your life, how you'll feed yourself, your body, your clothes. This is pure Hippie Jesus stuff, and it's okay if you're basically doing a Jack Kerouac thumb-hitch around the country, free-loading and crashing in anyone's house you can get into, but who reaches the age of, say, 40, without knowing it's complete nonsense?
    I have yet to see any Christian introspection. When I ask the how does does scripture affect how you live daily life I get no response. Here and in the real world.

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