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Thread: Which parts of the bible should I read?

  1. Top | #11
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    It's only Genesis, but...

    http://www.openculture.com/2016/05/r...d-genesis.html

    For the gospels, I recommend a concordance (iirc).

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    Veteran Member funinspace's Avatar
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    Talk about a derail...

    I won't bother with further clarifications of your foibles on this, as it would be a derail of the topic...
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    One approach might be to pick a time in human history and go to the relevant/corresponding part of the bible. It's no coincidence that the invention of writing (cuneiform) and Abraham share the same pages of history.
    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/
    Dating Abraham back before 2300 BC is simply too much of a strain on biblical chronology according to both Bimson (1980, p. 67) and Hoerth (1998, p. 73).

    In summary, most scholars date Abraham to the Middle Bronze Age in which is the period of either Ur III or the Isin-Larsa period. It is clear that one piece of evidence as to why Abraham is dated to these periods is the nature of the Genesis 14 coalition of kings. However, it must be noted that the number one reason for this dating is the acceptance of the standard chronology of the Ancient Near East. Abraham is dated anywhere between c. 2100 and c. 1900 and this range of dates are then applied to the standard chronology of 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.

  3. Top | #13
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    The parts with graphic violence are exciting.

    The part where Solomon describes a woman's breast as pomegranates and thighs like doe skin is really hot.

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    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    There's no reason to not start at the beginning and read to the end. Even though the entire thing is fairly long, most of the chapters are fairly short. Some parts of the Old Testament are basically laundry lists, so you can skim through those parts. It's really not that difficult or daunting.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    As others have noted, it depends on your goals. Honestly, most Biblical texts are not long by modern standards. Especially if you stick to the texts themselves and don't get lost in commentaries. You mention anthropological interest - you've tackled enough of our literature to guess how an anthro would approach this. Absolutely in whole, and ideally in a few different translations. We're an obsessive breed.

    If you're not going to read the whole thing (understandably enough), at least read whole books at a time, not any curated list of "verses" or "stories" designed to push some theology or another. Each book was written in a particular time and place and has its own internal logic.

    If I had to choose, I would try to capture at least one work from each of the six major sections: the Torah, the writings, the prophets, the Gospels, the epistles, and apocalyptic literature. A good starter deck might be Genesis-Exodus, Joshua-Judges, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Luke-Acts, Romans, 1 Peter, and the Revelation of John.

    I hope you are thinking of posting thoughts and observations as you go along - I would be interested in the impressions the book makes to a fresh audience. The works of the Bible have been in my consciousness for too long for me to be truly objective in my own read of them.
    Last edited by Politesse; 01-01-2020 at 08:07 PM.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    I hope you are thinking of posting thoughts and observations as you go along - I would be interested in the impressions the book makes to a fresh audience. The works of the Bible have been in my consciousness for too long for me to be truly objective in my own read of them.

    Same here.

    I was delighted by David Plotz, formerly of Slate Magazine and a non-practicing Jew, who decided to read the Protestant Bible from cover to cover.


    Maybe it doesn't make sense for most of us to read the whole Bible. After all, there are so many difficult, repellent, confusing, and boring passages. Why not skip them and cherry-pick the best bits? After spending a year with the good book, I've become a full-on Bible thumper. Everyone should read it—all of it! In fact, the less you believe, the more you should read. Let me explain why, in part by telling how reading the whole Bible has changed me.

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    It starts with a creation myth. A series of who begets who. A number of supernatural events. A set of do's and don'ts scatterd across time. Wars. Hebrew history.

    I always recommend he Oxford Study Bible and the companion commentary that goes into each part from an academic view. Issues with translations and cultural contexts. How it correlates to known Hebrew history. I used it in comparative religion class in philosophy.

    Without the background it is difficult to make any sense.

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    I wonder if a few Hebrews way back then, got lost and ended up in China, then finding their way back, bringing with them an "idea" for a good story?

    Seriously... Chinese (classical) history has its own Genesis, which is remarkably similar (of all places in the world) as a montheistic belief, like for example - sacrificing animals on alters like the Hebrews in the bible. Shang-Di (Lord-on-High) the Heavenly King - monotheism that was two thousand years before Buddism, Confucianism, and Daoism believed to be dated 700 years before Moses wrote the book of Genesis.

    It is interesting because this classical period is not so known to Chinese today throughout the time thats passed, with the many changes through several dynasties, philosophies and various rulers. A forgotten past. I would also wonder if Confucius or other faiths (mentioned above) were influenced to some degree by writings of that earlier classical period?

    Sorry to be a little off topic but I mention this because the Hebrews don't seem to be the only ones with this type of original concept of belief, whilst at the same time these two groups were totally seperate and isolated from each other.
    Last edited by Learner; 01-02-2020 at 04:37 AM.

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    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.

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    There's no reason to not start at the beginning and read to the end. Even though the entire thing is fairly long, most of the chapters are fairly short. Some parts of the Old Testament are basically laundry lists, so you can skim through those parts. It's really not that difficult or daunting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    If you're not going to read the whole thing (understandably enough), at least read whole books at a time, not any curated list of "verses" or "stories" designed to push some theology or another. Each book was written in a particular time and place and has its own internal logic.
    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.

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