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What's the best way to read the Bible?

#11Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/3/2013 3:55:41 PM
Yeah, extra mumbo jumbo is good for history and advanced learning.

Again, especially romans. Romans talks so straight up about modern day issues its mind blowing. Romans applies directly to everyones life in some way or another.
#12DarkContractorPosted 7/3/2013 4:24:52 PM
" I would argue that the new testament books are more preserved than the new testament. Look it up."


derp

As a Christian you should definitely study from a theological perspective, but also learn historical perspectives.

How far do you plan on diving? Do you simply want some background content for the Bible? Finding a good Bible Study will tend to be good enough for that. If you want to go deeper, you can read a few historian's works, Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagel for a secular historian, Bruce Metzger for a nonsecular historian.

If you want to get REALLY deep and plan on doing a lot of research of your own, you can, for example, read through Josephus's works and Philo's works to give you a much richer understanding of the culture of Jesus's time.
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#13Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/3/2013 4:27:42 PM
lol i meant old testament.
#14mrplainswalkerPosted 7/3/2013 4:54:59 PM
I read it front to back, while skipping/skimming some the genealogies. Can't really recommend any other way to do it, unless you want an abridged version solely to affirm your Christian faith...in which case just do what PC says.
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#15Dathrowed1Posted 7/3/2013 5:05:36 PM
I read it from front to back
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#16OrangeWizardPosted 7/3/2013 5:14:02 PM
If you read in reverse, while synced to the Wizard of Oz you'll see "Worship satan"
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#17Polish_CrusaderPosted 7/3/2013 5:15:42 PM
OrangeWizard posted...
If you read in reverse, while synced to the Wizard of Oz you'll see "Worship satan"


Ok, ok. Heres your bag of gold, now take it please, go back under your bridge, and leave the topic.
#18C_MatPosted 7/3/2013 5:20:41 PM
I'd definitely do the New Testament first, at least start with a Gospel or two. Romans and 1 John are other good ones in the NT. In the Old Testament, do Genesis and Exodus, skip to Joshua and read through to Nehemiah, and read Daniel, too. That will give you Israel's main history, but the New Testament will have a lot more that's directly applicable to your life today.
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#19TheWetRatPosted 7/3/2013 6:04:09 PM
Hey toxicpie, I remember you from your posts on the P&P RPG board! :D Hope everything is going well for you!

I'm gonna start by firing some shots: PolishCrusader gives bad advice. His posts are strongly biased in favor of his theological ideas. He does not take criticism well. If you look at most of his topics on this board, you'll see that it's a lot of him posting something ridiculous (eg., trying to get people to like the same Christian music as him and then calling them "haters" when they aren't into it, almost willfully misinterpreting studies about speaking in tongues to fit his ideas about theology, talking about how he'll laugh if somebody vandalizes an atheist monument) followed by a bunch of people telling him why his ideas are flawed. His responses consistently ignore the bulk of peoples' posts and are extremely defensive, phrased almost as if every critical post is a venomous personal attack on himself and his religion. It is very difficult to engage with him in a meaningful way, and I would be highly skeptical of anything he tells you. In fact, he's already made one factual error in this topic by saying that the books of the Bible are chronologically ordered. They aren't. Genesis is not the first book of the Bible to be written--Job is. As you study, you'll find other chronological differences as well.

I'm not saying any of that as a personal attack on PolishCrusader. I'm only criticizing what he posts, not him as a person.

Anyway, if you're looking to learn about the Bible from an unbiased historical perspective, you should read the Bible in the context of an academically structured course of study (eg., the Yale one that's already been posted). That line of study will give you the most well-rounded and objective understanding of the Bible as a work of literature and will help you to develop your own ideas about theology. This is an absolutely crucial first stage. Learning about the Bible through the books and commentaries of some "religious hack with an agenda," as JW put it, will only slow down your education. At best, you'll have to take the time to sort the parts that are good scholarship from the parts that are crap. At worst, you'll buy into it because you don't know enough about the Bible to critically think about the claims they make. As a result, your opinions of the Bible will not be your own and you will just be recycling the same tired crap that has made so many people (religious and non-religious) weary and tired of theology.

I understand that you're a Christian (a Catholic IIRC). You've got the rest of your life to find your own meaning and ideals in the pages of the Bible. Make sure you get off to a good start by understanding what the Bible says when forced to stand on its own two legs--set apart from theological dogma. Once you have a solid academic foundation, you can go back through and read/pray/meditate/whatever on the parts that speak to you, developing your own unique ideas and informed opinions as you develop a relationship with the text.

I'll close with this: The Biblical scholars that interested atheists and educated Christians like to listen to are those who have informed and well-developed opinions on the text through years of solid academic study, those who have gone the extra mile to cross-reference all the things they read about the Bible and always get a second, third, fourth, and fifth opinion when it comes to interpretation of any part of scripture, those who interpret any given passage within the context of its historical period before applying it to their own lives. The Biblical scholars that atheists and educated Christions do NOT like to listen to are the dumbasses who grab a couple of Bible studies and books of apologetics off of the shelf at the Christian bookstore in the mall and then think themselves qualified to tell others what the Bible means.

Best of luck in your studies!
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#20BerenPosted 7/3/2013 7:03:55 PM
mrplainswalker posted...
I read it front to back, while skipping/skimming some the genealogies.

That's what I did as well, though I paused around the major prophets to read the New Testament as I was traveling and didn't want to take my large study Bible (which is especially helpful for the Old Testament) with me.
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