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Let There Be Light | Descend the Stair

Let There Be Light

“It’s not my intention to mock or deride. I’m simply reading this from my own particular point of view and writing about it. Honestly, I don’t even know where this is going to take me.”

That’s how I described my attempt at “Blogging the Bible” several years ago over at Shrubbloggers. What actually happened was…I mocked and derided, and only got 6 days into it before I threw up my hands and gave up.

It was mainly because of Eric’s spot-on criticism that I folded so quickly. Back then, I was much more hard-nosed about the whole atheist thing, and I was a bit too enthusiastic to take on some of the “new atheist” talking points.

I’ve softened up quite a bit over the years. I’m much more sympathetic towards Christianity now, and have learned to approach the subject while leaving much of the literalness and over-simplistic narratives behind.

I firmly believe that if one wishes to get closer to an understanding of Western Civilization, one should read the Bible.

Now, I take quite a bit of flack for this transition and emergent stance with some of my friends. That’s fine. I’m not out to convert anybody or justify anything. This coming iteration of “Blogging the Bible” is simply me writing down notes and exploring some thoughts I have (or will have).

Look for posts to follow soon.

And, of course, I welcome all comments.

2 comments

  1. Zaxecivobuny says:

    I’m really looking forward to this. And I know it wasn’t his intention, but man, Eric really ruined what could have been a prolific brain dump several years ago.

    Despite being raised catholic, I never really picked up the bible and started reading it until I was pretty firmly atheist. I didn’t make it very far in, but some of that stuff is heartbreaking.

  2. Maif says:

    I don’t recommend that you read it from cover to cover, in that order. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of reason for the specific arrangement of the books of the Bible, except that perhaps they are arranged in the order they were written.
    The thing is, it’s far more worthwhile if you start with the good stuff, and read all of that, and if you like it enough, maybe continue on to the okay stuff, and perhaps even eventually make it to the genealogies and lengthy descriptions of the dimensions of palace furniture. Even more importantly, the good stuff to read is also the most culturally relevant.
    I suggest that you read the Bible in an order something like this:

    1. You have probably already started with Genesis, which is pretty entertaining, so go ahead and finish that, and move on to Exodus, which continues the story.
    2. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy all contain some pretty good stories, but if you find the long lists of rules and genealogies boring, just skip ahead a few pages to a story. Although I find a lot of the rules sections to be culturally interesting.
    3. Assuming you still like what you are reading, continue the saga with Joshua and Judges, which have some really badass stories. Then Ruth is a short chick flick of a book. If you are already bored, skip ahead to the Gospels.
    4. First and Second Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles (6 in all) all tell pretty much exactly the same story, but with different amounts of boring parts that you will want to skip. It’s all the action-packed story of David, his lover Jonathan, and his son Solomon. If you get bored, just read one of the three double books. Assuming you like poetry, this is now a great time to read the poetry of those characters, starting with Song of Solomon (Sex), Proverbs (Wisdom), and then Psalms (They’re SO depressing!). If you get bored with Psalms (there are 150), just read 23rd and 115th.
    5. Go ahead and spend a little time enjoying the stories of Esther (King Xerxes’s wife), Job (Satan and God are friends?), Daniel (Apocalypse!) Jonah (just the first part with the fish), and the first couple pages of Hosea (Don’t Trust A Ho).
    6. OK, now read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If you get bored, skip Mark because the first 3 are pretty much the same book. But John is really poetic. Then Acts is a fun romp through ancient Rome.
    7. Go ahead and skip to the end because you know you want to read Revelation.
    8. Read First, Second, and Third John, which are all really short, but are great. Then the 13th Chapter (it’s super short) of First Corinthians. If you still like what you are reading, check out the other Epistles, which include Romans through Jude. Those are letters circulating around the early Church.
    9. Since you are determined to finish this and not a quitter, now go back to the Old Testament and read the different books of prophecy, and admit that the passage about Lucifer is openly referring to the King of Babylon, not to Satan.

    Congratulations! Now you have a great trump card in arguments!

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