The Bible is probably the most influential book on Western civilisation and is the foundation of the world’s largest and most powerful religion. It also has had a major influence on the laws, cultures and traditions of the West, even down to many names and sayings that come from the Bible. However, the Bible is one of those books that is frequently talked about but rarely read, even by religious people. This leads to a great deal of confusion about the nature of God, religion and society in general. The few who do read it are mostly Evangelical Christians and read it from a biased angle that cannot view God as anything less than perfect.
As an Atheist, I hope to offer a different and more critical view. Unlike most, I will not accept everything I read as true or justifiable, but instead examine whether or not the Bible can really be described as “The Good Book”. You might wonder why a non-believer would bother reading a book he doesn’t agree with, but even if I don’t believe it, other people do and their beliefs shape society. It is also a good lesson in life to read books from different points of view, otherwise your mind becomes soft and stagnant if you only read people you agree with (I also hope to read the Koran one day). Religion is a topic that many people take far too seriously and like all ideas, it should be open to criticism.
So I will read the Bible cover to cover and blog my thoughts as I go along. It will not be a line-by-line or even chapter-by-chapter account, as that would take years and everyone who tries to do that gets bored and stops halfway through Genesis. Instead I will blog about the important points, going slowly through the interesting parts and speeding through the dull and irrelevant parts. I should point out that I am not a Biblical scholar, or anything close, I’m just an ordinary lad giving my thoughts.
The Bible I will be using is the English Standard Version (ESV), mainly because I was able to get it for free on my kindle. Every Bible comes with its own issues regarding translations, which is far too messy for me to solve. I will check other interpretations and commentaries on the Bible online in case I miss something important, but this will mostly be a solo task. This is because I want to give my clear thoughts and not just repeat what other people say. Most people don’t form their own thoughts on religion; they just repeat what they are told to believe, so I want to combat this. Surely if God created the Universe and everything in it, he can create a book that can easily be read by itself?
So here I go. This task will probably take a few months and to be honest I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself in for. It’s probably not going to have too much structure, which means I can be flexible in my approach. I’ll update this page every time I do a new post, so this will be the hub for the project.
The Series So Far:
In The Beginning (Genesis 1 & 2)
The Plans Of Gods, Mice And Men (Genesis 2-11)
None Of This Makes Any Sense (Genesis 12-22)
A Small God For A Small People (Genesis 24-32)
Biblical Family Values (Genesis 34-50)
Is God A Freedom Fighter Or A Terrorist (Exodus 1-14)
A God Of Smoke And Fire (Exodus 15-24)
People Are Following The Wrong 10 Commandments (Exodus 25-40)
Unclean! Everything Is Unclean! (Leviticus 1-19)
All Men Must Die (Leviticus 20-27)
An Accountants’ Delight (Numbers 1-10, 18, 30-6)
Resistance Is Futile (Numbers 11-33)
Talking Out Its Ass (Numbers 22-25)
The Fear Of God (Deuteronomy 1-20)
Purge The Evil (Deuteronomy 21-34)
The Final Solution (Joshua 1-24)
God’s Glory If You Win, Your Sins If You Lose (Judges 1-10)
Rape, Massacre And Chaos (Judges 11-24)
The Least Biblical Book Of The Bible (Ruth 1-4)
How Do You Make A King? (1st Samuel 1-14)
The Fall Of Saul And The Rise Of David (1st Samuel 15-31)
The Bizarre Justice Of God (2nd Samuel 1-24)
God Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing (1st Kings 1-22)
The Miracles of Elijah and the Fall of Israel (2nd Kings 1-25)
The Most Unnecessary Book In The Bible (1st Chronicles 1-29, 2nd Chronicles 1-36)
The Importance Of Racial Purity (Ezra 1-10 & Nehemiah 1-13)
Treat Others As They Would Treat You (Esther 1-10)
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? (Job 1-31)