I often quote the old reprobate W. C. Fields who, when caught reading the Bible by those who knew him and being asked what a man with his outlook on life was doing, replied: “Looking for loopholes”.
I don’t feel quite like that, but – earlier this year – I set myself the task of reading the whole of the Bible, Testaments Old and New. I decided to do it – or try to – by reading two chapters a day, one from the OT, one from the NT.
And I’ve sort of kept to my reading plan, though have missed some days’ readings when other things have prevented it.
I’m well on the way to finishing the New Testament now (far less chapters than its forerunner!) And, before using the King James Version – the one with which I’m most familiar – I ensured that I read up a little on how it came into being.
In fact, the struggle to get an English translation was a tough one. For instance:
That’s a carefully hidden historical event.
And, when the Bible first came into existence, which books and writings were considered “perfect” for inclusion were very carefully selected by those in control of “Christianity” in the early centuries Anno Domini. As an aging cynic, I was not surprised at that!
Anyway, I’m well through the OT now and, as I say, have nearly finished reading the NT. The politicking of the OT top-brass made me wonder just who controlled the original, BC stories. Even the great and respected King David (the bloke who killed Goliath to attain greatness) had “wives and concubines” and did a few peculiar things when he ruled.
I’m half-way through 2 Kings presently – and the twisting and turning of the kings therein is worth reading to find out who did what to whom and why.
I’ll be finishing the NT soon, I reckon. And Revelation makes me think about the writer: “What was this bloke on?!”
But the first four books of the NT (“The Gospels”), if they are accurately translated, are a clear record of the life of Jesus.
Conclusions? I think that, perhaps, all professing Christians should read the whole Bible for themselves. I think that we are all our own prophets. I think the various gods of Christianity – i.e., every sect/denomination’s idea of who “God” is, etc. – are the inventions of mankind. I think the teachings of Jesus are excellent rules for living and following them would solve many problems, both locally and throughout the world. I think I may have become some kind of “non-subscribing Christian”.
But loving my neighbour as myself will be a challenge!