Book: “What are we up to, sweetheart?”
River: “Fixing your Bible.”
Book: “I, um…(alarmed)…what?”
River: “Bible’s broken. Contradictions, false logistics – doesn’t make sense.” (she’s marked up the bible, crossed out passages)
Book: “No, no. You – you can’t…
River: “So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah’s ark is a problem.”
River: “We’ll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat.” (rips out page)
Book: River, you don’t fix the Bible.
River: It’s broken. It doesn’t make sense.
Book: It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.
Why am I sharing this? On Sunday, I finished my 2+ year journey of reading the bible from “In the Beginning” to “Amen”.
I have tried to do this in the past, more than once. Each time I would get to the “Begets” and “Begots” part of Genesis and give up. However, two Christmases ago, I got a Kindle from Michelle. LOVED it. Plus there were books you could get for free. The, bible being one of these. So I could carry it with me and read it as I had time.
First off I have to say, it is NOT a fun read… In fact, I have to say at times it was a struggle to stay awake during parts. (One of the many reasons I don’t go to church).
It’s kinda funny when people learn you are reading it. You get all kinds of advice. Skip the Old Testament, the New is the important book. Funny, I found the New twice as hard to read as the old. The Old at least had stories one could follow, the New not so much.
Many people told me. “You don’t have to read it in order.” But I am a logical person, at least at times, so I figure it was put in a certain order for a reason. PLUS, and more importantly, I knew that if skipped a section, there would be a very good chance I’d forget it and not go back. I wanted to read the whole thing.
Before I go on I should tell you that my mom tells me I have questioned religious teaching even as a kidlet. At one point and time she even thought I’d become a preacher of some kind. But it just never made sense to me. I’d see people on TV after a hurricane or tornado thanking god for sparing their lives, and “knowing” it was because they were praying. Of course being the logical cowboy that I am, my first thought was: If prayer worked, then why didn’t the tornado miss you? Or, how’s come it hit people who prayed but not people like me who didn’t… Just didn’t make sense.
I tell you this so you know I went in biased a bit. But I was also curious. If I am going to believe or not believe something, I should do so in an informed manner. I found out I knew more than I thought. Many of the stories and passages were familiar to me! Musta been those Sunday morning movies when I was a kid. There were even times I knew what was going to be said before it happened.
But then there were the parts that surprised me. Concubines seemed to be perfectly ok back then, as were multiple wives. Kids got punished for the things their dad did. And you are not allowed to eat Shellfish or wear a cotton wool blend.
Being raised on westerns also had an influence on me. After reading the story, I decided David (as in David and Goliath) cheated. Goliath had a sword and was ready to fight. David took him out with a sling. This would be like Paden shooting Cobb (Silverado) while hiding behind a window instead of a stand up fight.
There was MUCH more, but lets move on to the New Testament.
I got two things out this part. One, it coulda been a MUCH shorter book. Seems like every book in it, except the first 4 and Revelations, had the exact same message, just to different people. They all sorta blurred together.
Secondly, women are NOT supposed to talk…
Please know, I mean no disrespect in any of this. I have many friends who are firm believers and attend church regularly. I love them dearly, and they tolerate me. I do not expect to change anyones beliefs any more than they expect to change mine. These are just a FEW of the many things that jumped out at me while reading it.
I will say, I am VERY glad I made my way through this. I learned many sayings, like giving up the ghost, came from the Bible. It has influenced people for close to 2000 years, and continues to do so in both good and bad ways.
I read it for the same reason I do many things. For the experience. I may never open it again, but anytime I see one I’ll know I made it through once. I can’t say I feel changed by the experience at all, but it also wasn’t a waste of time.
My next endeavor? Darwin’s Origin of Species. Gotta stay balanced!