I have recently begun reading the New Testament section of the Christian Bible and making related posts about some of the interesting passages I find. Several people have started asking me why I am reading the Bible. It seems that several people found it odd that an atheist is reading the Christian Bible.
When I was an evangelical Christian, I believed the Bible to be the “Word of God.” Therefore, I believed it was a very important book to read. How else could I truly understand God’s message?
The first time I attempted to read the Bible, I was a teenager. I got as far as Numbers. As an adult, I attempted to read it again, but I didn’t get any further than I did when I was a teenager.
Even after becoming an atheist, I still intended to read the Bible, eventually. It just seems like a book that I ought to have read; it’s arguably the most important book in Western civilization.
The Bible is an important for a variety of reasons. A great number of people revere it, many people believe it to be the inerrant word of their god, some people make arguments for or against important issues based on passages from it, and aspects of it are represented in many forms of art. For these reasons I decided the Christian Bible was a book worth reading.
The impetus for me to return to reading the Bible came while I was reading a very interesting book by Bart Ehrman called Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). In the book, Ehrman discussed many passages in the New Testament, most of which I had never read for myself. It made me curious to read it for myself.
This time I decided to start with the New Testament. This was in part so that when I got to the Bible passages Ehrman had referenced, his book would still relatively fresh in my mind.
Another reason I decided to start my Bible reading with the New Testament is because I often hear Christians dismiss the Hewbrew Scriptures (also known as the Old Testament), as if the New Testament had replaced it. I thought it would be helpful to see what is written in the New Testament about the previous books of the Bible before reading those books.
As I read the Bible, I will post some of the passages that I find interesting. My hope is that this will lead to fascinating discussions related to the text. I also hope that it will help keep me on track.
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