Be careful with Bible study
To the editor:
A recent letter writer to the Mining Gazette suggested that everyone should read the Bible from beginning to end. Yes, one might start by reading for an hour each day until finished, but a person would quickly find that 70 percent of the Bible is the most boring writing that one could ever read – slightly better than reading the Detroit phone book from cover to cover.
If this book is supposed to be the inspired (infallible to some people) words of some deity, surely it could have been written in a more interesting manner. Instead it is a jumble of history, mythology, sex, scatology, polygamy, slavery, cruelty, torture, genocide, wars, judgments, admonitions, threats, platitudes, proverb and beatitudes. Much of the violence was aided, abetted, and approved by the deity depicted there. Some parts are inspiring, but other parts are not worthy of any consideration, and there are passages that you definitely would not want your young children to read.
After writing was invented and improved, people fell in love with this means of communication and claimed that it was used by some deity to give information to human beings. If the Bible is meant to describe a religion for all humankind, then why was it revealed to an illiterate tribe in a remote area of the world when millions of people were living in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas? What was the purpose of life for these people and the millions that lived and died before the invention of writing? There are fundamentalist dominionists that seek to have the United States governed by this injudicious collection of superstitious writings. Unbelievably, many of these people have been elected to public office.
Since the Judeo/Christian theology has permeated and influenced Western civilization for a few thousand years, one should be acquainted with its scriptures.
If a person wants to really study the Bible, one should avoid the common Bible study groups that are usually nothing more than indoctrination sessions into a particular belief system.
A person should start by reading scholarly books by highly educated professors and theologians written with information on the formation of the canon; why some writings were included and some rejected; what ancient sources contributed to the writings; how translations can vary and the existence of scribal errors.
Needless to say, one should avoid the anti-intellectual and anti-factual tomes written by unqualified authors with an agenda.