Being raised Catholic the bible is to them the word of god, right? To me the bible is a book just like Harry Potter is. Who is to say that 2000 yrs from Harry Potter is the new bible.
My question is, what is the bible to you?
My thoughts: The Bible is a collection of written works from different periods in the Middle East, composed and edited by many different people with a variety of motivations, and compiled and canonized by the established Roman Catholic Church (for the New Testament) based upon what they already believed to be true, discarding any writings that disagreed with their established theology. None of the New Testament is a first-hand account of the life and times of a Jewish carpenter-turned-preacher who may never have existed at all. Paul of Tarsus is the true founder of the faith, and his ministry was one of power and money and influence for the sake of political and social revolution. The gospels are basically Jesus fan fiction. And many of the books are now seen by historians to be fraudulent. Some of the more symbolic works, seen by fundamentalists to speak to our age, were indeed coded language to criticize the powerful in its own time.
I concur with Mark Twain and this saying on it in his Letters from the Earth: "It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."
I will also add that it contains many contradictions.
A way to get people to put 10% of their income toward "death insurance". Here's where it says you have a soul and there is an afterlife. Since the bible says so, that makes it true. To be sure you get in, just give me 10% of your income and I will get you in. Guaranteed.
Oh by the way, when you die, you can't come back and tell these people that they lied, that there is no afterlife. So their con game is 100% safe. Nobody can refute it. See, it says so right here...in the bible.
My Mother revered the bible, in her words, "I believe the bible word for word," and in her last days, I sat by her bedside and read to her from the bible, and could see her lips saying the words, as I read them. I never saw Mother read the bible aside from when reading along in church. I haven't picked up a bible since, regard it and the philosophy it fosters, is the most dangerous thing we, as a people face, religions and religious people.
A book of mythology. I've always been interested in mythology, not so much Christianity but in my book called "The Mythical Creatures Bible" by Brenda Rosen it even has as it puts it "Creatures of the Bible" which has a few of the beasts from the bible in it and basically refers to the bible as a legend. Even has Lilith in it. Which gave me information that in the Jewish Talmudic folklore of the fourth century CE, says this... quote.. "Lilith is said to be Adam's first wife. Seductive and enchanting, she was created by God in response to Adam's request for a mate. However, Lilith refuses to lie submissively beneath Adam as he desires and when he tries to force her, she abandons him. Though God sends three angles to bring her back, Lilith refuses. Instead, she consorts with evil spirits near the Dead Sea, where each day, she gives birth to more than a hundred demons. A Muslim legend says that she coupled with Satan and gave birth to the demon Djinn. To punish her for her disobedience, God kills some of her children each day." I think that is pretty fucking interesting and it makes me laugh!! Cause if you bring all religions together, it basically means that Eve was indeed not the first woman and the bible liesss and covers the trutthhh. Pretty funny!
When I was a believer it was a general guide, I never thought it was the actual word of God and always knew that it was written by men, but I thought God may have inspired them. Most recently I have used a pocket bible that I picked up from a street preacher as rolling paper. Always wanted to light up John 3:16. It was very satisfying.
It's a book that I read most of while attending university. Other than that, it's a collection of stories that may or may not have value to the reader. In the right hands, it's a foundation for some interesting discussions. In the wrong hands, it's a brutal weapon.
Much of the Old Testament is also found in The Torah and The Koran. But, a good place to start is, "Which Edition, version, translation or language of the Bible are we talking about?"
It is a magnificent influential historical document. Poetry, parables, allegory, love, war, prayer and life.
But, it is a book. To many, a holy book. To others its a bludgeon.
I view the bible like I view the Iliad and the Odyssey, and other mythic books. It's fascinating how we can see politics shape their god. How battles between Moshite and Aaronid priests would constantly call into question offering sacrifices in the Temple only, versus on the "high places." And yet... it would somehow go on to take over the world and many would view it as fact.