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Let me put this out there... is the bible, at least the King James version, worth reading simply for its language? I find such turns of phrase as "and darkness was upon the face of the deep" almost poetic in their expression...

moNOtheist 7 May 18
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I don't think so. I used to use it a lot when i was a Christian. Maybe Paradise Lost? The same kind of English with a lot of imagination.

brentan Level 8 May 22, 2018

Well, by all means, any book can be read for its language. A poorly written book can be read for its language, it's the reader's call whether he or she chooses to go on. As for the Bible, I'd say if one wishes to read it--to note, I am reading it now, the Holman Standard trans, rather than KJV--one should at the very least take it at its word, and see what the word has to say for itself, the word itself removed from all these centuries of influence by others. Although great commentaries, Christian, Jewish, and more secular folks like Nietzsche, are worth checking out as well. But there is the word itself, and one should focus on that, and it can be worth reading if one reads it closely and without bias, if one can forget that it is by all means reverent to so many people, and sadly so many who have not taken the time to read it, if one can read it with the seriousness that one might engage Joyce with, with perhaps the light-heartedness one might engage Wilde with.

Perhaps I should have said "read and enjoyed" for its language, in the same way that a haiku written in Japanese is intended to be enjoyed for its sound when spoken aloud as much as its meaning (and, in earlier times, its visual appeal as calligraphy).

@moNOtheist I got ya. That makes more sense. I suppose I stand by what I said before, but I'll amend it somewhat and say, Yeah, I think it makes total sense to read it for the beauty of its words. Some passages are strikingly beautiful, and beauty is a thing that ought to be enjoyed, if only for its own sake. .

@anti-augustine49 But the beautiful passages are widely spaced, as someone I know who has read it all would have attested. So you have to plod through a lot of repetition and tedium. I have no more interest in reading the Bible than I do other very very old mistranslated mythologies with an agenda. Life's too short!

@Sooz That's a very understandable, and fairly accurate, way of looking at the Bible. I suppose I can only answer this concern of yours by paraphrasing a notorious Kierkegaard quote from Either/Or: Read the Bible, and you'll regret it, don't read the Bible, you'll also regret it. Read it, don't read it, either way, you'll regret it. Well, once upon the time I read the Bible because I had rejected Christianity without ever having read the Bible. I read the Bible in order to discredit it, as I read the Bible I discussed it with certain Christian and Jewish friends of mine whom I felt I could trust to give me good conversation over it, whom I thought wouldn't mind my take on the Bible. Well, in my eyes, I felt I had discredited, I felt annoyed that anyone could ever have called it a good book, that this was a standard of morality in the West somehow, and I was supposed to accept it. Well, that was a while ago, and I've changed my opinion on how to approach the good and the evil and the possible nature of God, and the Bible seems to contribute to as much of that as any other religious text or philosophical treatment. But one must have a viewpoint that relates to the spiritual aspects of the Bible to see the beauty of it, the beauty that is beyond words, because in a sense you're right. Much of the Bible is mistranslated. You should read Bart Ehrman on that subject. Not only are many of these texts mistranslated--well, the Hebrew texts translate fairly well because by all accounts the Hebrew language hasn't changed much in the thousands of years of its existence--but the original copies of the New Testament documents have been lost for centuries, and the texts that Biblical translators have to work are not the copies of the originals, not even the copies of the copies, they are many copies removed from the original texts. And all along the way, according to Ehrman, many scribes and apologists altered the words of the text, some, such as Marcien, totally altered texts to fit their overall view of Christianity as such. So what we are left with is something that Jesus and the apostles would likely have not recognized as following in their teachings, and many of their teachings, many of Paul's teachings, relate to the Torah and so on, perhaps the Talmud, and how many Christians understand these writings really? They read these texts so often in a "Christian" way, not in a Jewish way. But I don't suppose I can know what that might mean to you. If you lack an interest in reading it, why would you read it? If you mine for gold and only for gold, so intent are you for your quest for gold that most days you miss the beauty of the mountain. A mountain is more fulfilling to enjoy for its own sake, any gold one finds along the way a perk. Well, there is a lot of repetition, but is it really tedious? There are reasons for the language in the Bible. But you can only explore these reasons when you are open to reading it sincerely, and if you're not open to reading it sincerely, why bother reading it at all? What's the wonder of the Gospel of Matthew going to mean if you see the narrative as a burden? At any rate, you're right, life is too short, and if you have no interest in doing a thing, why do it at that moment? But perhaps a time may come when you wish to read the Bible, and the Bible no doubt will be waiting to be read by you and by any.