Come on! Tell it like it is. People are LYING when they tell you, "I've read the Bible."
Blondie, good points!
JW's get to pretend they are smart when they are merely gullible.
They see themselves as belonging to the Championship Team.
It isn't that THEY THEMSELVES can answer the questions, but they can reach for the handy dandy reference books which will.
Let's face it, there are a lot of religious folks (JW's and Ex-JW's) who have a superstitous sense of MAGIC about the Bible.
It is a totem and a fetish for them.
It glows with numinous complexities like a portal to eternity!
I watched a lecture Professor Bart Ehrman (New Testament scholar) was giving to a large audience.
He told them about his speech to new students.
He asked for a show of hands as he mentioned the titles of books.
One example: "How many of you have read Dan Brown's THE DIVINCI CODE?"
All hands went up.
"How many of you have read every word in the Bible cover to cover?" Much fewer hands.
He smiled and told them, "So you'll read a book of fiction which is almost entirely non-historical, but . . . God writes a book and . . ."
I think his message was clear.
The BIBLE is something we treat as a supernatural object. We, on some level, know it isn't an intellectual object.
I read it from cover to cover once, and I lost the will to live about halfway through the Old Testament. If you can't sleep and have tried absolutely everything else, may I suggest a jaunt through Numbers? Also, if you think the way your kids write is disjointed, just read most of the prophets and you'll think Junior is a literary genius.
One thing I don't get is how people can be Biblical literalists and think the good book is inerrant when they've read the OT. It's not surprising to me that reading that is what makes loads of people question their faith. It's nuttier than Gary Busey.
The New Testament is WAY easier to make it through. I almost enjoy it, apart from the Revelation acid trip.
I have read the bible through at least once. My yearly plan would cover the whole bible in a year with the Psalms and Proverbs twice. I'm not sure the average Witness has read the bible through, unless they are keeping up on the (weekly?) commentaries.
But I am unusual. I took a test that rates me as reading twice the speed of the average Canadian. With nothing else available, I would read the telephone book.
My son read the bible through from cover to cover while he was in prison.
I totally agree about Leviticus. All those begats! That's when I first began to doubt that "All scripture is beneficial..." (2 Timothy 3:16).
I read the Bible from cover to cover, even all the pointless genealogies - at least twice.
Also, the Aid book, completely. These things led me to questions about the legitimacy of the "Organization"
I think harm comes to those who don't see the bible as a written historical reference in ancient mythological study,
fictional embellished stories mixed with some factual events, written with a lot of ambiguity as toward specific intents.
So many men have tried to unravel that ambiguity to resolve a clear and truer interpretation, cracking a hidden code as it were.
The ending result usually producing an improbable failure.
For those who say they read the Bible (cover to cover) how many of you believe what you read?
Terry I don't believe it at all now. As a JW, when I read the Bible from cover to cover as a young woman in my twenties, I thought it was full of sex and violence. Women being offered for gang rape, Lot's daughters I remember in particular and the woman who was gang raped and then chopped into little pieces and her parts sent to the twelve tribes of Israel. Was that the one where the men were then forcibly circumcised and then murdered when they were recovering? Or perhaps that was another story. Very bloody I thought.
I could never undersand why woman were treated the way they were by men in the Bible or even why the whole subjection and headship thing was right when I have always believed in my bones that men and women are equal. I thought Jehovah would explain it to me in the new system. Lol!
As for the New Testament, I vividly remember trying to get to grips with this person called Jesus through his words and actions but the strong impression I was always left with was that there is nobody there! Couldn't find him. That really confused me as a JW but all of this added more doubts to all the other doubts that were slowly mounting up.
Isn't the fastest way to become an atheist is to read the bible, I know that pretty much did it for me. I have not read the whole bible but when I was awakened to ttatt I started devouring the bible, it wasn't long after that.
I have enjoyed all of your comments immensely, and agreed with them all. After all the 40 years of Bible reading has done for me is that I can beat my son in the Jeopardy questions!
In my youth I was a believer and I did read the NWT all the way through. It was very difficult to get through. Then, as a young adult, as I distanced myself from the WT, I read the Bible a lot, as well as other books. I read the Old Testament a couple of times (I found both the Living Bible and the Good News Bible to be good choices for the OT) and I read the New Testament many times, I'd say around 6 or 7 times, using different translations. I particularly liked J. B. Phillip's and the Revised English Bible for the New Testament.