How Deep was your search in Bible or Religions ?
How far / deep was your research on the Origins of the Bible or Religions or most importantly the concepts (heaven -Gods - immortality-etc)today many millions of people believe as the truth?
Why did these concepts existed ?
Why so many people today still believe in these concepts ?
I strongly believe the opinions we have change, depending on the info we have in that subject at that time , so please share your opinion, and provide references if possible, so may I too learn something.
I will Kickstart
After reading the bible in more than one language, ended at Pyramid texts in Egypt Mythology (2400-2300 BC) and Epic of Gilgamesh in Sumerian Mythology(+ - 2100 BC) Wikipedia provides info on those subjects.
These were the fist written descriptions i found, read and analysed regarding immortality, hell/heaven, good/evil, God-like creatures or attributes/ resurrection / serpents and everything else
I think people were trying to understand and explain the world
I think its because they never researched were they came from, many are confused by the many religions that use those concepts in their "upgraded" versions of the Pyramid texts and Gilgamesh Epics ( Bible/Torah/Quran/Hindu writings/etc)
I read these books:
The Origin of Satan, Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Gospels, "
Beyond Belief, "
The Lost Gospel, L. Burton Mack
Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan
Who Wrote the Bible, Richard Friedman
Online courses-Introduction to OT, Christine Hayes, Yale
Introduction to NT, Dale Martin, Yale
Historical Jesus, Stanford, Thomas Sheehan
And a book that I think is very good in evaluating the nature of belief and myth, The Hero of a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell.
I was less interested in reading old manuscripts or translations than in reading textual analysis and evaluation of the bible in it's context.
I found it very helpful.
I read nothing but WT and Awake! magazines and the weekly Bible snippets at the Kingdumb Hall. I skimmed through the " Mankind's Search for God." book, just for the pictures.
When I perceived the need to actually study, I bought a huge Concordance and started buying commentaries by "Christendom's" scholars. Then I learned that the WTBTS is full of shit.
after reading the new international version the gospels, and finding contradictions, I then read misquoting jesus by bart ehrman , then who wrote the bible, and a few others I cant recall., then chose a host of historical and scientific documentaries,
and come to the conclusion, that there are aliens among us, lol,
there must be, there is too much unexplained stuff going on.
I am as shallow as they come, I embraced the "truth" by studying the "Make sure of all things" by myself, from then on all wt material. Even now, where and how it came from, is of secondary importance to me, since just comparing these text with reality is enough to see them totally discredited. but, learning every day thank you.
Probably a good book to read is 'Breaking The Spell' by Daniel C. Dennett. It explores the origin of religions, the supernatural etc. as an explanation of 'unexplainable' events - but then, a couple of thousand years ago almost everything was unexplainable, lol.
I would think that born ins just accept the religion they were born into trusting there parents decision and thereby just accepting everything JW`s said ..
Converts like myself as a late teenager, it depended on my upbringing in a Christian nation , who was taught from an early age that the Bible was the word of God , and just accepted it as fact , JW`s came along and the rest was history .Who knows what the outcome would have been if the Mormons had knocked on my door , or the S.D.A.`s in my vulnerable state at that time and explained there interpretation of the Bible.
I could be wrong , but I don`t think the average person would seek out alternative options when first encountering the beliefs of the JW`s. especially if they have a firm conviction in the first place that the Bible is the word of God.
The deeper search only comes after you begin to see , that things don`t add up ,cracks start to appear in your faith , you begin to see the hypocricy and even deceptions about there own history.etc.
I'm doing nothing at the moment with regards to religion
I'm leaving it to God to prove his existence to me RATHER than trying to prove his existence myself based on cognitive bias
Richard Dawkins is pretty good for a read - if a bit full of his own self importance.
I have read and studied ancient religions in and around the Levant for about three years now. Most of these religious ideas we're very similar from one area to another. I think the concept of Gods came from fear and ignorance, like kids today and their fear of the dark and the boogie man. Why people still believe is again do to ignorance and the idea of a Creator makes sense and is easy to.relate to. But on that note a huge percentage of the population is now non religious and more and more are becoming atheists.