Right, first thing’s first. Unless you’re Jesus, in which case the first shall be last.
In this introduction we’ll be addressing the following questions, the answers to which are commonly unknown or misunderstood by many. It is worth noting that some of these basic questions continue to be hotly debated among scholars today, and will be discussed at greater length in future posts.
- What exactly is the Bible?
- What are the contents of the Bible?
- Who wrote the Bible?
- How did we get the Bible?
- Which Bible version should I use?
So there’s this book called The Bible. New York Times bestseller for nearly two thousand years, mixed reviews. Though it may have the blunt force of a dictionary and occasionally read with the tone of a tractor manual, it is also supposedly coauthored by the creator of the universe. So it has that going for it. Some people proclaim that you should devote your entire life to it as a means of fire insurance, while others advertise it as nothing more than an old book of genocidal fairy tales with a side of crazy creeds – written by desert nomads as a way of distracting themselves from the fact that they lacked air conditioning.
I would like to promote a third perspective: The Bible is a fascinating, bizarre, historical, inspirational, humanistic, comical, and outright thought provoking collection of ancient texts worth learning about. And you don’t have to be religious to agree. If you had told me five years ago that my bachelor’s degree was going to be in Religion with a focus on biblical studies, I would have called the nearest insane asylum to alert them of an escaped patient. For most of my life I couldn’t have cared less about religion, let alone the Bible. After all, I’ve always considered myself an atheist, one who rejects the claim that a god exists. What good would the Bible do me? Continue reading