Very good points…some non-religious people I encounter make the assumption that the Bible is only worth studying if you’re a believer. I can see why this would be, since the books of the bible were gathered together by believers to serve a religious purpose. I think it is safe to say that many do not realize that it can studied in a way that is quite different from the confessional or devotional approach (historical-critical method, etc.) or with a different set of questions than a believer would bring to the text. One can read it as a nonbeliever to better understand the origin and rationale of the many values, beliefs, and customs that have influenced almost every aspect of our society (legal, social, political, etc.).
Another side note: despite the amount of people who buy and read the bible and how much it has influenced our society…it seems like many do not really know what it says. This is not a judgement, just an observation. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/177-christians-say-they-do-best-at-relationships-worst-in-bible-knowledge
Also, regarding your primarly target audience (18-25 year olds?) Barna Group found that 27% of those this age hold “the actual word of God and should be taken literally, word for word” while 25% hold it is not the word of God.
As I see it, the three pillars of western civilization are the Bible, Jesus Christ and Christianity. Collectively they form a triad of fantasies and fabrications. It is debatable, even doubtful, that the positives outweigh the negatives you rightly allude to. And yes It is important to write about them, but to do so in a way that does not perpetuate the illusions of revisionist history. The Church and its minions have stymied the progress of mankind for well over a thousand years, and it’s nothing to brag about!
Interesting article. I’m not actually a believer, but I very much enjoy reading the bible. I think in my house we have about 4 bibles, as well as some bible software. I know that a lot of people have and purchase bibles every year, the bible market is very competitive.
I wonder if those statistics on bible reading are accurate…16% claiming to read the bible every day seems kind of high, although I guess some of them could just be reading a couple of verses at a time.
Most of the people that I know in real life, while they have bibles don’t seem to really know that much about the bible. In my social circle I’m known as being very knowledgable about the bible…but my actual knowlege is really quite minimal. Of course, it might just be the people I know…I really should hang out with a better class of freinds.
“…but also in the New Testament (as in the destruction of the human race by God in the Book of Revelation).”
I thought that book was about the destruction of Rome.
Nope, it’s the whole earth. Rome is the particular victim, but it’s the entire shooting match!
But do you believe, as I’ve heard some scholars say, that Reveleation IS actually about the destruction of the oppressors of that time (Roman Empire) and that it took on a new meaning (the destruction of the whole earth) centuries later?
I think Rome is definitely the enemy in Revelation (Nero is the anti-Christ, Rome is the Great Harlot on the beast, etc.). But I think the whole world goes down — the text is pretty explicit on this point.
So you don’t believe we’ll still be humans in our “glorified body” on the New Earth? After Jesus was resurrected, He was still human wasn’t He? Thanks
Are you asking me personally, what I think? I think when we die, that’s the end of our story!
I believe Rome was a later designation for “that Great City” In the book of Jonah the term referred to Ninevah. Many peope insist that the city sitting on “seven hills” has to be Rome but they fail to note that it fits Jerusalem. Verses like “Re 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” leave no room for it to refer to Jerusalem because they had not such power for a long long time. However, Rome learned that religious convictions can be more powerful than the sword and if the Gospels tell the story correctly, Pilate did not want any part of killing Jesus. Some in fact say that Christianity was an effort of awareness that came from foreign occupation that taught the value of controlling church rather than being controlled. However, if you search the term “Great City” within Revelation you will find the following:
Re 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Unless the author of Revelation was intentionally confusing. I doubt he would use a “code name” that referred both to Rome and Jerusalem. All the desciptions of the Great City can be applied to Jerusalem but no one believes that Jesus was crucified in Rome. The redirect to Rome came much later in the history of the church.
Now available for pre-order! Great cover by the way!
Thanks! I like it too.
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