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Brace yourselves - which christian bible is the best to read?
Posted: 07 January 2009 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Before ya’ll get all “WTF-ish” on me hold on a sec.  I got some splainin to do LOL. 

I have never read an entire christian bible before, but feel the need to prepare myself for a verbal war with my christian buddies. 

Eventually religion will come up in a conversation. (god is everywhere with these folks, and as I have stated in a previous post - my boss wants to be a preacher when she grows up - Jesus is in my office many times a day)

I have always been one to speak my mind, whether it’s a popular opinion or not, however in this area I am soooo fucked.  I am a recent convert, I didn’t know shit of religion anyway, just everything I was doing wrong.  We didn’t go to church anymore after my 1st communion in the catholic church, but Mom taught us everything she knew, I just did’t pay too much attention, and she didn’t push.

So here’s the thing.  I want to arm myself a little better, and I think this would happen if I was able to actually read this book.  I have read passages in a lot of bibles, but quickly put them down because of the confusing as fuck language.  I guess when you are trying to sell that brand of kool-aid you better make it confusing so people will just drink instead of trying to actually understand.

I definately don’t want to buy a bunch of different ones to find one I can handle - I really don’t want to read it at all, but I think it’s best to be able to mark up all the shit that I would want to reference and remember when these little battles start.

My biggest battle will be with the boss and she studies this thing nightly and does all the bible study classes. She is a hardcore country southern evangelical.  She spends as much time with jesus as she does at work.  She knows it inside and out, but from what I can tell she is also a cherry picker and that’s my advantage.  I want to be able to point out a lot of really nasty parts, especially the woman haters shit from her own beloved book along with all the ammo I got from Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, Smith, Stenger, Onfrey (thanks you guys for turning me on to these writings - whew - I have been a reading fool!!!!)and all the stuff that I have picked up from threads on this site - ya’ll are fierce!  Normally I wouldn’t give a shit - but I know me - eventually I will tire of hearing another sermon and I will make some smartass comment and then it’s “game on”.  I want to be ready.  She is also a friend of mine, so I do occasionally see her after hours.  I wouldn’t do this at work (even tho she, as my boss should get into lots of shit for preaching to me at work)but it might come up after hours.  I don’t really want to fight with her about this shit, but I again, know me, and eventually the shit will hit the fan and I want to be able to solidly stand my ground.

Sorry this is sooooo long.  With such a topic I really needed to state my case.  Thanks in advance for your help.

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Posted: 07 January 2009 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I would recommend the ‘skeptics annotated bible’ myself.  raspberry

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Posted: 07 January 2009 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Yeah, I was just funnin’

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Posted: 07 January 2009 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I really don’t want to read it at all, but…

I understand completely. I got just the thing for you. Don’t bother with the traditional bombastic versions as read by Charlton Heston or the fluffy feel-good versions as read by Diane Sawyer.

Do yourself a favor and get a Watchtower Bible. For readability and comprehension, it’s the best. You’ll get more coverage in less time. The tricky part is, you’ll have to ask a Jehovah’s Witness for one. Or wire a trapdoor to your doorbell. And next time you read the bible, try the voice of David Brinkley.

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Posted: 07 January 2009 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I seriously recommend you purchase the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible. It’s what universities everywhere require students to buy who study biblical literature. Neither the footnotes nor the translation (NRSV) are from a conservative or fundamentalist slant. The scholarship contained within it is the best to date for such a bible. It’s funny to see fundies butthurt about how it correctly interprets the OT in a Jewish fashion (‘young woman’ for ‘virgin’ in Isaiah) and uses gender inclusive language.

Of course, if you’re sparring for cash, I recommend instead you buy the LOL Cat Bible. It’s actually the only bible ever truly inspired.

[ Edited: 07 January 2009 06:52 PM by Giova]
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Posted: 07 January 2009 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Years ago, I bought something called The Jerusalem Bible from a Catholic book store. It has plenty of good preface and history with lots of scholarly footnotes. It was quite expensive though.

Don’t they just have a Bible for Dummys at Border’s? I also had a cheap one that had all text attributed to Jesus printed in red.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I have 4, this one is by far the best.

http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Apocrypha-Augmented-Revised-Standard/dp/0195288807/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231432459&sr=1-1

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Jefe - 07 January 2009 06:33 PM
McCreason - 07 January 2009 06:04 PM

I would recommend the ‘skeptics annotated bible’ myself.  raspberry

Ordinarily yes.  But if the conversation is going to hold merit with a fundie significant other who is very familiar with parts of the bible to begin with, use of an actual bible or 2 will help lend an aura of seriousness to the conversation that the Skeptic’s Annotated might not.

Personally, I would still recommend the SAB as a quick reference guide for specific issues that may be brought up in conversation. Click on “What the Bible says about…” and it’ll bring up a long list of issues; abortion, homosexuality, women’s rights, penises, EVERYTHING!

So use the NIV to read, and use the SAB for quick reference.

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

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Posted: 08 January 2009 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. 

Took a trip to the big city last night (yeeeeehaw) and hit up WallyWorld. (It’s a 40 minute ride to any store for me)

Jefe I took your advice, especially after your second post.  I got both versions.

I did have a funny moment in purchasing these - the look on my husband’s face.  He was loading up on dog food for Cletus, my alcholic yellow lab, and I came up to the cart with these 2 books.  He flat out said right there in the busy store isles “What the fuck is wrong with you?”  The look on his face was even better than his comment.  He was very confused.  I tried to explain my reason, but he doesn’t understand why I am so “intense on the Jesus shit”.  Sometimes I wonder myself why am I putting myself through all this expense, most importantly time, etc (he’s seen me cramming with all the books lately).  I stated to him that something this big (to me) requires a lot of investigation from all sides.  I wanted to be rock solid in my decision to shun religion knowing this would cause a lot of problems and possibly cause me to lose family and friends which is part of the reason why I studied all the books suggested by ya’ll.  To solidify my stance (not wide like some congressmen LMFAO - sorry - sidetracked)and to help me try to explain, especially to family members who still believe, WHY I have walked away.

I have always thought myself a fair person, and I don’t think it would be very fair of me to judge, or even comment on the ridiculousness of the bible having never read it.

He asked me if “I was planning on a fuckin jihad with the boss?”  LMAO I said I wasn’t, but that I wanted to be better prepared for when the conversation takes place.  I wanted to be able to point out all the crap that she swallows religiously (pun intended)without sounding like a complete dumbass, while at the same time pointing out some pretty awesome FACTS about life in general, evolution, the hope I have that if people realized this is it, no living for what you get when you die, then somehow they might cherish the whole thing while they are here, and treat each other better and all that happy bullshit. 

He said “people like her are too ate up with it, and no matter what you say, she will still argue with you to the end about this.  I know he’s right, and I should just throw my hands in the air and say fuck it - you believe what you believe, and I will believe the proven facts, I feel totally possessed about this and I don’t know why.  It’s like I am on a mission.

Anyone else experience this?  Is this because it’s all new to me and like a kid in the candy store, I want it all (the missing knowledge?)or what?  I just can’t seem to stop digging in deeper.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Mizfitz - 08 January 2009 02:06 PM

He said “people like her are too ate up with it, and no matter what you say, she will still argue with you to the end about this.  I know he’s right, and I should just throw my hands in the air and say fuck it - you believe what you believe, and I will believe the proven facts, I feel totally possessed about this and I don’t know why.  It’s like I am on a mission.

He is right. But nothing feels so good as having the knowledge to beat them to a bloody pulp with their own book. 

Anyone else experience this?  Is this because it’s all new to me and like a kid in the candy store, I want it all (the missing knowledge?)or what?  I just can’t seem to stop digging in deeper.

I have been a soft/negative atheist since I was a teen. Then about 7 years ago a good friend told me that if I read the bible as adult I would be convinced it was the truth. He brought me a bible and we read a chapter a day and discussed it. Good god the bible was far worse then I ever remembered from reading it as a child. Yet he had a polished answer for every nasty and absurd thing in there. On the surface they sounded good and I didn’t have the knowledge and skill to knock them down. That’s what got me, I couldn’t stand not being to beat them at their own game . 7 years later I have over a 100 books on religion, spent 1000’s of hours reading and studying it. And now in the last two years about 10 hours a week on blogs.

I now consider myself a hard/positive atheist.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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GAD - 08 January 2009 01:36 PM

I have 4, this one is by far the best.

http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Apocrypha-Augmented-Revised-Standard/dp/0195288807/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231432459&sr=1-1

Unless we’re dealing with Roman Catholics, the Apocrypha is really unnecessary.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Mizfitz - 08 January 2009 02:06 PM

Anyone else experience this?  Is this because it’s all new to me and like a kid in the candy store, I want it all (the missing knowledge?)or what?  I just can’t seem to stop digging in deeper.

Chalk it up to knowledge and education. After all, you’re approaching it from an academic point of view, the study of religion(s). The Bible is the nexus of, and has the effect of reinforcing, belief and non-belief. It’s good to know what it is that you don’t believe in and why ... and for understanding its origin, how and why it came about.

I find the whole concept interesting on its own, and frustrating by its intrusion into our lives. Although I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover and occasionally refer to it for details for discussion or comprehension (eg, what exactly were the sayings attributed to Jesus and how do I interpret it), I only have a basic knowledge and don’t see the need to get bogged down in seminary type scholarly analysis. I can still say with conviction that I have a better understanding of the message of the Jesus story and other parts of the Bible than the actual faithful express, including the Pope. Why? Because I can read and have a brain. It is clear that most of the connections and interpretations they use don’t make sense anyway, and is only used to try to bolster their validation. There’s no need to defer to anyone elses interpretation (except for context and translation), which is the power that so-called authorities hold over people in the first place. The symbolic and metaphorical elements alone are enough for understanding its cultural, societal, political and humanistic purpose and origin.

My sister accuses me of referring to the Bible for ammunition to use against religion and it bothers her that I even enjoy watching educational programs about religion on T.V. Though I know that religious belief is maintained through cultural influences, and I suspect there may be some genetic and/or environmental influences as well, I’m sure that I will never be able to comprehend how people actually hold on to such irrational thought to the degree that humans do. And no one can state that this believing in believing doesn’t have a profound effect in some good ways and bad on the state of the world.

Why and how people cling to these irrational religious beliefs, and what was there before the Big Bang, are two of the most fascinating questions to me, that could be scientifically answered by man. Although we’re getting close on both counts, I probably won’t live to see the answers. Drat!

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 10:38 AM by goodgraydrab]
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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Giova - 08 January 2009 03:26 PM
GAD - 08 January 2009 01:36 PM

I have 4, this one is by far the best.

http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Apocrypha-Augmented-Revised-Standard/dp/0195288807/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231432459&sr=1-1

Unless we’re dealing with Roman Catholics, the Apocrypha is really unnecessary.

I agree in one sense and disagree in another. Most Christians don’t read the bible in any case, they have it explained to them, so it’s overkill in that sense. But there is a great deal to gleaned from the Apocrypha and if you really get into reading and studying religion it is referenced very frequently, so in that sense having it is very valuable. In fact, I see the Apocrypha coming up more and more in books, articles and discussions.

And in any case, the OT and NT is more up to date then any other bible I’ve seen. And the annotation is a boon.

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 08:56 PM by GAD]
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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I guess you’re right. The Apocrypha is important in that it provides an account of the Intertestamental period between the OT and NT. In it you can see the Jewish faith developing to include many aspects of later Christianity, including an afterlife and a hellfire for meanies, something which the OT Jews did not believe in.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Giova - 09 January 2009 01:03 AM

I guess you’re right. The Apocrypha is important in that it provides an account of the Intertestamental period between the OT and NT. In it you can see the Jewish faith developing to include many aspects of later Christianity, including an afterlife and a hellfire for meanies, something which the OT Jews did not believe in.

Which just happens to correspond with Hellenistic period. Coincidence, I think not.  BTW your well versed, most people don’t know that there was no heaven, hell or devil in the OT.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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GAD - 09 January 2009 02:06 AM

Which just happens to correspond with Hellenistic period. Coincidence, I think not.  BTW your well versed, most people don’t know that there was no heaven, hell or devil in the OT.

And Cyrus the Great and his Zoroastrian influence. It’s a pity it’s not well known, much like how Judaism was originally a polytheistic religion until it morphed into a specter of monotheism due to purely political reasons. This knowledge though is perhaps becoming more widespread.

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