How to Read the Bible for Dummies

I’m a member of the Rebel’s Book Club. Basically we gather every Thursday morning at a local cafe after “reading” a chapter of some book we chose and we discuss the hell out of it.

Right now we’re reading Simply Christian by N.T. Wright.

I’m going to leave a disclaimer here: I’m a pompous prick, especially when it comes to reading books by anglo-saxon males about God and all that is, cause I always think I know better. This is my downfall but LORD may I rest in some vacant form of humility for when I need a knocking down and rise up! Oh wait, that’s like… all the freaking time. Okay God, we’re good.

So, yesterday we met and talked about the Bible. Holy Smokes – that’s one crazy whack job of a book, and super freaking old and I LOVE IT.  It is FASCINATING, and how weird that I can feel so emotionally attached to a book — fellow book lovers moan, duh.

Now, we could talk all day and all night and for centuries about the Bible and what it means and… oh wait, we have literally spent millennia talking about this book, so am I going to provide a single short cut answer to how to read it? hell no. let me reiterate, fuck. no.

And why? There ain’t no one way to read it and I mourn the loss of beauty and mystery and ball-wrenching confusion that would be lost if we decided there were!

I carry my Bible copy with me almost everywhere I go – not out of some understanding or grappling of piety, though could it hurt? – but rather just because, “maybe I’ll need it” or “maybe I’ll want to check something out.” Granted, I carry a back pack with me everywhere I go so it’s not much more to add a Bible in addition to all else I lug around.

But that’s the thing, the Bible is like Friends, the tv show.  You don’t necessarily have to watch the episodes before the one you’re watching to get a picture of what’s going on and to still get something out of it, like a laugh or two, but if you do want to watch all the seasons? That’s great too and you’ll get even more out of it! Or you can re-watch certain parts because they’re freaking awesome – like when Phoebe teaches Joey french – and share with others and talk about it.  and WHY do we think these episodes are so awesome and funny and why do we love the characters so much? because they reflect us.  Because they allow us a way of looking into our lives with a different perspective, we can see ourselves in these characters, or we can see something completely new allowing for a paradigm shift which is also super wonky and cool and totally needed for greater empathy, understanding, and holistic growth.

Why do you turn on an episode of Friends? Because you want to laugh.  Because you want to be comforted. Because you want to perhaps even learn something.

I don’t want to create any rules about watching Friends, … or Reading the Bible (oh yeah, that was the point of this)

BUT AND OR

too often the words of the Bible have been utilized as weapons for oppression, discrimination, hatred, exclusion, slavery, and a long list of horrific malicious things we do to each other.

People, the core of the Bible as I understand it is this: God is Love. God loves us. We are the Beloved Free. We love one another. 

When this core is fully ingrained in us and we approach the Bible with this belief, how does that change the way the words enter your mind and your life?

There’s no one way to read the Bible, and we have the freedom to choose: I choose this way and I invite you all to choose this way with me.

and debates and arguing over little words and meanings and contexts and applications? I’m a freaking philosophy major so BRING IT ON! 😀 and allow me the space to not respond if I get too wound up and excited and frustrated and want to jam your head because because because… nah, I’ll be nice, cause the Bible tells me so

thanks for being

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