I Don’t Like Parts of the Bible

There, I said it.

With it being Lent, I’m going to try and be a little bit more diligent about keeping up with my Bible reading.

I read the Bible on more of an emotional level than an intellectual one. I don’t quote chapter and verse, but I do try to take the meaning to heart.

So what’s not to like?

I have to admit that I’m not fond of Job. It’s not that it’s a dreary story – which I have to admit, it is. I just have never met anyone who like Job confidently proclaims that he is without sin. (I’m not counting politicians or used car salesmen.) We all sin. Sorry, Job, but I think you’re in denial.

Then there are the Psalms. Reading the Psalms is like reading Shakespeare’s plays. Both were meant to be performed, not read. Imagine any other song that is read without the music it was intended to be paired with.

“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah!”

A lot of the Psalms call for God to punish the Psalmist’s enemies. As I recall, Jesus directed us to pray for our enemies, not call for their destruction, so those Psalms seem a little out of date.

So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m going to go do my Bible readings.

3 responses to “I Don’t Like Parts of the Bible

  1. I know that some people think this is heretical, but do you think it’s possible to read Job as a fable more than as a historical fact? It still communicates profound (and sacred) truths in powerful ways, but you are freed from trying to imagine an actual person being as upright as Job, or the things that happen to him actually happening. I always had a hard time with the ending, where God gives Job double everything he took from him. In real life, that would be a problem (you can’t replace my dead children!) But in a fable, everything can be a little more symbolic – like in Greek tragedies. I don’t think Antigone was a real person either, but the play is still powerful and full of truth. I think Job is like that – except that it is written by God/inspired by the Holy Spirit, which makes it even more powerful.

    • I think you’re exactly right. I believe that the Bible’s primary purpose is to inspire us with God’s message as opposed to a history book. That’s why I try to let it speak to my heart rather than my brain. My brain tries to get in the way.
      All the best! – Steve

  2. Not the whole bible is meant for everyone. Some scriptures are more meaningful to certain people, while other scriptures find their place in the minds, hearts and souls of still other groupings of people. Each have their reason and purpose and time…with respect to each person and to the will of God.

    I believe it is important to recall the “mysteries” of both faith and God when
    reading the bible–especially when reading the Old Testament, which is before Jesus Christ. This can be likened to before WE KNOW Jesus. We often say–before we know better–that we haven’t sinned, or we are not sinners because we really do not know what sin is: Our behavior that offends God.

    The story of Job is really not about his sin, rather about his faith. Job–a good man who had the prosperity of blessings of a good marriage, family, a wonderful ranch, a generally happy life–was chosen by the evil one to have
    his faith-in-God tested, and God allowed it. The evil one did everything to him– save for killing him.

    Steve, I’ve known you for many years, and you’ve known me. We’ve both experienced and shared stories in our younger years that resemble the story
    of Job. No, not to the same degree, you may say today. But back then, it seemed like the story of Job for both of us. Heck, what is today’s contemporary saying: If we lose our wealth, we lose nothing; If we lose our health, we lose something; But if we lose our FAITH, we lose everything!
    That’s Job’s story 5000 years ago…and our story 5000 years later.

    Reggarding the Psalms, let us not forget to remember they are in the Old Testament…before Jesus Christ…before His and “our” new covenant. King David, the primary author of Psalms, was also a good man, and also a warrior–paving a new road to a singular God where there were many roads to many gods. He was singing out for God’s help in defeating his enemy not knowing how God should or would do that. Remember, everyone at that time believed God would arrive perhaps in gold and throwing out gold coins to everyone.

    Instead, we learn in the New Testament, our Lord arrived like the rest of us.

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