Reasons Why Nonreligious People Should Read The Bible

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This will not be a religious diatribe. Whether you are religious or not you should read the bible in order to be well educated. From the common era, until the turn of the 21st century, the average person learned to read using the bible. In most homes books were rare. The one book that was likely to be found in a home was the bible. Almost everyone learned to read using the bible. Because most literature orginated from western civilization, it was natural for writers to use biblical imagery. The biblical imagery gave clarity to writing because it waas assumed most people knew biblical imagergy and had the same frame of reference as the writer. Suzanna Westley is said to have taught her children to read using only the bible. No small fete considering she had more than a dozenchildren.

Reason Number One

If being well educated is something you aspire to, read the bible. Biblical literacy helps us understand the classics like: Dante's Inferno, Paradise Lost, Pilgrims Progress, Moby Dick etc... You see biblical themes in novels like T.H. White's The Once and Future King.
Some profess to see biblical themes in Harry Potter, Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. Without bibical literacy you can't say one way or another.

Classics are dull and boring without the education you need to get the jokes and imagery. Everybody has heard a joke they didn't get because they didn't understand something. This is especially true of idioms to a person learning a second language. What is the first thing you think when you hear, "He has lost their marbles"? If you are a native English speaker you think someone is mentally ill or not thinking correctly. If this were your second language you would most likely think a man had lost the round stones used to play a game.

I feel strongly that reading should be enjoyable. There is a wonderful science fiction novel written by Robert Heinlein that is based on the biblical book of Job . He called it Job. This is only one of Heinlein's works with biblical imagery.

Where do you first learn words like "offal" if you don't read the bible. Read the bible, so you will get the jokes and the classics will come alive.

Classical Music

Reason Number Two

Are you curious about history and the origin of words; Do you ever wonder where sayings like "Sour grapes", "Set your teeth on edge", "Eat drink and be merry", and my favorite, "Looking for trouble" come from"? Are words just words or do they have meaning?

If you want to truly understand what is happening today in the Middle East read the bible. Saying that Israel did this or that to the Palestinians in the six day war is shortsighted when the history of war in Israel is centuries old. The history of Israel is older than the common era. Unless you understand the ideology in the bible you can not understand the ideology guiding the conflict in the Middle East. Oil was not a factor until cars and air planes became popular. Oil greedy Americans don't even show up in Israels wars until the late 1800's and early l900's. Americans don't show up in what is considered to be the last battle that Israel will fight either.

Reason Number Three

Law. Until Supreme court justice Sandra Day O'Connor started using international justice, in the her opinions, the majority of our civil and criminal law was based on biblical principles. Our founding fathers be they deist,or Christians were familiar with the bible. The average farmer could read in 1700. Reading material was very valuable. A newspaper would be passed from neighbor to neighbor. Most people had at a family bible.

Alexis De Tocquevillecertainly understood biblical principals when he wrote Democracy in America.

Reason Number Four

Read the bible to find out what the big deal is about Judaism and Christianity. That's more history isn't it? I took a Judaism class one summer instead of philosophy. Wow! I learned about a culture that was completely foreign to this California girl.

I learned about Judaism, and one of the texts was a bible.

Ordering a Kosher meal on an international flight is a good way to avoid dairy if you are allergic. Kosher never mixes dairy with other foods. The bible doesn't tell you why, you have to go to Jewish history for the answer.

What's the story here?
What's the story here? | Source

Reason Number Five

Art. The imagery of the gospels in the Book of Kells is worth the trip to Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland just for a glimpse. After visiting Trinity college you will want to go to Kells to look at one of the places the bible is believed to have been copied. It leads you to the thought, "What was so special, that men would spend years of their lives copying and illustrating part of the bible"?.

Every art history class(I believe I have 5 on my transcripts) I have taken that included the Dark Ages, Renascence, and the Age of Enlightenment included bible themes. Most art of those periods were sponsored by the church or at least sanctioned by the church. How many sculptures or pictures of David,The Virgin Mary, Angels or martyrs are you familiar with? Imagine Michelangelo without biblical imagery.

Conclusion

You should read the Christian bible to be educated. If you avoid doing so you can not understand a lot of imagery in art and literature. The foundational history of the United States of America, and the basis of our the legal system is based on the 10 commandments. The ideology behind the middle eastern conflict is made clear if you know biblical history.

You should read the bible to avoid conversations on trains if you want peace and quiet, because it is offensive to so many people, they would rather sit someplace else.

Is it odd that people now find the bible offensive? Fifty years ago most people called it the Good Book. Now it is forbidden from schools and it shows. Students don't have the education to understand literature and no longer enjoy reading the classics or much of anything else.

Whether you agree with Christianity or not the bible certainly can help you understand the world.

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Comments 55 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

I agree -- They are the basis of most great works of Western literature.

They should also read the Koran, Bhagavad Gita,

Bahai Texts, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Gnostic Texts

Hindu Texts, Shinto, Confucian and other spiritual writings, no matter how non-religious they are.


jambo87 profile image

jambo87 4 years ago from Outer Space / Inner Space

I definitely advocate your perspective. Your points were well argued and I liked that you used the imperative tone. The Bible as Literature course I took a few years ago was awful (in the archaic sense of the word); I loved the Pentateuch and the Gospels, especially Luke.

Close-reading the Bible was one of the most engaging literary projects I've ever undertaken.

Rochelle Frank, above, adds great advice to the dialogue, also.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Absolutely beautiful. And thanks for including Chariots of Fire and the Vangelis music. That truly is heavenly. Love that movie.

Some very good reasons for reading the Bible.

I think it would be great for more people to read it to add their interpretation -- their inspiration. There is still so much to learn in the Bible and I've only scratched the surface after 62 years.

I have found the mechanics of creation imbedded in Genesis. Incredible power, there. I have found a timeline compatible with those of science. I have found an answer to the identity of the daughters of men who were the reason for Noah's Flood. I have found a simple solution to the seemingly outrageous longevity of the early patriarchs (Genesis 5:2).

And I have found karma and reincarnation in the Bible, too.

Because of my experiences, I no longer believe that I am a spiritual being with a temporary human body -- I know it.

And the reference to Heinlein's work is nice. He's one of my favorite authors. But he also has written, "Stranger in a Strange Land," and "Number of the Beast," both of which are biblical references.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Lone77star - There are probably 5 more hubs asking to be written. You are so correct about Heinlein's work.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Jambo, Thank you for you for clear concise comments. I am thrilled that you enjoyed reading the bible as a literary project.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Rochelle, So true. You can't ever be too well read


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

It's been a long time since I've read the Bible. Maybe it's time to get it out again. Like you said, you can't ever be too well read.

There are also lessons in life to be learned regardless of your spiritual inclinations.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

phoenix2327, There is something new every time I look. Thanks for stopping by.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thank you for writing this, it was very interesting and the bible does contain interesting facts that are true. Even archaeologists have found cities that have been in the bible. So, there are a lot of truths in the bible.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Michele, Thanks for stopping. Some of that archaeology started with archaeologists reading the bible and using the clues to find different places. It really is a fascinating book it doen't matter why you read it.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I have been reading the bible, esp. since my sister died. I so want to believe in heaven so i will see her again. I have always believed in God and his creation. Thank you for sharing..


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

AGREED! Very strongly. It is my opinion religious people tend to sadly overlook the humanistic side of this valuable road map.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up. I agree the Bible has everything from history, to drama, to they way life was then and so on. I have read the Bible from cover to cover, I refer to it and I read daily passages. I highly recommend children to read children's Bibles. Passing this on.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Mhatter. I never expected anyone to agree with this hub. Thank you

Gypsy Rose Lee, Your vote means a great deal to me. Much appreciation.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

This is a wonderful hub, I do agree that the Bible is a book that all should read.

Voted up and all except funny.


tirelesstraveler 4 years ago

North Wind, Delighted you visited. Thank you so much for your votes.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

The Bible is an inspirational book coming from the Creator itself. From Creation to Revelation, He already tipped us on what will happen to His children, the human race.

Salute!!!Congrats on deciphering what's inside of those holy scriptures that are compiled into one, timeless literature.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

travel man, Thanks for the visit. Nice to see you.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

I really do love this valuable hub presentation as I too, have an open mind, and would prefer the rest of the Hub readers to be the same way too - thank you here for in the inspiration - I will post madly and gladly your wonderful labor of love here to the Music and Writing FB group - and sending you holiday wishes and good health and happiness for the new year too - lake erie time ontario canada 12:49am on a very snowy night here by the lake


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

epigramman, Thank you for your kind words and spreading this hub.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Hi tirelesstraveller,

Religious texts teach us a lot about life, in fact how to live life. Wonderful hub and I entirely agree with the reasons mentioned herein.

Voted up/interesting/useful.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

rajan, Thanks for visiting. As always your votes are very much appreciated.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

a very interesting hub I have to vote it up and useful thank you for the share :) Frank


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Thanks for stopping in Frank. I honestly don't think many young people realize how mainstream biblical knowledge used to be.


CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

won't you join in, on reading? http://currentscience303.hubpages.com/hub/Chomski-... Don't let the Anti-Zoinist movement, scare you away!


CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

The vast majority of the world's population are not of North-Western Euro-descent, so: why praise their modern "closer to utopian" societies? It's well understood {yet, it should also be understood}, the fact: the Vast Majority of the Most Giving of Philanthropist are Atheist/Anti-Theist. These facts tend to "offend" / "scare" most people who hold-close mythology(i.e. 'religious')-based culture. Cultures who have reached a proverbial 'glass-ceiling' & are now being used {in innate biological terms} as 'population control'. Let's continue to FEAR this new age! ;0)


stars439 profile image

stars439 3 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Thank you for this wonderful hub. We live in a world where right, and wrong still matters. We live in a world where love, kindness, kinship, truth, family values, fairness, honesty, cleanliness, and where helping good neighbors still seems to matter among the views of intelligent souls. You're writings always address important subjects with wisdom, and God, and our Bible deserve the honor. God Bless You.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

So, I took the quiz and scored a perfect 100. Say?

This is a wonderful, educational and very inspirational hub. Lots of insights and true enough as per your conclusion: "You should read the bible to avoid conversations on trains because it is offensive to so many people they will leave your space. How very odd that people now find the bible offensive, specially when fifty years ago most people called it the Good Book."--there some thoughts to ponder.

Voting up and across and absolutely sharing.

Thanks for the good read.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Very good hub! I really appreciate your perspective on the benefits of reading the bible. I wholeheartedly agree! voting up and sharing.


faythef profile image

faythef 3 years ago from USA

Great hub and good points to ponder..I know for years I used a lot of sayings that I had no idea came from the bible..until I read it....for example .."doubting Thomas"...voting up and across the board


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

faythef, It is always amusing to discover the origins of saying. Have a good evening.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

i think it is important to read the bible and the

message that is included inside might inspire those

even if they aren't religioius

Voted up


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi tirelesstraveler ... great article and I would be lost without mine... a part of my life and it continually teaches... voted up for certain.

Hugs from Canada


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

torrilynn and Rolly, Greetings. Hoping this will inspire the casual reader to open the book. It does say its word will not return void.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Great reasons and I think all scriptures teach us the reasons for a lot of what is happening in the world today.

Voted up and interesting.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Indeed they do rajan, indeed they do.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Great hub. Our pastor just gave a similar talk. Very well done. Voted up!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

GmaGoldie, Good evening. Delighted to hear your pastor and I agree.

I have spent some time in your area. Hope spring is nearing for you.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 3 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

The Bible is our road map here on earth. It is our guideline, the message, our hope our destiny. Love this Hub! Voted-Up!

tirelesstraveler, I am sorry to hear about your nephew and thankful to hear your brother finished ahead of the bomb! I pray today that you are at peace in your mind and healing is taking place as I pray for you. I pray for all yor family members as well and ask God to send His ministering angel to you. Much love and always remember God is in control. I truly believe your nephew is with God. Thank you for visiting my Hub!!!


d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Interesting article. Do you really believe everything in the bible? Yes, i have read it several times through my teen years as i was brought up in the Roman Catholic church.

When one knows the origin of the bible it is difficult to believe that it has any merit other than to enhance ones childhood indoctrinations into Christianity. As, i suppose, do the 'holy books' associated with every other religious sect in the world.

If one reads it with an open mind, and realize that much of it is fantasy then one can certainly learn something of how the minds of people actually worked back when this book was compiled, and exactly why it was created by the government of the times.

Its purpose has been well served for over 1500 years, and its effects on the lives of people will probably endure another 1000 years. But, thankfully, and hopefully, one day in the distant future it will take its rightful place in the archives of history, as we learn that spirituality dwells in each of us as a birth right, and we were meant to evolve into more that we are now by connecting to the universal knowledge that is there for all to partake from.

Mankind was not meant to live in fear, laden with unfounded guilts, or total subservience to one god as depicted by most religions.

We first must realize that a perfect "Creator" does not require subservience, or sheep to follow blindly. Our roles in this plane are to explore the unknown, learn all we can, and ultimately share what we have learned with the collective of souls in the place we came from, and realize also that the center of all that is, is simply love.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

My faith does not require subservience. Religion requires subservience.

You were raised Catholic and read the bible. It wasn't encouraged when I was growing up. When I was a kid mass was said completely in Latin nobody understood anything. Bibles might be something you kept on your coffee table.

Keep on examining faith, what you are doing is very healthy.


Nancy C Moores profile image

Nancy C Moores 3 years ago

I love this hub. When I really started to learn what the Bible is all about and who God is and who his son Jesus was really all about I then started to appreciate history. This is such good information you brought out here. Even the Bible tells us at II Timothy 3:14-17 --" You, however, continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from what persons you learned them 15 and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work."

To look to the Bible for our instruction. Believe it or not the Bible is our instruction manual, and when we follow its direction we have the wonderful privilege of having our creator to tell us what is best for us. This information is for our benefit so we can run smoothly like a well tuned car. God knows what is best for us he created us that is why he provided this instruction for us. Like you brought out we have the best in literature even in the Bible, also songs like in Psalms, and also stories of good and bad people and their experiences to learn from. Thank you so much you brought more light to the Bible, and I can see from the comments you brought enlightenment to readers to ponder. Plz I am going to write another hub, may I refer readers to your (this) hub in my hub.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Nancy, Thank you for visiting. Thanks for the referrals. I believe there is great value in knowing the bible.


Nancy C Moores profile image

Nancy C Moores 3 years ago

Thank you for answering back, and thanks for going on my hub to earlier to comment. Thx for letting me refer your hub, too. Have a wonderful day. Yes, I believe there is great value in knowing the Bible also. I guess you could tell. :~)


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Yes , I could tell. Blessings :)


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

A most refreshing, innovative, and compelling read. Thank you so much for writing this informative piece that presents secular reasons for reading the Bible with the spiritual truth of advocacy soft-spoken between the lines. Well done, my friend! Aloha!

Joe


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

You might say there was some inspiration. Thanks Joe for stopping in.


erinshelby profile image

erinshelby 2 years ago from United States

Yes, there are so many idioms from The Good Book that are still in usage today! Great points you've brought up that are relevant for everyone.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

erinshelby, Thanks for stopping by.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

Totally agree!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Marten Morgan M-T- Thank you for visiting.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

Interesting. I read the bible when I was a kid. I am glad I did. It's good to have knowledge like this.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Monis Mas- Thank you for visiting. Knowledge is a good thing.


ideadesigns profile image

ideadesigns 23 months ago from Central USA

So many interesting stories in the bible too! Good read!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Great hub. There are many analogies to Bible phrases in our daily conversation that many people don't even realize. A good one I found the other day was "The blind leading the blind".

The study of this timeless book should be as essential to students today as it ever was, especially in light of other religious studies that have become commonplace and required. Why is that okay and reading The Bible not okay? It's not about religion, it's about education.

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