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How to Get the Most Out of Your Bible

Updated on July 16, 2009

Get ready for a contradiction...

If you really want to get the best education from the Bible, first you must reject it as Ultimate Truth, Inerrant, and the Only Authority. Completely. Out of hand.


The Bible was written by humans, for humans. Within its pages are some great snippets of truth and some amazing wisdom. A few of the prophets actually had something valuable to say. Not many, mind you, but a few of them. And then, it became the tool of control. Still is.

But as long as you continue to see the Book as absolute truth from beginning to end, you will be blinded by superstition; you will be confused by the apparent inconsistencies; you will be confounded by the contradictions. And you will continue to go to your biased, denominational minister or priest with the same old questions people have been asking throughout the history of Christianity and getting the same old tired answer: Just accept it all blindly on faith.

Once you reject it as absolute, then you can approach it with an open mind. If there is any real value to be found, you'll find it. And you'll be free to interpret it and relate to it as you see fit. You'll be rid of the fear mongers who seek to control you.

It matters little to me if you're a creationist or an evolutionist or some combination of both. (That's possible, you know.) What does matter is that you have a brain that is probably the most complex structure in the universe. To settle for superstitious nonsense--which is what the Bible mostly contains--is to do your brain and the universe itself a great disservice.

This article is short and not so sweet. My job is to encourage, nay, entice you to look further. No need to become an atheist. I'm not. But I know that humans have an incredible and inherent capacity and thirst for knowledge. Don't be hampered by 1800-year old hogwash that purports to be Ultimate Truth. Begin to notice the wisdom found in ALL traditions. I dare you to peek outside your own religious box.

Yes, there is wisdom in the Bible. And also in the Qur'an, the Gita, the Dhammapada, the Upanishads, the Tao, the Analects, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, A Course in Miracles, The Science of Mind Textbook, the US Constitution, and in Nature Herself. Seek and you will find.

Unlimit yourself. There is an entire universe to be discovered. And the best way to discover it is by first discovering the powerful universe within. It then becomes easier to release the superstition and the fear.

In the final analysis, you, not the books, are the Ultimate Truth.

Prove me wrong. I challenge you.

Are You Really Listening?


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    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      9 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      Again, with all due respect, you are entitled to believe as you choose. It's important to remember, though, that the idea that the Canon was mostly in place and all that was necessary was to close a few loopholes flies in the face of contemporary scholarship. The factions were very divided. They were creating chaos within the Empire. Constantine was at his wit's end; he insisted that the Christians get it together. One realm, one religion. Period. 

      And it's also important to remember this: Even if the the Word of God is perfect, it must filter through the brain and hands of an imperfect human host. It can never come to me in a pure, undefiled state. The fact that people have been fighting over the best translations and interpretations for the past 17 centuries only supports my view. Even today, screaming holy rollers declare whimpy old school religionists as heretical and bound for hell. The Gino Jennings and Rick Warrens of the world fight against the Joel Olsteens and Michael Beckwiths. The Catholics know they are right; the Baptists know they are right; the Pentecostals know they are right. And all the rest are wrong. 

      As far as Jesus being off doing his carpentry work, it has never been established that he or Joseph were actually carpenters. Poor translations of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. 

      And the Buddhism thing? It's not New Age. It was proposed back in the 17th century. Yes, it was ridiculed and I am not saying he actually studied the philosophy. My point is that his teachings stepped out of the bounds of traditional Judaism. He declared himself the messiah. He declared the kingdom of God was within. He said that there would be those living who would see him rise to take over the rulership of Israel. He flew in the face of everything the Jews were waiting for. If I had been alive in that day, I would probably have rejected him as well. The Sanhedrin had every reason to accuse him before Pilate. They were not evil. They wanted to keep Rome off their backs. Can you blame them?

      Once again, we are not made in God's image; he is made in ours.

      Many blessings.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      First I must say Jesus cannot but be Christian.  The word Christian means literally a follower of Jesus.  Let's not get too far out there trippin'. 

      Jesus didn't study Buddhism.  That's an old canard.  He was with His family and working as a carpenter.  He never traveled farther than about a 60 mile radius.  That is New Age hogwash.  He absolutely never taught us we should strive for nothingness and teach reincarnation.  Jesus was a Jew—through and through.  That is as obvious as the nose on my face. 

      The Emporer called the meeting of the council to decide on the Canon but doubters read way too much into that.  He had zero input on the proceedings.  And the Canon that came out was essentially the Canon they already had.  They did exclude a few books that some fringe sects had been including.  It was more of a making official what already was—not reinventing the wheel. 

      The humans at the council were flawed yes.  But if God created the world; He is fully capable of revealing Himself to us in written Word; and He is fully capable of moving through His Holy Spirit upon that council to get the Canon right, too. 

      It is very possible God is shaped like a man, with a rear end.  We are made in his Image, after all. 

    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      9 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      I used to believe that way, for many years actually. But I know this: The Creator of the universe is not the god of the Old Testament. That god is too much like us--easily angered, vengeful, demanding, egotistical. He even has a rear end, meaning he looks human. Now you have to admit, that's kinda silly. He was created in OUR image rather than the other way around. He fits perfectly the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I'm sure you agree.

      Jesus, on the other hand, is much more Buddhist than Jewish and definitely not Christian. The Buddhist influence is evident in his sayings. And it is fairly well known that the Buddhist philosophy had reached Palestine by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. There is even the possibility that Jesus studied with a Buddhist master during his youth--you know, those years between 12 and 30 for which we have no history. He sure sounds like it. Nothing like his successor Paul.

      Point is, the Bible is not one book. It is many. And it was pulled together in the 4th century by very flawed humans under the command of the emperor of the, get this, Holy Roman Empire. I wouldn't take any of it too seriously with that kind of pedigree.

      But, of course, we are all welcome to believe as we choose. That's what makes it interesting, right?

      Many blessings to you.

      PS If you really are a seeker, I highly recommend The Mind of the Bible Believer by Edmund Cohen. He, too, is a former evangelical Christian. The book is a very difficult read but worth if for anyone who can get through it. A real eye opener.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      I read my Bible most every morning for about an hour. I believe it to be the Inspired Word of God—not simply a book a bunch of smart guys wrote. And I do believe it presents the Truth—with a capital T. I believe it to be Revelation, not literature. That said, I am not afraid or superstitious. I do not accept it blindly. I study it and it reveals more and more to me about the nature of God and humanity each and every day.


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