Hi. It's Joe.
I got the book "The Year of Living Biblically," by A. J. Jacobs, at the Lake Mills Library. My excellent GF Caitlin lent me her library card to check it out. I am going to read a bit of it tonight, before bed.
The book was originally recommended to me by a co-worker. I thought it sounded interesting. Now that I am learning about things Biblical, I thought this would be a relatively painless way to get into it.
Don't worry, I am not converting or anything. I'm still just as much of an atheist as ever. But knowledge is power, and so who better to objectively learn about the Bible than an unbiased non-believer, such as myself. I mean, the thing was written for the general 8th grade educated masses, so how hard can it be (setting aside the mistranslations, and what not)?
I also got "Ken's Guide to the Bible," by Ken Smith. It's a bit more irreverent, focusing on the less focused on parts of the Bible (the mass killings, sex, insanity, etc., that you never cover in Sunday school). It's all backed up, chapter and verse, don't worry.
I already read this book once before, but I wanted to read it again and let my GF have a go at it. She can cross reference the Bible to confirm or deny Ken's claims. But it won't be objective, because she is staunchly in Jesus's camp. I have no intention of persuading her away from that camp, either. This is just educational. Learning is never a bad thing.
At one point, this Biblical guy Jacob has an all night wrestling match with God. I totally put my money on God winning that one. But no. He lost. And then blessed Jacob and re-named him Israel.