Admiring a golden calf idol, Image from www.gerardnedal.com
Why Most People Can't Read the Bible (Judges, Chapter 2) - As soon as I opened up Chapter 2, I was hit by an rather interesting story about Yahweh (aka God) purposely tricking Israelites to not believe in Him, so that He wouldn't have to live up to His promises.
Yahweh is such a trickster, isn't He? Basically, He sent an angel down to deliver a message, which was essentially, "You Israelites are too tolerant of other religions. As punishment, I will not drive them away as promised, I will instead leave them there so that some of you will believe in their false gods."
Isn't that a summavabitch? And of course, everyone cried after hearing the message. I probably would too, knowing that the god I'm worshiping has some sick vendetta against me.
Even though at this time, no one believed in hell, the punishments from "on high" were still severe. Yahweh would vent His holy rage on the people just as He did as they were on their way out of Egypt (supposedly).
And then, Chapter 2 refers to the death of Joshua - AGAIN! Only one chapter later!!!
Have any of you started reading the Bible and for some reason couldn't read it? When I was Christian, my church told me its the devil trying to make me not read it.
But that's not the reason. It's because the Bible is horribly written. It repeats itself, contradicts itself, and talks about subjects that leave you scratching your head. I've mentioned it before, but this phenomena is best explained by the 'documentary hypotheses', which says that the Old Testament is largely written by four different authors, each of which expounded on the last, or wrote simultaneously, and some future editor combined them.
Now that I don't believe in the Bible and understand its history, well - it's actually enjoyable to read this little piece of history. It's frustrating that there are people out there that believe it word for word (and vote on their beliefs), but I'm convinced now that their beliefs are not as much based on the Bible, as they are based off of their pastors or favorite Christian authors, pundits, etc.
And of course, Chapter 2 continues with the Israelites falling for Yahweh's trap and worshiping other gods. Yahweh then gets pissed because they fell for His trick, and causes them to lose a bunch of battles, and some of them even become slaves.
I don't remember Judges much from my first reading, but I'm going to guess that they somehow redeem themselves later.