What did I learn from reading the Bible?
NO ONE can read the Bible literally. There are too many contradictions. The God in the Old Testament was NOT a God of love. It is a God of revenge, bloodshed, theft and rape. For some, these are the qualities for a good night out. For me, The Old Testament is abominable and despicable, as are its believers.
If you remove the religious aura that surrounds the book and look at it as record of events and the ideology of a Semitic people, the Old testament suddenly becomes fascinating. I am reading THE BIBLE UNEARTHED by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. This is a great book. The archeological record does not support the Old Testament as solidly as some would hope. Please read this book.
Regarding Semitic People (from Wikipedia, my favorite web site, donate today):
In studies of linguistics and ethnology, the term Semitic (from the Biblical “Shem”, Hebrew: שם) was first used to refer to a family of languages native to West Asia (the Middle East). The languages evolved and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa, The Horn of Africa and Malta, and are now referred to cumulatively as the Semitic languages. The languages include the ancient and modern forms of Ahlamu; Akkadian (including Assyrian and Babylonian dialects); Amharic; Amalekite; Ammonite; Amorite; Arabic; Aramaic/Syriac; the Canaanite languages (Phoenician, Punic or Carthaginian and Hebrew); Assyrian; Chaldean; Eblaite; Edomite; Ge’ez; Old South Arabian; Modern South Arabian languages; Maltese; Mandaic; Moabite; Proto-Sinaitic; Sutean; Syriac; Tigre and Tigrinya; and Ugaritic, among others.
As language studies are interwoven with cultural studies, the term also came to describe the extended cultures and ethnicities, as well as the history of these varied peoples as associated by close geographic and linguistic distribution. Today, the word “Semite” may be used to refer to any member of any of a number of peoples of ancient Middle East including the Akkadians, Assyrians, Arameans, Phoenicians, Hebrews (Jews), Arabs, and their descendants.
If anyone calls you an anti-semite because you oppose what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, remember, the accusation is a tactic to make you shut up. Unless, of course, you do hate the Akkadians, Assyrians, Arameans, Phoenicians, Hebrews (Jews), Arabs, and their descendants.
Think about it…