I have four or five books I rotate through every summer. They include Moby-Dick, Paradise Lost, Jane Eyre, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
They also include the Bible.
This year, when I got back to the Bible, I decided: Surely rereading this Portentous Tome would be more fun if done in front of an audience?
Hence my latest project on Ye Twitters: Livetweeting the Bible.
What This Project is About
I have in fact not only read this book many times, but I’ve also read a lot of commentary on it from various sources.
What I haven’t done, however, is to read the Bible in the way that so many Christians, from so many denominations, have told my heathen soul to do over the years. That is, I’ve never read the Bible as if it is an inerrant, self-contained book that cannot in fact fail to convince me of the divinity of Christ, the necessity of accepting His sacrifice for salvation, or the urgency of voting Republican.
So that’s how I’m reading it this time through.
With two English degrees and a law degree, I have a soupçon of experience in evaluating the internal consistency of texts and their effectiveness at asserting and supporting an argument. Let’s see what happens when I take proselytizers’ advice and apply those skills to their favorite book!
How to Follow Along
The hashtag to follow (or block, if you’re so inclined) is #VerityLTstheBible. I’ll be archiving links to various threads/sections here for ease of use – every thread is also linked to its own previous and next threads, so you can start at any given section and keep going in either direction.
Gen. 1: God makes things.
Gen. 2-5: Adam names a disturbing number of things “beetle.” The serpent gets off easy once we learn God only created livestock to be sacrificed to him. A seed and seed-bearing fruit diet will make you live A REALLY LONG TIME.
Gen. 6-10: God says to Noah, “there’s gonna be a floody-floody.” We learn that Pride flags, rather than being sinful, are actually saving the world from God’s forgetfulness.
Gen. 11-13: God seems to genuinely fear (most) humans, but not Abram. Abram is cool, even if he does have a weird penchant for pretending his wife is his sister.
Gen. 14-18: God promises Abram and Sarai a kid for, like, FOUR CHAPTERS STRAIGHT. Circumcision becomes very In. Sarai is a jerk to Hagar and Ishmael.
Gen. 19: ….Yikes.
Gen. 20-22: Isaac is born, and everyone who isn’t Hagar and Ishmael (to whom Sarah is immediately a jerk again) rejoices. Then Abraham tries to serve Isaac as spareribs, because God has developed…bizarre tastes. God seems completely unaware of the consequences of mass overpopulation.
Gen. 23-24: Sarah dies. We learn that Rebekah can lift 53 pounds FOR 100 REPS WITHOUT STOPPING, making her highly Biblical wife material.
Gen. 25-26: Esau and Jacob get born. Isaac is blessed with the power of zucchini. We learn the origins of the Christian Right adage “if I were poor, I’d just eat lentils.”
Gen. 27-28: Blessing theft and cousin marriages are good.
Gen. 29-30: Jacob gets married. Jacob gets married again. BABIES ENSUE. Genetics are caused by sorcery.
Gen. 31-33: Jacob is a sneaky snake.
Gen. 34-38: Jacob’s sons have fine upstanding ideas on how to treat family. A melody by Andrew Lloyd Webber can be heard in the distance. Vampire goats eat Joseph’s coat.
Gen. 39-41: Judah strives for the Family Member of the Year Award. Joseph has a series of dead-end jobs before becoming Egypt’s Secretary of Crop Management and Dream Intepretation.
Gen. 42-50: Joseph jerks his brothers around. Everyone cries a lot. I learn some Important Moral Lessons.