I read both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety along with the accompanying Institute manuals. It took a long time. I was constantly flipping back and forth from my “quad” and the manuals underlining and highlighting things whenever inspired to do so.
But I have to admit it was not an entirely edifying experience. As it turns out the Bible is full of insane shit – unbelievable insane shit – bizarre moments that probably shouldn’t be called holy such as the many disturbing deaths and killings, of which Jehovah was often responsible.
One gruesome chapter really got to me; I honestly closed my Bible and walked away for a break. It was the story in Judges 19 of a Levite man who throws his concubine to the men of Gibeah, who gang-rape her to death and leave her on her husband’s doorstep. The husband comes out and tells her to get up and get a move on but she doesn't answer because she's been fucked to death. So he hauls her back home, chops her into twelve chunks and sends them off to the Twelve Tribes. And that ended my scripture study for the day.
This could possibly be the tamest rendition of this act one could ever hope to create.
I'm not the only one who can figure out why God needed this story in his book. Maybe God just needed to chronicle the evil of this asshole Levite and the sick motherfuckers of Gibeah for whatever reason. Then again, it was Jehovah who approved of having concubines and sex slaves, and it was Jehovah who told the Israelites to quarantine women during their period and women who have recently given birth, and it was Jehovah who had bears maul children to death, and it was Jehovah who told the Israelites to kill Canaanite women and children. Maybe he even told Adam to procreate with his own daughters. The Bible doesn't really say how Adam and Eve started the human race, does it?
Did I believe in this book? Could I honestly argue that all the super weird stuff in the Bible was probably mistranslated or added in by evil and divisive copyists? Absolutely not, so I guess I shouldn't think about it too much. I might nurture my doubts.