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I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I'm in the process of reading the entire Bible. I've been going along at a pace of about a book a week, which brings me to Jonah this week. It's been interesting at times to get a perspective on the entire work, instead of just hearing the highlights in church.

The biggest surprise has been the Old Testament prophets. I had been under the impression from the New Testament that they mostly talked about the coming of the Messiah. But in reality it's page after page about how God is going to lay the smackdown on Israel and Judah for their sinful ways, and send them into exile in Babylon for a while. The Messiah stuf has to be in there somewhere, because people were expecting a Messiah when Jesus showed up. But it's buried under the dissertations on how God's wrath will soon fall on his people.

This leads me to my next observation: If I were God's editor, I'd send Him back to do a rewrite. I already mentioned the redundancy of harping on how God is going to destroy Israel and Judah (but then never giving a full account of the actual exile, so as to be able to compare and see how well the prophecies were fulfilled). And I don't get why we need Samuel-Kings and Chronicles, since they tell the same story (albeit with different versions of how Saul died) without really adding much in the way of unique detail or perspective from one to the other. In fact, they mostly refer us for the interesting stuff to other books, which, according to the footnotes, have been lost for good. At this point I'm pretty well convinced that the Biblical infallibility proposition is wrong. This is not to say that I don't think there's a lot of merit to the Bible and what it says about humanity. I just think that assuming that the Bible is either perfect or complete, or accepting things solely on the authority of the Bible is dangerous.


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