Re:The Better Book

Whether it’s due to lack of interest or lack of attention, I don’t know, but so far I’m (more or less) the sole contributor to the Better Book. And that’s fine, actually. It’s kind of a strange project, and the best way to explain it to other people is probably just to do it. So I’ve been doing it.

To recap what “doing it” entails, I’m basically revising the Bible. So far it’s been light revision (rewording and such), but eventually I’d like to drastically change the stories, accentuating themes and maybe making it more interesting to read. Doing this is proving to be pretty hard work because I have to read what I’m changing pretty thoroughly and figure out exactly what every sentence is saying.

For someone who hasn’t had much contact with the Bible for a long time, I’ve learned some things. Maybe most significantly, that some parts of the Bible make for some really shitty reading. I mean everybody knows about the “so-and-so begat this dude who begat your mom” stuff, but that kind of thing shows up constantly. At some point, I’ll probably just wholesale cut some chapters out because all they do is list names without saying anything interesting about the names. And right now, I’m working on a chapter that is just instructions on how to build a temple.

But then here’s an important aspect of the Bible that will present a challenge to my project: it’s not just stories. It’s not even just teachings. There are all kinds of purposes going on. As a history of the Jewish people, it’s important to have these long lists of begetting. But it’s interesting that modern-day Christians haven’t considered that maybe the genealogy part’s not so important for them. It’s all the word of God I guess. Or not.

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