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Holy Bible: King James Version

por KJV (Bible Version)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book is a bit of a mess, frankly. Characters are introduced and then disappear without explanation, sometimes to turn up again chapters later. The narration is a mix of first, second and third person, and the tenses are all over the place, which I suppose is due to the fact that it is the product of innumerable authors and sources, and repeated translation.

The cast of characters is huge but, frankly, none of them are likable. The main character in the first half - the Old Testament - is quite seriously the most unpleasant character I've ever come across. This God character is venal, spiteful, petty, self-aggrandising, controlling, dishonest, murderous and constantly demanding. He sets impossible tasks for people and then punishes them for failure; he encourages (even orders!) the genocide of whole peoples that are doing nothing so much as living peacefully on a patch of land that he had promised generations earlier to a different bunch of people; he personally arranges the destruction of whole cities for violating rules that he has set down, even though they are nothing to do with him, the death of children for calling one of his followers names, the execution of an old man for collecting firewood on the wrong day - the list goes on and on.

The second part starts more promisingly. The main character here is God's son, Jesus (although there does seem to be an issue of parentage; Jesus is described as belonging to the bloodline of King David through his 'foster father' Joseph) who, when we rejoin him as an adult, is preaching some pretty nifty ideas about peace and brotherly love - curiously rather consonant with some Buddhist teachings that probably arrived in the Middle East in the first century BCE, but that's another story. Jesus has obviously inherited a few of his dad's less pleasant aspects; he has a temper on him, and can be seriously controlling - he tells his followers that they have to give up (indeed "hate") their families to follow him, in the manner that has been beloved of modern cult leaders, and he reinforces the earlier injunctions ("commandments"), although i was never clear on which set of sometimes contradictory orders he meant. But maybe that's just me.

Then, after Jesus is killed by the Romans for being a trouble maker, it gets seriously weird again. It's interesting that the four witnesses to the execution that write about it give massively contradictory accounts, both of the execution and Jesus life (kind of a Rashomon difference of perception thing going on there, I guess), then it rapidly gets weird and nasty again. Paul, the guy who takes over Jesus' work, is frankly a nutter. I think he's one of these "operating psychopaths" that you sometimes find in senior management positions, with a healthy dose of misogyny and self loathing thrown in. The drugs he must be taking probably don't help. I mean, you can see how bipolar he is in some of his letters to the Corinthians, but then by Revelations he's completely lost it. The apocalyptic rantings here fail as horror, mostly because they just don't make any sense. A decent horror writer knows that terror works when it connects with the reader, touches something in their psyche, but this just seems like random, drug-fuelled imagery.

Perhaps I'm being a little unfair. This book should probably be approached as a massive collection of (sometimes loosely) connected stories. Some of them are obviously meant to be parables - although sometimes you have to wonder just what lesson the reader is meant to take away - and probably not take it too seriously. And the saving grace, in this edition at least, is that some of the language is simply wonderful, he imagery occasionally breathtaking. It's interesting to compare to [b:The Epic of Gilgamesh|19351|The Epic of Gilgamesh|Anonymous|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167203587s/19351.jpg|3802528] or the [b:Mahabharata|1382693|Mahabharata|R.A. Kosasih|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1183140875s/1382693.jpg|1372685], books from different cultures on similar themes, although I think both of those are told better. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 21, 2020 |

Yeah right. Twilight gets you votes? I think not.

But I have some data on how we die.

From wiki on John von Neumann. Honestly, you must have heard of him, he's just like the most important scientist ever practically.

Von Neumann died a year and a half later, in great pain. While at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., he invited a Roman Catholic priest, Father Anselm Strittmatter, O.S.B., to visit him for consultation (a move which shocked some of von Neumann's friends). The priest then administered to him the last Sacraments.


I love the idea his friends were shocked. Doubtless they felt betrayed. But maybe von Neumann was merely being open-minded. Trying the improbable when that's all that's left.

------------------------------------------

My friend Phil has a wife, Belinda. She has a Tshirt she made up which says on it:

I shagged Edward and he lived.

If, like me until a few months ago, you have never heard of Twilight, let me explain. In the story Edward can’t have sex with humans because it would kill them. So, okay, this is funny, right? I hate printed Tshirts, but even I’m tempted by this one…

Just checking here. If I mention Twilight, will I get more votes for my bible discussion?

I’ve been thinking about the bible as a consequence of my father’s dying process, during which he became closer to some of the ideas than he had been for some time.

As one observes in various crises in one’s life, in general we’re willing to try anything. When asked, Peter Cook said he wanted to die like WC Fields: studying the bible, looking for loopholes. While not wishing to doubt there are atheists so strong in their beliefs that they die in a content way, most people, whatever they think they are, when it comes right down to it, will hope like hell (so to speak) that there’s a heaven. Somewhere to go next.

So, in the style of Sherlock Holmes, do we not, having eliminated the impossible, look to the improbable? And the point of Christian belief is that it is about the improbable, but not the impossible. Have you never in your life out of sheer desperation prayed to the God that might, after all, be there listening to you? Or is it only ex-Catholics that do this?

I received a newsletter in the post when I came back from Adelaide soon after my father had died. It discussed him in some detail – as being alive, strange to read – and inter alia said:

I visited Monica and Paul on Australia Day, their 51st wedding anniversary, and took them some Jubilee cake. Paul told me that he had been praying to Mary MacKillop for a miracle. Later that day I returned with Fr Rob Egar who anointed Paul. I saw that as the miracle. Many of you will remember that Monica and Paul left the Church very publicly about 40 years ago, so on-going prayers for them at this difficult time would be much appreciated.


Is that a bit of (referring to Manny’s idea) game-theory, the nun seeing this as a miracle? Is it a bit of game-theory that my father is suddenly praying to saints and desiring blessings, which I might add he is taking from all and sundry? He asked his friend Morris when he came to visit him if he had any good blessings in him. Morris modestly demurred.

Now, my father was a highly intellectual and knowledgeable theologian, a trait which stayed with him, however publicly he left the Church. What I can’t see him as, at any point in his life, is a Christian. I say that from the perspective of having been brought up for ten years or so in a family which was devout. And yet. And yet. I think my father was doing what anybody would when faced with the options. Trying the bloody unlikely when that’s all that’s left.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |

Yeah right. Twilight gets you votes? I think not.

But I have some data on how we die.

From wiki on John von Neumann. Honestly, you must have heard of him, he's just like the most important scientist ever practically.

Von Neumann died a year and a half later, in great pain. While at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., he invited a Roman Catholic priest, Father Anselm Strittmatter, O.S.B., to visit him for consultation (a move which shocked some of von Neumann's friends). The priest then administered to him the last Sacraments.


I love the idea his friends were shocked. Doubtless they felt betrayed. But maybe von Neumann was merely being open-minded. Trying the improbable when that's all that's left.

------------------------------------------

My friend Phil has a wife, Belinda. She has a Tshirt she made up which says on it:

I shagged Edward and he lived.

If, like me until a few months ago, you have never heard of Twilight, let me explain. In the story Edward can’t have sex with humans because it would kill them. So, okay, this is funny, right? I hate printed Tshirts, but even I’m tempted by this one…

Just checking here. If I mention Twilight, will I get more votes for my bible discussion?

I’ve been thinking about the bible as a consequence of my father’s dying process, during which he became closer to some of the ideas than he had been for some time.

As one observes in various crises in one’s life, in general we’re willing to try anything. When asked, Peter Cook said he wanted to die like WC Fields: studying the bible, looking for loopholes. While not wishing to doubt there are atheists so strong in their beliefs that they die in a content way, most people, whatever they think they are, when it comes right down to it, will hope like hell (so to speak) that there’s a heaven. Somewhere to go next.

So, in the style of Sherlock Holmes, do we not, having eliminated the impossible, look to the improbable? And the point of Christian belief is that it is about the improbable, but not the impossible. Have you never in your life out of sheer desperation prayed to the God that might, after all, be there listening to you? Or is it only ex-Catholics that do this?

I received a newsletter in the post when I came back from Adelaide soon after my father had died. It discussed him in some detail – as being alive, strange to read – and inter alia said:

I visited Monica and Paul on Australia Day, their 51st wedding anniversary, and took them some Jubilee cake. Paul told me that he had been praying to Mary MacKillop for a miracle. Later that day I returned with Fr Rob Egar who anointed Paul. I saw that as the miracle. Many of you will remember that Monica and Paul left the Church very publicly about 40 years ago, so on-going prayers for them at this difficult time would be much appreciated.


Is that a bit of (referring to Manny’s idea) game-theory, the nun seeing this as a miracle? Is it a bit of game-theory that my father is suddenly praying to saints and desiring blessings, which I might add he is taking from all and sundry? He asked his friend Morris when he came to visit him if he had any good blessings in him. Morris modestly demurred.

Now, my father was a highly intellectual and knowledgeable theologian, a trait which stayed with him, however publicly he left the Church. What I can’t see him as, at any point in his life, is a Christian. I say that from the perspective of having been brought up for ten years or so in a family which was devout. And yet. And yet. I think my father was doing what anybody would when faced with the options. Trying the bloody unlikely when that’s all that’s left.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I love paranormal fiction!! This was a great compilation of stories. A lot better than twilight! ( )
2 vote Fidelias | Jan 9, 2020 |
N.B. Technically this entry is the KJV Bible, but this review is really just for the “plain”, no-notes, Bible-in-general Bible.

My opinion of the Bible has gradually grown over time, and I’ve been surprised that as I’ve put more weight on it, it has had no trouble holding the weight. God is faithful, not begrudging me the scriptures even after I for years, hypnotized by Pharisees and false witnesses, first did my best to discard and thrust it from my sight as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, and then later began only slowly to take it up, with much trepidation, qualification and suspicion.

I don’t only read the Bible; I don’t even only read spiritual books. I do read a few explicitly non-Christian books, and many secular books, some of them good, although I am getting to the point where most of them, especially the ones I go through now, are Christian—and to tell the truth the more “normal” sort of secular books are beginning to strike me as undesirably un-Christian. Difference is endlessly fascinating, but vanity is endlessly tiresome, and shouldn’t really be so fascinating at all. But “this madness called Jesus” works. The Bible works. This doesn’t mean a book has to unnecessarily flaunt its biblicism with lots of quotes or be *obviously* biblical, although many of them do have many quotes from scripture.

It doesn’t bother me anymore. Before when I tried to review the Bible here I sounded like a Jung—as great as that is, right—albeit one recently changed from something worse. This, I suppose, has been my piecemeal conversion. (“Off with his head!” No, rather say, ‘Let there be now no condemnation.’). I don’t need to try to take a few paragraphs, anymore, to catalog the types of biblical literature and rate them based on how devotional they are, to explain why I like Job better than the Song of Songs, and on and on about myself and my opinions, right.

My little opinions, my little self.

*sighs* But where to begin.

So, basically, although I’m not trying to tell you about what to think about different communities—and I do think that healthy religion usually has community, which is one of the reasons why we can’t just get new religions out of whole cloth in a day— I have begun to think about the Bible as actually being sui generis (‘of its own kind’ or category). I plan on reading “Middlemarch” again, but I wouldn’t memorize “Middlemarch”. The average novelist working today probably wouldn’t memorize their work if it came to that or having it perish. God knows I wouldn’t try to memorize this crap I write, or even keep it up after awhile, half the time. I’m not saying never read a novel again, because God does care about details, and about people. But “Middlemarch” and “War and Peace” and so on aren’t meant to be memorized. The Bible is different, and I have begun beginning to memorize a few Psalms, and I can’t even begin to tell you the gift it is to yourself—see me, I’m a corrupt modern, too!— to begin to pray the Psalms.

And that I will leave you with; pray the Psalms, if anything I say has any merit. ( )
  smallself | Dec 6, 2019 |
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