Monday, August 01, 2005

Bible Blogging Aborted

In the beginning of the summer, I thought I'd conceive of a summer project to keep me busy. Although I had read much of the Bible, I never read it straight through, left to right, up, down. What a horrible idea that was (which our new writer Matthew McCoy knew from the start.) By the time I reached the Genesis chapters concerning Noah, I was just horrified by what I read. God destroying almost his whole creation because they had rebelled against his laws. That's tough love. And then the whole ark thing with two pairs of each animal, or was it a pair of each animal? I don't know, one paragraph says the one and then another paragraph the other. Internal consistency is not God's nor his fellow stenographers best talent. But because I failed, I give you two works that are much better than I could do. Both are from two products of the Enlightenment and my two favorite Founding Fathers, the terrible T's: Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson.

In 1793, Paine wrote the Age of Reason as a dissection and critique of the Old and New Testaments in two parts. You can find the work here. As for Jefferson, he produced his own version of the Gospels in which he edited out all religious dogma and miraculous events. It's the historical Jesus' moral teachings in concentrate. It has been dubbed the "Jefferson Bible" and you can find it here.

Here you have two great rationalists, two great skeptics at their best. By the way, both believed in God through the philosophy of Deism, so they were no atheists.

I hope you enjoy these works as much as I did.