September 7th, 2009

reading list

Deuteronomy to Samuel

Oh, wow... it's been since December since I last updated on my audiobook tour of the Bible. I'm actually all the way to Psalms at this point, but I don't know if all my notes will make it all into a single post. But as soon as I get all my notes off my old Blackberry, I'll be able to donate it to some serviceman who needs it, since I already bought a new Tour. :)

Where did I leave off? Oh, Deuteronomy? I recorded some of these notes back in February on a trip to Atlanta, and then some later ones on other shorter trips.

Driving through southern part of state, all the Christian billboards make me want to put up my own. Especially the morbid ones that say "If you died today, where you would spend ETERNITY?" Yeah, really need a nice atheist one next to it. Do Christians not notice how morbid that is? Let's ask Ruth Bader Ginsberg where she will spend eternity.

On this trip I took a detour to Jim Beam for some good bourbon. :)

(I couldn't remember where I left off before, but when I started recording, I had thought I was near Numbers.)

I am suddenly wondering is if god really favoured all these people in the bible, the way he says he does, why did he let them die in the first place? (I am in Deuteronomy.) Don't you think he'd have had more success keeping the children of Israel in line if he'd let Moses live forever?

Now in Joshua...
Where are these 12 stones from crossing over the Jordan? Anyone know where any of these monuments are at? I've never heard of them before. A second circumcision? How can you do that? I mean, and if they've done it before, what are they circumcising now? And "circumcise all the people?" are they talking about women too? Or is this that misogyny thing again where women aren't real people and don't count for this sort of proclamation?

Going off to battle and I'm gonna cut off the tip of my penis. this Jericho thing, you know ark of covenant, and blow horns, and all is destroyed, this would be pretty convincing evidence that maybe there was a god. Why doesn't this happen anymore? And it doesn't seem smart to kill all the people and destroy all the property & animals. in a land of scarcity, that seems especially stupid. god is not an environmentalist.

Rended clothes and put dust on their heads. I don't get it. One person messed up and then god punished the children of israel by killing 30,000 men. Oh, yeah, that's a proportional response! great! overkill! And that was a "small ambush?" wouldn't 300 have been more impressive?

Carpenters were brought into bondage as payment for not destroying people and city... so if as is traditionally done in the ancient world, a son learns his father's trade, then Jesus isn't actually an Israelite at all?

I've totally forgetten the explanation for the half-tribe of Menassah... (sp?) it's getting irritating every time they mention it, though.

The genealogy and stuff, is part of the style and whatever, but there are sections of the bible that are about as exciting as the reading of a will.

Judges... I think this is about as far as I ever got trying to read it on paper.

Book of Mormon is claimed to be parallel cultural development. (Bullshit)

So woman is hiding a guy in her tent, but there is another guy in her tent? Ok, no, same guy. she takes a nail and hammers it through his testicles? (Okay, it's been six months, and I must be missing something on the audio...)

And did you know you can choose the best warriors by how they drink water? Seriously. If they raise the water to their lips with their hands, they are the best. So the bible claims. If they put lips all the way to the water, they aren't so hot.

One judge had 30 sons and 30 daughters? (and how many women did that take?)

Who's going to be a Nazarite? In the OT? Did Nazareth exist in the OT time period? or is this another Nazareth?

Ooh, another biblical billboard... last 5-6 commandments, the ones that even atheists can basically agree to, but they are a stand-in for saying the other 3-4 should also be the law. What is the point of posting this, though. These ones are not disputed.

How much is a "lock" of hair? How can Samson have "seven locks"? braids? curls? When they talk about knowing him, I'd really like to see that verb "know" in the context of Samson, and taking him into the house, and all that, relative to other uses of "know" in a sexual sense? Same verb? Or different? especially after dividing concubine into 12 pieces. Maybe they had reason for concern? The idea that killing a woman who was raped was a moral act is really beyond comprehension.

They are looking fora wife for this guy, and everyone wants to give him their daughters. So they go out and slay a town of Israelites who weren't obeying the rules. They kill everyone except 400 virgin girls, and they go to the guy and say, here, pick one. Again, I have a difficult time understanding how this could ever be even remotely perceived as moral. If this is what the bible calls family values, I vote no.

In Ruth now...

Israelitess? I think that's what my recording said... a remark about the sequence of adjectival endings. This insistence on the feminine form of words that don't have them in English produces really bizarre results.

The stories in the bible aren't really very representative, I mean, so many virgins... there was never a time when virgins made up that large a percentage of the population. they just covered it up. But it wouldn't be so bad if they were more like Greek myths. I mean, those were mostly fun, but biblical stories are so freaking obsequious.

"They that defied me shall be politely ???" clearly a line that made so little sense in the original that it can't even be reconstructed from my audio notes. in book of Samuel now.

They often talk about things that didn't happen "until this day". Are they talking about the day in which the story takes place? Or the day that the story was being written down in?

I don't get this. The ark of the convenant is stolen and it's being carried around. and people are dying, but why doesn't god just return it to where it belongs? rather than just leaving a trail of death? If he can do the one, why not the other?

I was on my 4th CD of this at this point (on that trip) and I was becoming brain dead.

This seems like a good place to break.

1 Samuel to 2 Samuel

Going to try to work on some more of my audio notes on the bible again. I mean, it's only been on my to-do list for 6 months...

Oh, at this point in my trip, I'd seen as much of the Grand Ole Oprey as I'd seen of Disneyland... which is to say I drove past it on the freeway. :)

"To obey is better than sacrifice." Yeah, that's the kind of sentiment we *love* from the bible. </sarcasm> Obeying is not really better than anything.

So god sent a bad spirit to Samuel, after he took the good spirit out of him? These stories seem to be told out of order.

That's so arrogant. How dare they challenge the living god?!!! that right there is enough to strangle someone over, god in particular.

This relationship between David and Jonathan is very interesting. Read between the lines. It sounds very, slash.

So, David goes out and slays all these people to impress his new father-in-law and he brings back their foreskins. That's so sick. I mean, think about this visually for a second. As David's father-in-law, I think I would assume I had just married my daughter to a sadist. And you can't even mount it on a wall.

Samuel prophesied for David by laying down nake for two days? To me, that sounds totally fucked insane.

I find it amusing they are talking about David in hiding. Saul noticed he wasn't there, so assumed he was unclean. But the second day, he figured he'd ask. Could this be the source of you have to wait 24-hours after a disappearance before the police will look for them? (I'm only half kidding here.)

When David leave, that sounds extremely slash with Jonathan. He dies, and David says "blessed be the Lord." I have a problem with that sentiment.

There were people in the bible cavorting/conversing with the spirits of the dead. Talking to spirits is Biblical. Samuel came up out of the grave and talked to Saul. So why has the church been trying to kill people for witches for doing the same? I mean, if it works, and god allowed it with his chosen people...

So David killed the Phillistine champion, and then David went and hid among the Phillistines, and they said there was nothing wrong with him. They liked him. But, why would they take him in if by killing their champion he made them slaves to the Israelites?

This plot really needs some logic, because it doesn't make any sense.

The number of men David seems to have following him seems to keep changing, and growing. So we also have suicide in the bible, by Saul, who was annointed by god. So, why does the Church think it's so sinister and ungodly if it's in the Bible, and not listed as a sin (yet)? Mercy killing is bad--the guy who came upon Saul's failed suicide attempt and put him out of his misery--David made sure that he was killed, because he killed Saul anyway who was going to die a horrible, agonizing death if left alone. Logic?

Jonathan is dead and David is still lamenting it, and talking about his love, and how it surpassed that of any woman... yeah, the slash continues.

Another common thing, especially in 2 Samuel, every time something bad happens, even though they've ordered it, they finish the dirty deed, and say "I will be held blameless in the eyes of the lord" making an excuse for why they killed someone or something. Doesn't that sound like guilt?

Aside: isn't it a shame that Chatanooga has a better freeway system than Memphis?

These characters sound petty and petulant. They are wronged, and then thing they have the right to wrong ten times as much in return. They sound like children throwing a temper tantrum.

This story about a Amon and Anar?....this is sick. He rapes her and casts her out knowing that she's probably going to get killed for it. David is comforted that is son is killed because he was a rapist? he wouldn't punish him himself, but he was glad that he was dead.

This reminds me an awful lot of Orestes.

If you are trying to get someone's attention and they ignore you, it's perfectly acceptable to set their entire field on fire? How many people are they sending to death by starvation by doing that? But that's okay, because I need your attention.

The people in hungry? Translation?

this is 2 Samuel, but Samuel is hardly in it. And David has some very cheeky servants. They do a lot of things that are unmotivated. They don't make sense. David left 10 concubines in charge of the house while he was gone and when he got back, he put them all away to live out their lives in widowhood... why? and even if he did do it, why mention it? What is the point?

I haven't that many religious billboards in Tennessee or Georgia, compared to Ohio and Kentucky.

Oh, found one, something about marriage... missed it, though. Probably encouraging teen marriage or something equally dumb.

At this point in my notes, I'd arrived at my destination in Atlanta, so it's a good place for a break.