a reply to: randyvs
Just out of respect of the back and forth we've had, I'll give a quick, incomplete run down:
- I was a Christian from "birth" (because my parents were) through about age 20, active in AWANA (my dad started and ran the program for our Baptist
church) as young child for multiple years
- I attended many bible studies and church camps as a youth and young teenager
- I gave more than one "testimony" at bible studies and church services, doing extensive research to find stories and verses in the bible I could cite
while doing so
- I married a Christian woman when I was 23, but at that point, I had started walking away from the supernatural side of religion because I had begun
pretty extensive research into the history of religions, the origins of them, the similarities between them, alternative theories as to what they
actually discuss, etc.
- I've read books written by Creationists, fundamentalist Christians, atheists, biblical scholars
- I've watched courses on biblical study (mostly the free ones online from Yale) and many lectures and debates concerning the bible and those that are
pro and con the supernatural aspects of it, whether its a literal document, why some books were chosen and others discarded, etc.
- I attend church fairly regularly with my wife (because it makes her feel better to be there with me--I think it's to help with the kids), although
certainly not on a weekly basis.
- I discuss and debate the bible and the history of it with my wife
- I actually read the bible from time to time, although mostly to keep brushed up on the more well known stories, remind myself of the discrepancies
contained within, or to use certain stories as a way to teach things to my son (much like I would use the story of the tortoise and the hare)
I could go on and on, but that's enough boredom. It's been a long time since I've done any in-depth formal bible study, but that's because most of
them don't deal with what I'm interest in (the historicity and origins of the stories)--regardless, I'm better-versed in the bible and its stories and
theories of its meaning than nearly any Christian with whom I discuss it, and I live in part of the bible belt.
Anyhoo, hopefully that helps you understand--whether or not it lives up to your expectations of what 'studying the bible' means will wait to be seen,
but honestly, that's not my concern nor will it change anything I do.