BibleReading the Old and New Testament Changes Agnostic; Puts Him on “High Alert”
By Teresa Neumann

“While reading the Bible, I often felt as if I had finally lifted a veil from my eyes…”

Jewish by birth, agnostic by choice, blogger David Plotz has had a piece published in Slate explaining how he challenged himself to read the Old and New Testament from cover-to-cover, having never read the Bible before. Spoiler alert: It is both illuminating and sad. Though he shares numerous spiritual revelations throughout his “testimony” indicating, on one hand, that his heart has softened toward God, on the other hand he continues to struggle intellectually with the Old Testament God of Law and Justice.

No doubt someone, somewhere, is praying for Mr. Plotz.

All that said, for those open enough to accept Plotz’s spiritual/intellectual wranglings, a thorough read of his experience as reported in Slate is fascinating.

Some intriguing highlights include the following excerpts:

David PlotzBegins Plotz: “Maybe it doesn’t make sense for most of us to read the whole Bible. After all, there are so many difficult, repellent, confusing, and boring passages…After spending a year with the good book, I’ve become a full-on Bible thumper. Everyone should read it—all of it! …Let me explain why, in part by telling how reading the whole Bible has changed me.

“While reading the Bible, I often felt as if I had finally lifted a veil from my eyes. I learned that I hadn’t known the true nature of God’s conflict with Job…I realized I was ignorant of the story of Ruth. I was unaware of the radical theology of Ecclesiastes, the source of so many of our ideas about the good life. I didn’t know who Jezebel was, or why we loathe her, or why she is the painted lady, or even that she was married to Ahab.

“Not to sound like a theocratic crank, but I’m actually shocked that students aren’t compelled to read huge chunks of the Bible in high school and college, the way they must read Shakespeare or the Constitution or Mark Twain.”

“The Bible has brought me no closer to God, if that means either believing in a deity acting in the world or experiencing the transcendent. But perhaps I’m closer to God in the sense that the Bible has put me on high alert. I came to the Bible hoping to be inspired and awed. I have been, sometimes. But mostly I’ve ended up in a yearlong argument with God…Yet the argument itself represents a kind of belief, because it commits me to engage with God… Reading the Bible has given me a chance to start an argument with God about the most important questions there are, an argument that can last a lifetime.”

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