Here is some 'wisdom' from an article by Jason Lovelace called, "How to Properly Read the Bible."
" How,.. can someone read the Bible and understand?
"We Must Understand What the Bible Is."
"First and foremost, the Bible is a love letter. "
"..the Bible is food for the spirit, and it is living water for the soul. The Bible is living! It is alive!"
"The Bible is definitely a tool, and a useful one."
"We need to remember that the Bible is a weapon, and we must use it carefully."
"Ask God to help you understand the Bible, and he will help you."
"People make the Bible difficult when they try without help. If we will take our time, ask God to help us understand, and get to know God through the Gospels, we can understand the Bible the way God wants us to. Let us pray."
I will NEVER understand how someone is supposed to believe the entire Bible before having 'cracked' the Bible.
Whether you are going to believe it or not is not even considered in Mr. Lovelace's little essay here. Believing that there is a God is taken for granted. Believing that there is a Holy Ghost is taken for granted and, if you read the essay from the beginning there are four or five quotes FROM the Bible giving us hints on how to read it.
I get the feeling that if I sincerely asked how, as an atheist, I could try to understand the Bible(and perhaps come to believe it's 'truths'), Mr. Lovelace would have to tell me that I ought to stop being an atheist first.
This is confusing. I cannot imagine getting any kind of coherent reply from a Creationist if I invited them to read, "Origin of species.", by first believing that Darwin's conclusions were correct!
The Creationist would think me insane!
This is why I think that the entire system of 'learning the Bible' sets out as confusion technique. To be a 'decent' client for Mr. Lovelace's 'how to' technique, one would either have to have taken the notion of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as a 'given' from as far back as you could remember OR be vulnerable and/or searching for 'the TRUTH' to escape a drug/alcohol/food addiction to be able to read and understand the Bible from the point of view that you already believe it.
I CAN empathize with those who rebelled against mom, dad and the kind pastor's "hokey" beliefs only to hit a void in their life and come back 'home' and declare that their 'atheism' was a DAMNED LIE.
Such a person might go further and declare that they tried to believe in evolution but he/she was busy drinking and cavorting to pay much attention and declare THAT just another belief system, one which, since he/she has 'seen the LIGHT' was just 'wrong thinking'.
It is easy to see how mom, dad, the pastor and even the prodigal child would be ever so pleased with themselves and all that college money wasted would be forgotten, forgiven, or at least considered a pay-backable loan while the prodigal child returned to the fold of his father's business or a simpler life of 'toiling the soil'(or any equivalent) sure in the knowledge that that higher learning stuff was the Devil's work and those colleges and universities(at least the non-theological ones) were the Devil's playgrounds.
"The Prodigal Son" is even a template for this very act of homecoming by the kid who thought that he/she was smarter than shit.
Failure is seen as a learning process here. Failure is, in fact, SUCCESS!
Ignorance is bliss!
The outside world is cruel, inasmuchas they expect you to LEARN difficult concepts and police yourself of the tendency to procrastinate, chase the girls/boys, party hearty etc. etc.
I CAN empathize with intelligent kids who got sidetracked and had to go home to mommy and daddy with their tails between their legs blaming everyone and everything BUT themselves for their failure.