Shocked to learn that the Bible contains stories of murder and deceit, Slate Deputy Editor David Plotz resolves to read the Bible “fresh” – and blog about it.
My goal is pretty simple. I want to find out what happens when an ignorant person actually reads the book on which his religion is based. I think I’m in the same position as many other lazy but faithful people (Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus). I love Judaism; I love (most of) the lessons it has taught me about how to live in the world; and yet I realized I am fundamentally ignorant about its foundation, its essential document. So, what will happen if I approach my Bible empty, unmediated by teachers or rabbis or parents? What will delight and horrify me? How will the Bible relate to the religion I practice, and the lessons I thought I learned in synagogue and Hebrew School?
He boasts of his intention to eschew most commentary and to rely on translations such as the King James version (although to his credit he’s also using the Conservative Movement’s Etz Hayim). What’s odd is that this exegesis will be appearing on Slate and not, say, on a MySpace blog.