11. Passages that are a waste of brain space and paper.
Some years ago I worked on a website called Wisdom Commons – a library of timeless quotes and stories from many traditions.
I had the idea that I would go through the Bible and pull out bits that were relevant – so I started reading.
What I found was that most of the Bible was neither horrible nor inspiring.
It was simply dull and irrelevant: long genealogies written by men obsessed with racial purity – archaic stories about ancient squabbles over real estate and women – arcane rituals aimed at pleasing a volatile deity – folk medicine practices involving mandrakes and dove’s blood – superstition that equated cleanliness with spiritual purity and misfortune with divine disfavor; outdated insider politics.
On top of that it was badly written – with some stories garbled and others repeated – though rarely in complete agreement about the facts.
The Bible’s supposed author seemed like a psychological mess and I found myself irritated.