Thursday, March 31, 2005

Some starting ideas

So, I have this pamphlet that a little old lady handed to Rebecca, who was too nice to scoff at her and push on down the street, like I did. And it just so happens to have a little passage about the Bible that might, uh, provoke some thoughts as you read along. From "How can I find God?" by Gerard Chrispin, Day One Publications:

Over forty authors wrote the Bible over a period of 1600 years. God directed and blended their distinctive inputs into this inspired, infallible and complete revelation. A single unified theme and no contradictions demonstrate its miraculous nature. Each of the 66 books, (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament), bears God's stamp of authority and authorship. Applying the law of probability to the Bible's fulfilled prophecies, the statistician, Gallup, claimed to have proved God mathematically.

Certain facts, unknown to man when the Bible was written, reveal its Author is all-knowing. Archeological discovery often underlines its historical accuracy. The Bible's deep insights into human nature indicate the mind of the master psychologist, who knows exactly how we "tick".

If we take this to be on one end of the spectrum, I have the impression that the book 101 Myths of the Bible is on the other end. I recommend taking a look at that link, and therefore offer this taste of what's there -- an excerpt from the author's description of the book:

101 Myths of the Bible examines many of the most famous stories in the Old Testament and shows the various influences that led to the writing. Among the subjects explored are the earlier versions of many biblical stories that were told among Israel's neighbors, the strong Egyptian influences on many of the biblical accounts, and the internal political and religious feuds in ancient Israel that led to various propagandistic versions of earlier history.

I don't know how controversial his views are, but I thought I'd put up some points of view of the Bible that caught my eye.

([Bob's obsession over copyright warning] By the way, both of the sources for the above quotes expressly forbid quotes like these.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Game plan?

There's a discussion on Bible versions over in the comments to the original post. In addition, I was thinking we should have some general scheme for what we plan to do. As the original post suggested, this is hopefully going to take what's good about English classes and book clubs, and leave out what's bad.

I kinda think sharing ideas and insights and building on them is good, but pressure to read X pages by next week, and fear of criticism are bad. The advantage of a blog is that it's semi-permanent; if you want to follow up on someone's idea, it'll be there to look at, even if you didn't read that part when they did.

One idea is that Gnomicon is a bit like building your own Cliff's notes -- if you want to keep some story straight, you can summarize it here. If someone sees a parallel, they can comment on your summary. If you just don't get some section (I tried to read Job once, and I think it's pretty morally confusing), you should post that. Then, if you think you get it later, post that.

Most of all, I think we shouldn't be afraid to post early and often. No one's going to be mean or call you a dummy. No one's going to judge you for wanting to talk about Genesis while they're reading Revelations. This is kind of a "Cheap, Fast, and Out of Control" idea for the blog.

Friday, March 25, 2005


I'm an official blogger now. Lay some preachin' on me baby.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


This is the Gnomicon, the reading group blog for the big works. You want knowledge, you want the "Great Books", you want Gnomicon. Remember the good day in English class, where you talked about a book and ideas got formed and developed collaboratively, and you left exhilirated and feeling like you understood the book, the class, the world, and yourself better than before? Gnomicon is for people who want that.

The first book: the Bible. We're going to read it, start to finish. (You're allowed to skip the boring parts). You got something to say about it? Put it up here.

Gnomicon may develop ground rules, to keep everyone happier. Probably, this will come about because someone gets upset. Until that happens, anything goes.