Dude reading entire Bible in 100 days, tumblogging neat stuff he finds

A Tumblog of greatness: Craig Kanalley decided that reading the entire Bible, cover to cover, would be an interesting challenge. He has committed to doing that within 100 days, and he's documenting interesting stuff he finds here. Update: David Plotz of Slate also did something like this in 2006. (via @producermatthew, thanks Gastronaut!)


  1. Slogged through that crap in my youth as an exercise, but admittedly skimmed large portions that seemed to have little relevance to anything but the amateur genealogist cum blogger of yesteryear (Tom begot Harry begot Dick).

    This person is providing a valuable public service, hope he contrasts the amount he reads vs the amount he finds interesting.

    I’m glad some people like the bible, it’s good to like something.

    1.  I just wish people who like the bible wouldn’t kill or otherwise persecute people who don’t like the bible.

  2. David Plotz of Slate did this a few years ago, although in macroblogging fashion.  See: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/blogging_the_bible/2006/05/blogging_the_bible.html

  3. Where are all these “people who like the bible” who keep going around killing and persecuting people? I keep seeing these posts about all this persecution and killing being done by these “people who like the bible.” Funny, because Jesus never hurt anybody. Seriously.

    1. Ah, the Jesus – He beat up a few Jews who were pimpin’ their wears in the temple… he killed a fig tree… and then there’s the apocrypha that covers the 30 ODD YEARS OR SO that are left out of the Bible regarding his life…

  4. Jeez, the Bible is such a dry read anyway. 

    For a book who’s fans tout it as “the greatest story ever told” it’s a pretty poorly assembled tome. You’d be better off reading some Lovecraft instead… 

    1. Once you realize that ‘feet’ is a euphemism for crotch, all those parts about “shaved off the hair from off of his feet” put some of those biblical POW stories in a whole new light.

    2.  A great story can still be told badly – just watch any Hollywood remake to see how.

      I’ve always felt the biggest problem for the bible’s credibility as a divinely inspired document was that the quality of the storytelling is so variable.  I mean, Jonah’s a classic epic fable.  But then you get fifty pages of genealogy and food service industry regulation.  Anything that was genuinely the word of god ought to need less copy editing.

  5. 100 days!?!?! holy cow. Me and some other atheists spent 2011 reading the Bible, and even taking a whole year its quite a bit of work.

    I have kind of a nerdy appreciation for the Old Testament- at least the Torah and Deuteronomical Histories (Joshua to Kings, minus Ruth). After that, it’s quite spotty. The whole thing is basically a giant anthology of various very old religious and nationalistic pseudohistorical writings from the Israelites, probably mostly post-exilic. (After they got kicked out by the Babylonians.) Interesting if you like that sort of thing, but it’s not a coherent object in itself.

    The New Testament I have even less respect for. Four fictional biographies, a bunch of letters, and an acid trip. Big whoop.

    Judges is fun. I love Judges.

    The important thing to remember is that much of modern Judaism and Christianity is not found anywhere in the Bible- the Bible is definitely not a “recipe” for either faith. Every denomination does a massive bit of cherrypicking what they like from it. I find the morals in the Bible abhorrent (slavery, misogyny, and genocidal xenophobia and constant) but some modern faiths have done an okay job selectively discarding that stuff. (Why they bother, and don’t just dump the whole thing, I don’t know.)

    1. And don’t forget Rape, pedophilia and incest (I never read in an unexpurgated version of the family bible I occupying a shelf on my family’s bookshelf,  that Mary ever consented to being impregnated by god…. and it is commonly known that Mary was only 13 when she got pregnant…in today’s terms, that is rape and child molestation…even in West Virginia and Arkansas! And tell me…if Adam and Eve were the only two people….and they only had sons…where did the rest of us come from? Was Eve the first Smurfette? Or again…When Noah finally landed his yacht on the top of the mountain, with only himself, his wife, his sons and their wives the only living humans on earth…there must have been intermingling between gene-pools going on…)

        1. There was definitely some sort of nasal ejaculation here as well. Perhaps a classic retelling of the Olde Testament with Smurfs is in order? 

          When that plague of locusts hits they’ll be beggin’ for the likes of Gargamel and Azreal!

    2. part this


      part something else I’ll  not get into for brevity sake

    3. Bible reading atheist here.   Job’s my favourite, but I also get a good laugh from Leviticus.

      Craig Kanalley isn’t critically reading the Bible, he’s just reprinting quotes he finds interesting.  Nothing very analytical or challenging about it.

      His first tweet is Genesis 2:18 “The Lord God also said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. Let us make a helper for him similar to himself.”, but he totally missed the contradictory, Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

      So already he’s not really thinking too deeply about what he’s reading and seeing all the paradoxes and contradictions.  100 days won’t be enough time to totally process and think about it so he’s just cherry picking the usual platitudes.

      He totally missed my favourite “Dad of the Year” quote  Genesis 19:8
      “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”

      1. Three “amens” for that paragon of virtuousness, Lot!

        You know what I find profoundly disturbing?  Modern dogma in fundamentalist circles predicates that the Lot story is about homosexuality, but it’s not, so say the religious moderates, it’s about hospitality.
        Yet an essential part of Lot’s hospitality was throwing out his young, virginal, basically worthless daughters as carrion to the mindless salivating zombies.

        In either interpretation, uppercase and bold, WTF?

        And let’s not start about Lot’s wife turning into a salt pillar, just for the unpardonable sin of glancing back in an impulse of completely justifiable curiosity.

      2.  You got it all wrong. This isn’t exemplifying what a creepy parent he is. This is exemplifying what a fabulous host he is.

        My favorite passage is the Jephthah episode.  Guy wants to win a battle. Guy “bargains” with Yahweh. Of his own accord, he promises to sacrifice whomever first comes through his house’s door to greet him, if God will just let him win this battle (what could go wrong?). Guy wins battle. Guy goes home. Oops! His only begotten daughter walks through that door to greet him. :picardfacepalm: With regret, guy kills daughter (no bargaining here?).  Well, a promise is a promise. Anyway, it gives an insight into what an all-loving, all-knowing god wants: he’ll abet you murdering people, but you really should murder your family, too.

        1.  Job *is* pretty humorous. Yahweh shits all over Job just to win a bet with Satan. It’s pretty much proof that the Holy Babble is just that.

      3. That was my sense too: the quoted snippets are clearly cherry-picked.  A significant proportion of the Bible is violent, boring, or promoting unethical/immoral behavior (often all three together).

      4.  Actually, there is no contradiction in Genesis regarding the creation of hoomons.

        There are many gods, called the Elohim (or some such, based on various translations) who created the universe, including mankind. It was only after that when Yahweh, aka The Lord God and simply one of the Elohim, decided to take a corner of Missouri (according to some accounts), turned it into the Garden of Eden, and made his own little hoomans known as Adam and Steve, er… sorry, Adam and Eve.

        It’s the descendants of Adam and Eve who are the chosen people of Yahweh and the rest of us don’t have to give a flying fuck about any of the drivel in the Holy Babble.

        Further evidence for the panoply of gods known as the Elohim can be found in Yahweh’s commandment that states, “Thou shalt have no other gods *before* me” (emphasis added).

    4. I can’t imagine an atheist reading the Bible and not finding Ecclesiastes the best book.

      Anyway, I find the incredibly few bits Craig picked out of his readings to be the least interesting parts of the Bible – they are all the parts that are well known and least instructive or educational.

      1. They’re parts that most speak to me.. that I personally find most interesting, @boingboing-98512e599eadddf308d4dfeb48f98005:disqus – and I state this in the intro. That’s all. They may not speak to you but I find them all very interesting, and each day after reading 1% of The Bible I make (the sometimes difficult) choice of which verse to highlight in the blog (though I highlight many, many verses in my iPad).

  6. 100 days to plow through the Bible?  Dude, speed reading doesn’t count!

    Joking aside, some obscure books in there are worth a gander to me, stuff like Joshua, Judges and Ruth, Ezra and Esther.  The Minor Prophets as well.  The Songs Of Solomon is ancient, weird sexiness.  The laws and codes of conduct in Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy are also weirdness itself.

    But wait till you get to Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, that could REALLY slow you down a bit, it gets more than a bit repetitious.
    If you noticed I only mentioned the Old Testament, it’s because Paul takes up most of the New Testament, and I don’t much care for the man.  In my view, the New Testament should have been The Gospels and THAT’S IT.  This would have saved a whole lot of people a whole lot of grief throughout the ages.

    Now here’s a true blue, serious question:  which version, Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox?

    One last thing, unrelated but in a similar vein and pretty damned cool, a guy did a drawing for every page of Moby Dick, I may have originally read about it here, but can’t remember.  Anyway, here’s the link, the guy is now tackling Joseph Conrad’s “Heart Of Darkness”.


    1. The way I look at it @niktemadur:disqus is one read through first… Then I can go back and re-read closer. BTW it is a Catholic Bible, mention that in the intro, and reading on an iPad.

  7. I read the Bible, cover the cover, in less than a month. Isn’t really that hard, though of course, I wasn’t blogging about it.

    If it did, it would have been about how horrendous that monstrous book is and how no one except perhaps a historian should ever read it again.

  8. When I was 12 I talked to the local Reverend about my doubts about God.
    He told me a group of famous atheists read the Bible all the way through to debunk it; at the end they all became Christian.

    I made a private vow to never touch that stuff again.

  9. Deuteronomy 23:12-14King James Version (KJV)
    12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:
    13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:
    14 For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give
    up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

      1. Ezekiel 23:20

        New International Version (NIV)
        20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

  10. Attempted this once, a long time ago, when I still naively operated under the assumption religion held some secret to life, what a complete waste of time. Don’t remember making it out of Genesis. What an incredibly boring and stupid book.

    After some research, talking to the clergy of the Big 3, and a few years spent as a Zen Buddhist, I finally realized the worst thing religions do is make children believe religions have the answer. Because, in the end, the only thing believers care about is that we believe something, anything.

    Not believing in the supernatural really freaks them out. If you believe in something, they have something to work with, but if you find the entirety of the supernatural or metaphysical fantasy to be nothing more than a fantasy, they are at a complete loss as to how to deal with you. Other than freaking out and screaming unintelligible slurs and condemnation.

    Not believing anything, threatens everything they believe.

    This is why they like to insist that Atheism is a religion, it just makes it easier to understand.

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