Really Sciency

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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A year of living Biblically

A.J. Jacobs is the senior editor at Esquire magazine. A few years ago he decided to follow the rules of the Bible to the letter.

Jacobs says there are more than 700 rules in the Bible. He followed as many as possible, as literally as possible.

He wrote an entertaining book about it, which often shows the absurdity of religious dictates. It asks “How to justify the laws about stoning homosexuals? Or smashing idols? Or sacrificing oxen? And how do you follow those in modern-day Manhattan?”

And surprise, surprise, “I found that fundamentalists may claim to take the Bible literally, but they actually just pick and choose certain rules to follow. By taking fundamentalism extreme, I found that literalism is not the best way to interpret the Bible. “

It appears that the fundamentalists are only as fundamental as it suits them.

However if you really believe in a particular brand of religion or if you believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible you should follow all the rules as best as you can or risk being called a hypocrite.

How many of those claiming to believe in the Bible come close to doing what this man did? How many would even want to?

What is interesting is that although he didn’t do this out of faith, but as a project which he turned into a book so I'm sure it was for financial reasons, he admitted to having spiritual feelings while praying. He is still an agnostic but a more spiritual one!