Personally, I love the Bible. All of it. When I read in the Old Testament, I can relate to the characters involved. Most of them have weaknesses, and I seem to have many of those weaknesses. Even the giants of Spiritual strength, I have emothions that let me imagine, like a child reading a 'Superman' comic strip, that I had those strengths and desires.
Some of the things that take place in the O.T. however, do not seem to make sense until you study and understand about the culture and laws of the people at that time and in that area. I have learned a lot about human beings and how to relate to them and to have compassion, and also the 'best' way to help others have happiness in their own lives.
There are, of course, many other reasons for studying the O.T., chief among them is the Saviors admonition to the Pharisees to "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have Eternal Life, and they are they which testify of Me.". Of course, one must remember that when Jesus spoke those words, the only scriptures available to search was the O.T. But that is another story.
The New Testament is so beautifully written, and the teachings of Jesus Christ so well proclaimed, that it is no wonder that even those who do not accept Him as the Son of God, still acknowledge that He was the 'Greatest Teacher' that ever lived. I find that statement somewhat hard to believe, because I personally would not ever call a liar the greatest teacher, and if they refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is who He said that He was, namely the Son of God, sent down from God to redeem mankind from their 'fallen State, then they are in essense calling Him a liar.
For many years when I thought I was 'Searching the Scriptures', however, I found that what I was doing was just looking for those passages, many times taken out of context, that would support some pre-conceived idea or belief that I held, and was really just looking for some way to 'prove' or support my belief, rather than to learn the true meaning of the revealed word of God. I believe that that is probably the reason that there are so many different 'interpretations' of the same verses of scripture.
Also, to gain real insight, one must use some intelligent power of reason as one reads. I do not, when I use the word 'intelligent', refer to the way that many lawyers use words to trick or trap people to go along with their way of thinking, or to twist the real intent out of the passages. What I am referring to is to question, for example, say, when Jesus is praying, whenever He is praying, whether it be in the Garden of Gethsemenee as recorded in John 17, or when it is on the Cross, pleading with His Father to 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.", just Who is Jesus praying to?
Well, that's enough for now. I really do apprecieate your comments and wish to thank those who have made comments in the past. And I look forward to more comments.