I’ve decided to start a series of blog posts where I read through the gospels (i.e. the first four books of the New Testament of the Christian Bible), with an eye towards trying to figure out what I think of the morality therein. To be completely honest, I have very little idea why I’m doing this; it’s an idea that’s been floating around in the back of my head for a couple of years now, and my brain seems to have decided that now is the time for it to go into practice. (The fact that it’s Christmas is sheer coincidence.) I apologize to those of you who are here for video game or programming material and aren’t interested in this; the project will, for better or for worse, probably lead to a fair number of posts, but they’ll stop soon enough, and they’ll all be clearly labeled in the subject.

Some background that may (or may not!) help explain the doubtless curious approach that I take here: I’m an atheist, and my parents didn’t go to church when I was growing up, either. And I grew up in a college town; many of my friends were Christian, but many weren’t, and in general I don’t remember religion as being a big theme. I actually have a bunch of books on various religious topics lying around the house, but relatively few of them are Christian: there are a lot more books on Buddhism (I even took a couple of years of Pali courses in college) and Taoism than on Christianity. The flip side, of course, is that I live in a country where Christians are dominant, so I can’t avoid picking up some amount through osmosis. (And some more through reading, of course.) Still, my ignorance on this subject is vast; I apologize in advance to Christians reading this who feel that I am mischaracterizing the Bible, as I surely will frequently do.

I’m mostly reading Richmond Lattimore’s translation, though when I quote here I’ll generally grab the King James version for familiarity.

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