|Tablets from the Enuma Elish, the ancient Babylonian creation myth.|
I have been a long-time fan of Evid3nc3's video series on his de-conversion from evangelical Christianity.
His latest installment, derived from his reading of Karen Armstrong's A History of God, talks about the history of the monotheistic god, Israel's polytheistic past, and the ongoing construction and re-construction of the Bible.
The narrative here touches on several themes that have come up in my series on James Kugel's How to Read the Bible. One theme is that we can look outside the Bible and see how its contents have many historical connections and sources. Another theme that while the Bible on its own is fairly dry, its history and evolution is exceedingly interesting. A third theme goes to the question that Kugel asks, which I'll paraphrase as what do we do with the Bible once we know (and perhaps believe) the hypotheses about its origins and development? Do we use it as the basis of religious worship and daily living? Do we consider it alongside other religious works of other cultures, that is, as interesting and valued but not as communicating a special truth about the nature of the universe?
Like Evid3nc3, I felt the second path was probably correct. Once I realized and accepted that it was unreasonable to take the Bible seriously as an authority on the nature of the universe and my personal obligations in the world...well, it became impossible to look at Judaism or religious figures the same way as before.
Related to the above video is another from earlier in Evid3nc3's series.