I just read on the Society of Biblical Literature facebook page about a proposal for Secular Biblical Studies offering a link to the site which purports to organize such a group of ‘Biblical scholars’ for reading the Bible in a “non-religious” manner. The idea is that the Bible should be studied without any religious reading or understanding as presuppositional. Is that even possible? Is there any way for ANYONE to be “non-religious” about anything? However, the site offers to organize a group to challenge the Evangelical Theological Society (and even the sub-heading of the blog includes the notion of “atheism”). Ah…so the agenda is not to read the Bible in a “non-religious” manner, but in an anti-Christian manner. But this sort of a direct proposal would be ridiculed as opposed to trying to read the Bible in a very naturalistic manner (which sounds very ‘scholarly’). Is it possible that an ‘atheistic’ reading of the Bible will be “non-religious”? Or will it simply offer its own godless reading where man sits as the arbiter of truth and revelation? Further, what is the point? Why would ‘Biblical scholars’ (or anyone else for that matter) want to “non-religously” read the Scriptures that claim to be the words of the Lord demanding faith from humanity?
What do you think? Can there be any “non-religious” reading of the Bible? Or should there even be an attempt to do so?
Of course it is impossible to read the Bible from a "non-religious" point of view. All people are naturally religious. It sounds like what they are instead trying to do is to read the Bible from a "different religion" point of view- whether that religion be humanism, secularism, atheism, agnosticism, etc.
reading the Bible from a natualistic point of view authomatically rules out "magical thinking" and therefore removes miracles and other things outside of repeatable experiences from the equation. Thus, it removes God from the equation, and angels, and creation, and healing, and even salvation.