Reading the Bible Doesn’t Tell Us Much about Christianity
… or so I tell my undergraduates. Imagine passing out copies of the US constitution to tourists coming off international flights. It’s not a tourist guide, and it won’t be helpful to them.
Similarly, just reading the Bible won’t tell us much at all about contemporary Christian communities, their behaviors, how they use the Bible, and so on.
Reading the Bible is like looking at a pile of legos—looking at the pile won’t tell us what people are building out of the legos.
I’d say the same goes for any religions tradition with a sacred text.