I’m just a few pages in, although I’m reading around in it at the same time. Thought for the moment: the cultural context makes all the difference – – the fish doesn’t realize it lives in water. We don’t realize how much of the Old and New Testaments we live “in.” Not just religion, something similar could be said for Shakespeare. But we learn or pick up bits and pieces of the Bible throughout our lives – – so, for example, we know we don’t have to make sense of those begats, but we all encounter the Ten Commandments somewhere along the line.
Picking up the Koran as a text it all has the same “tone” for me. I know that’s not how it functions in the lives of people who have known it from the cradle. And I also know it will never be an intimate element/cultural touchstone of my life in the way the Bible is. I’m not a church-goer, more of a cultural Christian who grew up knowing hymns, Bible stories, some prayers and Psalms and later a whole realm of art historical reference.