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Simply ... should I read the bible?

My first time posting here. I didn't see a similar thread, so I'm hoping this is a conversation worthy of some debate.

I was not raised in a religious household. Neither of my parents are religious, but not 'overly' atheist either (in the sense that I just don't remember any conversations about religion etc throughout my childhood). So I arrived at my current beliefs without any real guidance, other than what was covered in school. Hence, left to my own logic and reason, I fairly predictably arrived at atheism.

So, that being the case, I have never read the bible. Obviously I'm aware of some of the key messages contained within it, but my knowledge of its content is very limited. Part of me feels that it's something I should read, from a sort 'know your enemy' perspective, and also, since I spend a lot of my time reading books like Richard's, Hitchens' etc, I wonder if in the interest of balance it's only fair that I read up on the 'other side' of the argument.

However, that then also opens up the argument that surely I should be familiar with ALL religious books etc, as it's not like Christianity is the only option (although admittedly, the discussions/debates/arguments/fist fights I have over the matter tend to always be with Christians).

I'd just be interested in anyone's thoughts, is the Bible 'recommended reading'?

P.S I was joking about the fist fights. Kind of...


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