March 18, 2014

The Whole Bible

I read the Bible. I started with Genesis. I ended with Revelations. I skipped the Apocrypha.

Before I started this little project I had previously read no more than a few verses at a time. I fully admit, it was a very few verses indeed. For years I had a hand-me-down Bible from my Mom. The front had an illustration with little Golden-book style children sitting at Jesus’s feet. I read the first few lines of Genesis a few times and that was about it. I probably wouldn’t have read it at all if it weren’t for my book project. I’m sure there are those that wince at the fact that I started reading the Bible to check off an item on a list, but I did read it, and truly, I don’t think God minds. This time around I went with the black, leatherette version with my maiden name embossed in gold on it. Also a gift from Mom.

More importantly, for the most part I enjoyed reading the Bible. Now if anyone gets mad at the “for the most part,” I suspect you’ve perhaps not read this whole thing. There are some parts that are quite tedious, especially in the Old Testament. I understand that the measurements for temples were important and that the head counts for the tribes were important. I am no scholar, but I definitely had the feeling that the Old Testament, in its day, served not only as a religious text, but also as a law book, a cultural rule book, and a history book. That’s a lot to expect from one book. It can’t all be fire and brimstone and manna from heaven.

It may come as no surprise that I most enjoyed the Gospels (the books in the New Testaments that talk about Jesus’s life). I respond better to stories, and it truly is an amazing story. It left me feeling lighter and more hopeful after I read it. I admired Jesus’s patience. I barely have patience to explain things as complicated as tying shoe laces to my four-year-old, let alone the concept of grace. Of course entire books are written on the subject of grace alone, and I will leave it to those much better suited to it.

Now that I’ve come to the end of it, I rather miss my Bible reading time. For a few seconds I wondered if I shouldn’t just start again at the beginning. I quickly thought better of that. But I have yet to figure out a coherent plan. For the moment, I’m going to play it by ear and see where life takes me. I never thought it would take me here, after all, and things have turned out pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo for finishing! After reading the Bible religiously my whole life and then stopping because it represented compulsion in my life (which is kind of missing the point), I've just recently started reading it again in a devotional-type way. Jesus is the best.


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