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.