Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Good Book is a Good Book

I've made the same resolution for five years. Sure, there were other resolutions along with it, but I've made this one yearly for one simple reason- I've never completed it. Never even come close. I know, I know. Resolutions are stupid and no one resolves to do anything anymore when a new year rolls around. I kind of like them. Anyway, this big resolution is to read the Bible cover to cover. Like I said, I've tried before, but when they start begetting a bunch of people with weird names, my natural reaction is to fall asleep. And as a result, I've never made it out of Genesis... until this year. I'm about half way though Exodus. It's still in the early stages of course, but I'm happy that I've made it further than I ever have before.

It's not like I'm a complete stranger to the Bible. I've read certain books over the years, I know all the main stories, I always read the OT, NT, and Gospel readings during mass, and for about three years in college, one of my most common penances was to read a Psalm, especially Psalm 21. However, I think we all know that one of the most common criticisms of Catholics is that we don't know our way around the Bible. And it's true in my case, so I have to accept it. There are many Catholics that aren't in this group; my father has read the Bible several times over.

I'm finding that the Good Book is, in fact, a good book. And no,I'm not reading it simply as a literary text. I hope I can keep it up and read all of it within a year. If I did the math right, and you know that's a big if, I would only have to read about 3.5 pages a day to finish in a year. I know it will bring me closer to God and I'll be glad to say I've read it all. I probably will never be able to spout off Bible verses at will like some people. I've always imagined protestants who disagree with each other standing around just saying Bible verses back and forth to one another without actually saying any other words: "Well, Matthew 10:24." "Oh yeah, Luke 2:7." "But what about Colossians 1:15?" That was either in a movie or someone told me they actually witnessed this happening, but I've imagined disagreements happening like that ever since.

I'm reading the Bible in the morning and Great Expectations with Anne in the evening. Dickens has taken a while to get used to, but he doesn't grate on me nearly as much as he used to.


Anne said...

I'm glad you're finding Dickens bearable. I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying GE, too. Usually it takes me forever to get into his stuff but I'm already more or less hooked. Chapter 10 right now.

I was bummed that I missed your call but by the time I had a moment to call you back it was 8 my time, 9 yours. Didn't want to push it!! :o)

brnh said...

I'm a big fan of bible blogs if you find your enthusiasm lagging. It works best if you read blogs in a RSS reader nearly everyday. ESV.org has several different ones that walk you through the bible in a year so you could pick up where you left off in hard cover pretty easily.

Elisabeth said...

You can do it!!! I'll be your Bible cheerleader! (Wonder what THOSE outfits look like... I just have this picture of the LDS women from Utah in my head, but that doesn't make any senses... I'll make up my own outfit)
In all seriousness, I found the best way is to do it like you're doing: straight through, no exceptions. That way you can't skip Numbers or even some parts of Kings. Zzzzz....

John R.P. Russell said...

What translation are you reading?