Friday, April 25, 2014

Bible Challenge

I just finished reading Genesis!

I gave myself a read-the-Bible-in-a-Year challenge starting April 2 and so far I have read Genesis, Matthew, Psalms 1-25 and 1 John. I have never read the entire Bible (although I have read Genesis and Matthew before). Usually I start in Genesis and then then lose interest around Leviticus or Deuteronomy. This time I have started following Meg Hunter-Kilmer's day by day schedule, so I'm hoping that will help me pace through the painfully boring parts (sorry, Leviticus and Deuteronomy!).

So far I have really enjoyed it. I like the way it goes in order through the Old Testament books, New Testament books, Psalms, Proverbs, etc. I do get bogged down if I do only Old Testament so I'm happy to report that this schedule always includes readings from the Gospels to accompany them.

My relationship with the Bible has been shaky throughout my life. My parents had a New Testament, but it was stored in a closet and as far as I know no one ever opened it. We didn't go to church, though we were nominally Christian. I didn't have much exposure to the Bible, but I knew it was important. One Christmas my aunt gave my brothers and I a copy of the New Catholic Picture Bible. I remember reading it aloud to my brothers every night for a time, since I was worried about their salvation and was concerned that my parents weren't teaching them about God. I don't know when that ended, but boy did it!

As a teenager I spent a fair amount of time perusing the Skeptic's Annotated Bible website mocking the things that those idiotic Christians believe. I had one of those little Gideon Bibles that they hand out for free and I would make little notes in it any time I found something supposedly sexist, absurd, unscientific, etc.

Now I have a King James Bible (dusty), New International Version (lost and forsaken), English Standard Version (exiled to the parents' house), RSV Study New Testament (meh), and the New American Bible that they sell for $8 that I bought when investigating Catholicism which is well-loved and bears the marks of many days. My NAB is fat, cheap and happy. Indeed. Next time I buy a Bible I'd like it to not be full of footnotes to save on bulk. Just a thought.

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