I’ve decided to read the Bible. Not because I think I’m going to find some great hidden meaning or it’s going to save my soul from an eternity in torment. No, I’m reading it because I want to. I grew up attending Catholic schools from Kindergarten through Senior year and am well acquainted with the New Testament and the more popular Old Testament stories, but I’ve never actually read the Bible from cover to cover. A few people over the years have also told me, “The only book you have to read is the Bible,” which I disagree with, but to each his/her own. So I’ve started reading it.
The first thing I had to do was pick a Bible. I have a King James Version that I picked from a hotel room in downtown Indianapolis in 2013, but I really didn’t want to read the scriptural style all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Don’t get me wrong, the writing style of the KJV is great for oral presentation; it adds a bit of flair, but it’s not practical for casual reading. I did some Googling and found that a majority of scholars and theologians recommend the New Revised Standard Version. It’s written in an accessible style that is much easier to read. So, there we have it, the NRSV is my bible of choice. I got it for the Kindle for eight bucks.
The next thing I got was the Oxford Bible Commentary. That’s because I lied in the first sentence on this blog. I did not decide to read the Bible. Anyone can sit down, read from cover to cover, set it down and say, “I read the Bible.” I decided to understand the Bible as best I could. So, the Oxford Bible Commentary gives excellent insight into the meaning of the passages. That’s what I’m trying to learn. I’m also using Bible Gateway in order to cross reference other versions of the Bible.
This is not going to be a quick and simple project that will take a few weeks. First off, I have a day job that I enjoy and keeps me busy during the day. Second, I have a girlfriend that I enjoy spending time with, but who is also in full support of this project. Third, I am reading and writing at the same time. Sometimes even rereading to get the full meaning of the passage. So this will take a while.
Join me won’t you? I plan to make this an informed journey with a bit of humor, snark, and sarcasm. I welcome CIVIL discussion and feedback. Did I get something wrong? Please tell me. The only thing I don’t want to hear is that I’m reading it “the wrong way.” It’s a book first and foremost. It’s reverence comes not from the words on the pages, but from the number of people who claim to believe in it.