In the beginning, God created a world, and saw that it was good.
Here I begin a journey that I feel led to take: a journey into a large and difficult but profoundly important text that almost everyone knows about but few have read completely.
While I have long had "read the whole Bible" on my list of "things I'd like to do someday," it wasn't until earlier this month that I suddenly wanted to get started now. I am not even sure what exactly prompted this decision. While it is true that I am a little embarrassed to confess that I have never read through the whole Bible, it wasn't embarrassment that prompted me. It was something else. An awareness crystallized before me that the Bible shapes a lot more of everyone's thinking than people realize. I had the strong sense that if I read the entire Bible through, my understanding of history, literature, and current events would deepen.
Other times when I've tried to start reading the Bible, I did so because it was supposed to be spiritually illuminating. But I'd come across a passage like Genesis 19:6-8 and would slam the book shut in shocked disbelief and wonder how anyone could take such a book seriously! What is this supposed to mean? Why and how is this supposed to be spiritually illuminating? Well-intentioned friends and teachers would try to point me to interpretive materials that would help me to understand how the Bible as a whole was constructed.
So I took courses and studied interpretations and learned so much that I ended up mostly bypassing the actual reading of the text itself, except for recommended passages and the passages that get quoted and read aloud over and over again. I began almost to think that sticking with this "broken Bible" -- the Bible one can re-construct in one's own mind from the Bible stories one has heard and from the quotations that others do find spiritually illuminating -- was enough.
And maybe that "broken Bible" is enough for most people's spiritual journeys.
But now I feel called to face the Bible in its entirety. I will share my thoughts and questions along the way. Anyone who is interested can feel free to chime in with interpretations or additional observations and questions.
This feels like a journey -- into a different time and place, and into very different ways of thinking. I look forward to seeing what I will discover.