Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bible Challenge

My church is taking part in the Bible Challenge. The goal is to read the entire Bible in one year. This means reading three chapters of the old testament, one psalm, and one chapter of the new testament every day. (There isn't any assigned reading on Sunday, since you get to hear the Word in church.)

As a child, I attended a Baptist church. I remember doing a lot of "Bible drills," where we would have races to see who could be the first to find a given Bible verse. I was pretty good - I won two Bibles! I also memorized a lot of verses.

In high school, my English class read the book of Job one year. (I've always wondered - was Job required reading back then, or was it particular to my advanced English class?)

As an adult, every once in a while I would make noises about wanting to read the Bible. But I've always read only what was necessary for church, or to teach my Sunday School lesson. So I've taken up the challenge. Actually, I started October 17th. I'm using the New International Version, rather than King James, because it's so much easier to read.

I've been surprised at how much reading the Bible has given me to think about. The old testament, at least Genesis, is filled with a lot of polygamy and slavery and sex. How did I miss that before? Abraham lies and says that his wife is his sister, so she is given to the king as his harem slave. Later, he has a child by her slave -- it's a regular soap opera! The more I read, though, the more layers I'm finding. I'm questioning things I was sure about, but I'm becoming surer in my faith.

  • Genesis (OT) - lots of geneology, that I tended to skip over quickly. Noah's story surprised me, so did the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Parts of this book left me questioning my view of God (Tower of Babel, for instance). But by the time I got to Jacob's story, I found myself reading ahead!

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