Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where to Begin

After I purchased my books I would like to say that I worked on my art history essay, however I stared at my computer screen and wondered "Where does one actually being reading the Bible?"

(I won't lie to you - I looked for quotes to put on my Facebook profile for about two hours before these questions popped into my brain.)

Is there a proper place to start? Is there a technique to it? Do I start at the beginning and then just read all the way through, or do I have to skip around?

It's very hard to write an art history essay with these questions running through your mind. So I did what I do best : Google.

One website state you should start with the Gospels, specifically with Mark first, then John (I guess the order of the rest is insignificant), then move on to the Epistles, then the Old Testament - Genesis first, but it was suggested that Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy be read at a later date. After this, Joshua through Chronicles, then Psalms through Songs of Solomon, leaving the Prophetic books for last. Woah, thats a lot to remember!

The second website also stated to start with Mark, Matthew, John, then Luke, followed by Acts and Galations (I haven't heard of that one before), after which they suggest reading Romans through Revelation.

Yahoo! Answers, well most of the answers said to start with the Gospels or Romans; a few suggested the beginning (funny!).

fourth website: start with the Gospels. It didn't say where to go from there.

While it seems starting with the Gospels seems to be the most popular opinion, I feel a little odd beginning a book in the middle (unless its in media res), so I began thinking the simplest thing to do would be to just start at the beginning and read through. However, I am afraid that this could be very confusing. Everything I had read so far makes the Bible seem as if it doesn't tell a story in a linear fashion.

Then I found a handy-dandy outline of the Bible! Go figure. It was very helpful in helping me make my decision : I will start at the beginning and read all the way through. Yes, I'm probably reading the most boring parts first, but they are at the beginning for a reason. Plus, I don't want to be spoiled by reading ahead.

Time for my realization!

I realized asking others where to start reading the Bible - thats ridiculous. I have always thought of "believing", for lack of a better word, as an intensely person connection with a god that cannot (or should not) be shared between others. (I'm against evangelizing, if thats even the proper term, for many reasons - feeling harassed throughout my life is one of them. Another post for another day.) So it goes to say that reading the Bible? Yeah, personal. You're supposed to be soaking up God's glory and lessons and all that jazz as you read, making your connection stronger. It doesn't matter where others have started because it is my connection to make, not theres!

Long story short - my journey begins at the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to following your journey, since I am on a similar, yet broader journey (see my blog). I am also starting at the beginning of the Bible, but primarily because the first five books (the Pentateuch) are probably what was written first. Not sure where I'll go from there. There is certainly no agreed upon sequence for date of authorship, but going generally in that order might satisfy my desire for understanding the evolution of the Bible.

    I did run across some sites that suggested reading it in the chronological order of the events. If I were going to read the entire Bible (not sure I will right now), that might be the way I'd go since I'm a very linear thinker. Of course, going from front to back is pretty linear, too.

    I honestly think starting with the New Testament is putting the cart before the horse, but I'll stop evangelizing there.

    Good luck with this and with school.