Friday, September 05, 2008

Reading through "The Books of the Bible"

I'm now about 70% of the way through The Books of the Bible: a presentation of Today's New International Version which is not the snappiest title for a Bible, is it?

I'm finding it easier and more motivating than my other read-throughs, in other versions and formats, thus far.

It is interesting to read something from the First Testament History, something from the Prophets, something from the Writings and something from the New Testament each day, as I've been attempting to do.

This Bible version omits chapters, verses and headings, but does use spacing helpfully. It is intended to be more-or-less chronological, and so the Prophets are grouped by century of writing, mostly, and Paul's letters are also presented in one possible chronological order.

When you read a few pages from several different parts of the Bible each day interesting connections appear. Reading through Jeremiah and Psalms, for example shows how much of what Jeremiah wrote harmonises beautifully with the concerns of the various psalmists.

And reading Jeremiah through for the sixth or seventh time now is beginning to open up that great book for me. It may be one of the hardest Bible books to read, especially if you haven't engaged with the Bible's teaching about God's holiness, wrath and justice.

But when you embrace these, God's love, grace, forgiveness and mercy are all the sweeter.

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