Reading the Bible in 2017

The Bible, to me, is a formidable piece of literature, having survived a long censorship history.

When I was young with a lot of free time, I voluntarily read the entire Old Testament of my cousin’s Bible that has eye-friendly text and stick figures for illustrations. It was covered with black leather and when opened, it was about half a meter in length. I would spread it on my study table and read it after school, in the evenings. I finished the Old Testament in less than two weeks.

This is my way of saying that I found the Bible a highly interesting piece of literature. I’m not surprised to discover that, with all its simplistic descriptions about gory situations and punishments, it was once (or for that matter, a lot of times been) banned. In fact, in the book, 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature by Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald and Dawn B. Sova, the Bible has a very – with emphasis on very – long censorship history.

(This above text is an excerpt from my old post, Did you know that the Bible was once upon a time a banned book? on my now defunct blog, www.nancycudis.com.)

Operation Deepen FaithBecause of my fascination with the Bible, I’ll be reading it again, this time from Genesis to Revelations, including the hymns and prayers, with the help of the 2017 Operation Deepen Faith hosted by Becky at Operation Actually Read Bible. I found her through Risa at The Next Chapter, a favorite blog I’ve followed in the past and following again now that I’m back to blogging.

Like Risa, I’ll be following the Legacy Reading Plan. I prefer no set daily readings. Set monthly readings are fine; they can help me focus. My husband already promised to buy me a bigger bible with friendly fonts because of my eyesight. I also downloaded the YouVersion Bible app as my support.

Becky also encourages participants to read Christian non-fiction books. For some time, I’ve been meaning to read my 1964 copy of The Hidden Stream by Msgr. Ronald A. Knox. It’s an anthology of “essays on the enduring truths of the Faith considered in the light of today’s challenges”.

I’m looking forward to the reading experience.

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8 thoughts on “Reading the Bible in 2017

  1. This is an interesting project. In Judaism, the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) get read in a yearly cycle in synagogue, with different portions every week. Other parts of the Hebrew Bible also get read on different days of the week or special holidays (like the Book of Esther on Purim). There’s also a ton of rabbinic commentary on the Bible (and developments from the Talmud).

    One of the things this illustrates to me is how the Bible is always something people revisit and grapple with and think about. There’s so much going on beneath the surface of the words (and there’s things that get lost in translation) – and considering how to study and interpret what one reads is a challenge. What you’re undertaking is fascinating 🙂 And yeah, it’s amazing and troubling to think there are still various places in the world where carrying around a Bible can get you in major trouble…

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    • Thanks, Hila! 🙂 I’m a Roman Catholic, practically convent-raised, having studied in nun-run institutions from kindergarten to college. We read the Bible regularly. We have Christian Living classes and required Theology courses. And almost every household in my place owns a Bible. I used to memorize the characters in the Old Testament by heart. You can chalk it up to habit but I feel uneasy when I just leave the Bible by the altar, unread. You’re right. Bible stories get lost in translation most of the time. How much more when one desires to study and interpret it? My goal is simply to read the Bible. If I ever decide to share these Bible stories on this blog, I’ll leave my personal reflections in my heart. 🙂

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  2. Hi Nancy! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to log on. I’m looking forward to interacting with you over this challenge, even if only to encourage or be encouraged to see this through. 😀

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  3. I read the Bible through almost every year, and I have since the early 90s. This is not meant to brag, far from it, only to say that it gives my life the wisdom and strength I need for every day. So glad you visited me. Happy New Year!

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    • Hello! Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m one of your fans. I’ve been following your blog for some time. If I’m not mistaken, I learned about your challenge on Japanese literature reading from Mel U over at The Reading Life. And while I’m thoroughly fascinated by Japan, I have yet to gather courage and read more of their books. With the Bible, I feel the same. I may not have admitted it in this post. Happy New Year to you, too!

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