Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reader's Diary #261- The Good News Bible: Joshua (FINISHED!)

On his blog, A Variety of Books , the other day, Matt mentioned reading the Bible in its entirety and someone else mentioned having read it twice. I'm only 6 books in, so I'm very impressed with them for having gotten through it. I forgot to ask if it was straight through, or if they took breaks in between the books as I do. I take on about one book (of the Bible) every other month. The breaks, I find, help me keep my sanity and also keeps the repetitive parts in check.

But there could also be drawbacks to dividing the reading up into books and taking rests in between. For starters, if you forget previous parts, it's akin to taking things out of context, and since that God character's personality is revealed slowly over the course of the Bible, any one book by itself doesn't complete the picture.

I'm thinking the lapse between readings might also account for my detachment from the Book of Joshua. In the earlier books, while I do remember the plight of the Hebrews as they followed Moses throughout the desert, I no longer found myself really rooting for them in Joshua. Had I read the books one after the other, maybe I'd look at their military victories in this latest installment as justice. Instead, it comes across as a bloodbath, and it's hard to get behind the heroes when they slaughter "anything that breathes".

In fact, the whole book has the feel of one of those sequels that people say, "it was okay, but you can tell it's just a bridge to the third one." Even the miracles in this book paled in comparison to the previous books. The River Jordan dried up so they could cross- gee, where did I see that before- oh right, Exodus! The walls of Jericho fall down with a trumpet blast. That's it? So, with a couple unimpressive miracles behind us, at least we could get down to character building, right? Nope. Title character Joshua died at the end, and to be honest, I felt cheated. Maybe I remember more of the earlier books than I gave myself credit, because I do remember loving the complexities of Moses.

Oh well, maybe I'll get my interest back when I take on Judges sometime in August.


Anonymous said...

I stalled around Leviticus. Evidently those people had never had a visit from PETA.

John Mutford said...

Yeah, there's a lot of goat sacrifices. Felt like I was reading Iron Maiden lyrics.

Anonymous said...

I read it straight through. I read a small part everyday. It took me quite a long time to get through it, at least the Old Testament. Getting through the New Testament wasn't nearly as difficult for me.

John Mutford said...

Matt, I've heard that from others as well: that the New Testament is a much easier read. But, at the speed I'm going, I'm not looking at getting to that point until 2011.