Thursday, December 06, 2012

Reader's Diary #910- The New King James Version BibleThe Book of Joel

No cherub, I can't spare a square.
I'm not reading the Bible to get spiritual guidance. I'm not judging those that do, it's just not my reason right now. I'm reading it more because of its literary and historical significance. That and bragging rights. Because I know how jealous my friends will be when I tell them that.

I assume someone reading the Bible for spiritual reasons would have an easier time deciding which passages to skim over, which ones to focus on, and which ones to skip altogether (is that allowed?). For myself, it's not a particularly easy task. I don't want to skip anything, but sometimes it's so tempting. And does it really count as reading when my eyes simply scan each word, I note that it's more of the same, and don't process it further? Perhaps, in order to pay closer attention,  I need to be using my original intention. I should ask why  passages were phrased this way. How has the character of God changed throughout the book? What is the significance of that metaphor?

I'm not rushing the process in one sense. I read a book of the Bible, switch to a Shakespearean play, and go back to the Bible again. All the while I'm usually reading other books, and the Bible and Shakespeare have never taken precedence. I started this about 5 or 6 years ago. As I said, I'm in no great rush. But sometimes my mind is up for the challenge, other times I'm merely going through the motions.

This was one of those latter times. Thankfully The Book of Joel was incredibly short. I mean, the locusts were cool but as I lamented (I talk like this now) when I read Hosea recently, not all the books of the Bible have superfloods or men sleeping in lion's dens.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have to give you points for seeing this through. I would have given up after the first 300 begats.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: You go through a range of emotions reading all those begats. At first it's frustrating. Then a little funny. Then you get tired and start to imagine that it's profound. Then you fall asleep and drool. Which is not an emotion, but necessary for this time line. Then you wake up. You're confused. Not as much by the begats as by the Bible stuck to your face. Then there's some reluctance to keep going. Some doubt that this is necessary. Some convincing takes place that you can finish. Then of course, pride. Cause you finished all those begats. Now when someone says that Rehoboam begat Asa, you can laugh and tell them that it was actually Abijah that begat Asa, Rehoboam was his grandfather. Idiot.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I always suspected you had an ulterior motive for this project!