Here are things it says and things it does NOT.
I set out a few years ago to read the entire Bible. That’s right, everything from “In the beginning” to “Amen.” I have finally finished that quest, every single word. And before I try to explain just what it was that I read, I will invoke this passage from Psalms 119 verse 31:
“Lord, don’t let me make a mess of things.”
Since I am not a Biblical scholar, or any other type of scholar for that matter, I am really going out on a theological and philosophical limb here. But bear with me and let’s see if I can make sense of what I read.
There are numerous translations of the Bible. I read the Living Bible, a paraphrase. Being a paraphrase rather than a literal translation, it was easier to read than one such as the King James Version. The Living Bible uses more modern phrasing but provides footnotes throughout to provide additional clarification and in some cases the original wording.
It took a little over two years to read all of the Bible. This isn’t something you decide to do over a rainy weekend. This isn’t binge watching the Soprano’s. I began by reading two chapters a day, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. The New Testament is much shorter so when I finished it I simply started it again while I toiled on through Numbers, Deuteronomy, both Samuels, both Kings, both Chronicles. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t use the word toiled. But I do have to be honest. It was tough getting through certain parts of the Old Testament.
I admit skimming through the genealogical sections which outlined who begat who and who they begat after that. And my eyes tended to glaze over when reading the instructions for how many cubits this wall and that wall were to be for Solomon’s temple and various other structures that the Lord commanded to be built.
After finishing the New Testament a second time I decided to concentrate on the Old Testament and by then I was into the prophets who, in line with their titles, prophesied a lot. A good bit of that prophesy was of destruction brought down by a vengeful God. I can see where the old time fire and brimstone preachers got their sermons. But I also realized that each one of these books of prophesy contained the message that God would rather…