Resolution - to read the Bible

Seeler

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Two weeks ago I made a resolution to read the Bible through this year.
Someone mentioned 'Cherry Picking' - reading only the parts that I like or agree with.
I'll deal with that by following a plan that covers the entire Protestant Bible; I don't want to read it cover to cover, front to back. So I searched the internet and found a plan for reading chronologically.

Someone suggested that I should use a commentary. But what commentary. Again I turned to the internet; but after reading parts of several, I found them to be biased towards a literal understanding of scripture and some referred to Moses as the author of the first five books. I would welcome a commentary that would help me to understand the source - was it JEPD? when was it written? what was happening in the world at the time?

I quickly realized that whatever commentary I choose will be biased one way or another. So right now I am relying on the Spirit to guide me. (If anybody could suggest a commentary to refer to when I have questions I would welcome a referral.)

I've chosen to read the RSV on line.
I will occasionally post about my progress and impressions as I read.
 

Redbaron

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If you had something like the Oxford Annotated Bible, with footnotes, that might provide enough historical background to answer your questions as you go. And if you didn't feel the need for them, you can simply read the Biblical text and ignore the footnotes. Just a thought.
 

Jae

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Two weeks ago I made a resolution to read the Bible through this year.
Someone mentioned 'Cherry Picking' - reading only the parts that I like or agree with.
I'll deal with that by following a plan that covers the entire Protestant Bible; I don't want to read it cover to cover, front to back. So I searched the internet and found a plan for reading chronologically.

Someone suggested that I should use a commentary. But what commentary. Again I turned to the internet; but after reading parts of several, I found them to be biased towards a literal understanding of scripture and some referred to Moses as the author of the first five books. I would welcome a commentary that would help me to understand the source - was it JEPD? when was it written? what was happening in the world at the time?

I quickly realized that whatever commentary I choose will be biased one way or another. So right now I am relying on the Spirit to guide me. (If anybody could suggest a commentary to refer to when I have questions I would welcome a referral.)

I've chosen to read the RSV on line.
I will occasionally post about my progress and impressions as I read.
Nice. I also read every day. I use the HCSB since it's the version in my Mission of God Study Bible. Perhaps we could have a Bible discussion group here on WC2 - all reading the same passage and then discussing it from our various POV. I also read Concordia daily.
 

BetteTheRed

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I like those reading plans. My experience of attempting cover to cover is getting stalled in a stack of "begats" and never returning to it...
 

Seeler

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According to my outline I was to start on New Years Day at the beginning of Genesis and cover the first eleven chapters in three days -- familiar stories of the beginning, the flood, and of Abram and Sarai. I found it so interesting and exciting that I was well past the 11th chapter when I realized that I was to switch to the book of Job on the fourth day. Chronologically Job is a very old story.

Job reads like literature -- it could be presented as a Shakespearean play with long speeches by Job and his three friends. Then a younger person who until now has remained silent out of respect for his elders, enters the argument. Then comes the Voice of God. I remember Seelerboy reading this to me many years ago - a favourite passage of his - his deep voice thundering 'Where were you ... ?' Then Job responds and the story ends - rather abruptly I think. The final chapter of Job seems to be an add-on, written by someone else, prose rather than poetry.

Then back to Genesis and the continuing epic of Abraham and Sarah and their descendants in the land that God promised to Abraham. One of the things that struck me in this reading is the lack of violence. Abraham and Sarah arrive in the land we now call Israel and Palestine but they don't enter into conflict with the inhabitants already there living on the rich plain of the Jordan river. Instead they live a nomadic life following their herds in the hill country. Yes there are squabbles - especially over wells, but rather than fight Abraham's people negotiate or move on. Many generations later when Sarah dies, Abraham still doesn't own any land; he has to purchase a plot of land for her burial.

A few confusing things: twice Abraham tries to pass Sarah off as his sister rather than his wife, then his son Isaac does the same with his wife Rebeccah. One would think that they would have learned something the first time. Or was this an oral story told in different ways so that when Genesis was compiled three versions from different sources were included.

And while Abraham's direct line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons kept their line pure, it seems there was quite a bit of intermarriage with the inhabitants of the land - through Lot, Ishmael, and Esau.

As you might guess, I've been reading ahead. I think that I will finish Genesis tonight, while the plan is to complete it by the end of the month.
 
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Mendalla

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The thing with Genesis is that it contains some of the best stories in the whole canon. I am not surprised you're getting ahead.
 
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blackbelt1961

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@Seeler

That's great but along with reading the Bible goes praying to the holy spirit to guide you and to come into your life never stop praying till you experience him trust me once you experience the spirit the Bible Will come alive to you
 

BetteTheRed

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@Seeler

That's great but along with reading the Bible goes praying to the holy spirit to guide you and to come into your life never stop praying till you experience him trust me once you experience the spirit the Bible Will come alive to you
Where in your little brain did that little gem come from? Seeler is by far your elder, a faithful servant of her God, her family, her church, her wider community, the poor, the homeless, the hungry. As far as we all know, and there's video demos of it, she has demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit in ways I have never heard of about you.
 

blackbelt1961

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Where in your little brain did that little gem come from? Seeler is by far your elder, a faithful servant of her God, her family, her church, her wider community, the poor, the homeless, the hungry. As far as we all know, and there's video demos of it, she has demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit in ways I have never heard of about you.
It has nothing to do with the size of my brain and everything thing to do with my lack of knowledge of her
 

BetteTheRed

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Well, obviously you have paid not a whit of attention in all the years you've been here. Completely lack of attention usually has an association with size of brain.
 

blackbelt1961

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Well, obviously you have paid not a whit of attention in all the years you've been here. Completely lack of attention usually has an association with size of brain.
Do you always have a mean streak or is this the real Betty ?
 
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BetteTheRed

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Your absolutely casual assumption of your spiritual superiority to another is a bit disturbing in itself, Blackbelt.
 
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Seeler

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Some further comments on Genesis:
- While there are many examples of avoiding war by negotiation, trickery or deceit, or simply moving on and putting space between hostile groups, there are only a few reports of actual violence. One is the whole story of the rape of Dinah and of her brothers slaughter of the men of Shechem.
- Slavery was taken for granted - both men and women. Some of them had trusted positions in the household, and women slaves might bear children for their mistresses' husbands (Hagar, Bilhah, Zilpah) but remain slaves.
- Incest was not mentioned by name: possibly it was frowned upon between parent and offspring (Lot and his daughters), but it was quite common between half-siblings, or cousins. In fact it seems to have been preferred to marriage to an outsider (Isaac and Rebeccah were cousins).

Alll in all Genesis is an interesting book. It held my attention.

Important insights: the establishment of the covenant between God and the people, and the basic understanding of the relationship between God and the people; the story of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Hebrew faith, the settlement of the Hebrew people among the people of Canaan and the relationship of the various tribes - many of them descendants of Abraham (Ishmaelites, Edomites, etc.).
 

Luce NDs

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Chronologically Job is a very old story.

Tis a' Job to accept myths ... as old stories gone by ... but they stick relativistic ally ... silent Buddha's (English Buddies as an old substitutionary word for Charles) a boney prince constructed in the darkness of soul! Amazing Grace that we could be aware of something that isn't ... then it fades ... due time!
 

Luce NDs

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@Seeler

That's great but along with reading the Bible goes praying to the holy spirit to guide you and to come into your life never stop praying till you experience him trust me once you experience the spirit the Bible Will come alive to you
Tis like contemplation without some crapper wishing to take control of how you absorb it ... some chaos is needed for you to figure it out ... thus the activities that were found as faux pas under the tree of knowledge ... allowing for under study ... avec some digging all on your own ... as moe'lls do ... bore right to the core subject: "we know nothing!?
 
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