It took me far too long to set aside the time necessary to read the Bible. I went to Catholic school throughout most of my education, and took numerous theology courses in college. Despite all of that education, I’d only studied the Bible piecemeal, and typically not that well.
The problem with the Bible is that we treat it as a singular, linear book, meant to be read in order. The truth is that the Bible is closer to an anthology, a collection of disparate books, that were assembled into one volume. Although written by various authors, sometimes centuries apart, there are themes and characters that run throughout the narrative.
St. Jerome, author of the Latin translation of the Bible, wrote that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. Throughout the Old Testament is hidden the New Testament. In the New Testament is fully revealed and fulfilled the Old. Every word, every verse plays its role, weaving together the story of salvation, and instructing us in the reality of the human person.
Truthfully, none of us should attempt to study the Bible on our own. There is too much context, too much history, and too much truth for us to unpack. It’s a much better choice to go with a trusted guide, someone who can help us to see the bright spots, understanding the setting, and fully unpack the message. I went with the Ascension Press The Bible in a Year
podcast, and it was excellent.
The Bible is more than a book, it is the Book. The daily life of the Church finds all of its roots in Scripture, and many of the prayers that we pray every day and every week are verbatim drawn out of the text. Living the Christian life is living a Biblical life.
There were many surprises, a shocking amount of violence, and a constant refrain of reform. The story of Israel is our story, and we live in the many of the same scenarios that they lived through. We struggle with the same temptations, and make the same idiotic mistakes. And what is God’s message all throughout? Reform, return, come home.
Following the narrative of the story, and watching the puzzle pieces slowly come together, one day at a time, was the perfect way to study, explore, and discover the Bible. All it takes is showing up every day, and pressing play.