Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Bible Reading Project.

Sometimes I make plans to do things with the intention of getting to them "someday." "Someday" always seems to be pushed back, and sooner or later, I come to realize that unless I set a goal for myself, I'll never get to those plans.

Some of that inspired my reading of the classics and this whole large project I have going on here. Of course there were other reasons, but I figured, why wait?

I'm announcing today that I am taking on another project, but one that may be more personal. I'm going to read through the Bible.

This is something I've always had the intentions of doing "someday." I have read portions of it in the past, but I have never studied it. I feel that urge and need now. My urge and need was inspired by a few events and people from the last few weeks.

First, the lovely Bellezza inspired me to really start thinking about it when she gave up all literature BUT the Bible for Lent. I enjoyed reading her thoughts as she read the Bible, and I made a note to get to it sooner, rather than later.

Then, the Saturday night before Easter Sunday, my sister-in-law was baptized and confirmed. It was a beautiful ceremony. But it got me thinking about how little I know of Biblical history and faith. I began searching for a way to incorporate this into my life then.

Last, Jillian posted last week about her own plans to read the Bible. She has purchased the version you see pictured, and after her explanations of it, I was intrigued. I decided to just begin reading the Bible after reading her post.

Since her post, I have been looking at the Bibles we have here at home, as well as doing some searches online for an edition. My husband and I have quite a collection.
  • I have a Catholic edition, as well as a small King James version
  • Matt has a small King James version
  • Together we have a Couples Devotional Bible that we read out of together
  • I also have a Women's Devotional Bible packed away somewhere
After looking at the editions and versions here at home, I realized that if I really wanted to study the Bible, I needed a Study version. There are many to choose from, so I had to figure out which edition.

After trips to two bookstores, I ended up deciding on the same version Jillian chose. I wanted a Bible that would not only help my faith, but also my understanding of the Biblical stories and history. I felt it would be a great study companion (I am sure I will also reference some of our other editions here at home as well).

My goals for this project are to read a little each week, starting at the beginning. While the eventual goal is to read the whole thing, it isn't a race or something I am going to get accomplished soon. I just want to be in the process. I am hoping that since I will be reading this alongside my classics, I'll be able to pick up on a lot of the references, etc that go over my head now. The Bible as a text has influenced MANY a book.

I won't be making regular posts or reviewing it in any way. Instead, I have plans to create a separate page that I'll update from time to time with my general thoughts and progress. I think that'll be the best way to keep myself on task. :)

I'm excited to begin and explore the depth of it-especially all those little books we don't usually hear much about.

I'm curious, how many of you have read the Bible? Just pieces or the whole?


  1. What a great project! I was actually inspired to pick up the King James Bible because of a recent reread of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. One of the characters loved the book of Revelation. So I think reading the Bible and reading the classics together makes sense!

  2. So glad you're doing this -- and with the same copy! I like your idea of creating a separate page for your updates. I might do something like that. For now, updating briefly on Goodreads seems to satisfy my need to check in...

  3. We almost did a study of the Bible as literature in my AP English class all those years ago in high school specifically because it would help us to understand classic literature better. We had so much else going on that we never got around to it, but it's fairly common for people who read the classics, even those who are non-religious, to read parts of the Bible in order to better understand an allusion made by Dickens or Donne.

    I haven't actually read huge portions of it since I was a kid but I study ancient Greek, which is the language of the New Testament, and eventually I'm going to get around to reading it in Greek. I have a lot of Plato, Homer, and Thucydides to get through before that (my interest in the language is academic, not religious) but "someday" I'll tackle it. :)

  4. Okay, I decided to make a page, too: :-)

  5. As a child I studiend at a Catholic school and we were required to read certain books of the Bible, with a religious point of view. Last semester was my first college semester and I had a class called Judeo-Christian texts in which we read part of the Bible with an analytical point of view. It was a very interesting approach. I know someday I will read it complete, but I am not prepered for now.
    I am looking forward to reading your new project!

  6. This post really touches my heart because I can feel the tug on yours. I love how you said, " isn't a race or something I am going to get accomplished soon. I just want to be in the process." Absolutely! I find that the faster I go, the more meaningless something becomes. I've read the Bible through many, many times, and it is a blessing each time. It amazes me that every time I pick it up I learn something more. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on the archeological study Bible; I've looked at it longingly myself, but really, there's no way I can justify buying another one. The translations available to us are rich indeed, and each one has something so valuable to offer. Claire of kiss a cloud introduced me to the Holman Christian Study Bible which I'd never heard of before this year, so it's wondeful that we can be an encouragement to each other on our paths. Blessings, dear Allie, and I'm already looking forward to your thoughts.

  7. I love that you are doing this! Sometimes I feel like everyone out there scorns faith and it is always so refreshing to find people who are willing to embrace it! I have read it through once when I was younger and have read many sections since then, but I'm also trying to read through the whole thing (usually just a chapter a day). I'm reading the KJV but your study bible looks really great, I might have to look at that one. Good luck!

  8. I took a Bible as Literature class in college, which was really interesting. But that's the only time I've ever read the Bible. My brother got all excited when he saw the Bible in my car...until I explained that it was my "textbook."

  9. What a wonderful project! I've read the Bible through completely, once, over about 1-1/2 years, but it was more of a 'survey' rather than a study. I've looked at individual books more in depth, both with and without study guides. In some ways it is amazing to me how much is packed in there--every time I read it, I find something new.

  10. I've read it, a number of years ago. I'm agnostic, but no matter your faith, the Bible is one of the most influential books on the planet, and I think we should all have a go at reading it if we can! Great project, and good luck!

  11. I'm a Catholic, so the Bible has always seemed sacred to me. It never occurred to me to consider it a work of literature, which is somewhat new for me. This post inspired me to try and distance my religion from the Bible, and simply read it like I would a Dickens or an Austen...

  12. I went to a Christian high school and we had Bible class, just like English or Math. The curriculum was organized so that each student read the whole Bible over the course of 4 years. We studied it book-by-book and it was fascinating. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do that. Good luck!

  13. What a great goal for yourself! I have always done Bible studies or just read pieces, but never the whole thing. So I actually recently decided that after my husband deploys in the next couple weeks I am going to read through it myself over the year he is gone. I just want to find a study guide to go along with it. Once I get going I'll have to make a page too :)
    Can't wait to read your updates!

  14. Wonderful. You are doing such a great thing. Encouraging you to continue throughout. I am rereading the Bible too and have been using the ESV Study Bible which is amazing, and also the HCSB Study Bible both at the same time. Also reading notes from the MacArthur Bible Commentary and the NKJV Chronological Bible. On top of that, also reading from the KJV. Lol. It's always so enriching when I read the bible that I often do not want to read fiction after delving so deep here. I also want to read that Archaeological Study Bible you wrote about, it's on the wish list. But my hubby thinks I'm already too crazy to have so many bibles. I tell him: different translations, different study notes, etc. Lol. I definitely recommend the ESV and HCSB Study Bibles both. The ESV one delves much deeper while the HCSB is for those who want more accessible notes. You have a fantastic and amazing journey ahead of you! xx

  15. I have started reading the Bible from the beginning, but I have fallen out of the habit recently... I need to start up again. Maybe this would make a good readalong, or some sort of group effort somehow? It might make some of us (me) more dedicated to reading the next passages if we are doing it with a group.

  16. Great idea to read the bible!
    I recommend the recent translations with commentary of the Hebrew Bible (OT to non-Jews) by Robert Alter. At least look at his great translation of Genesis.

  17. I read the entire Old Testament one year and the New Testament the next year when I was in high school. Before school everyday, I went to a church-organized seminary at the house of one of the women in our church congregation. It was a great experience. But I didn't "get" it all. I doubt any of us did, including the two women who taught the class! But having a group lessons each weekday morning helped me.

    I'm trying to read though it again. Then I want to study it better.

  18. I'm actually just starting to think about my own project to read through the Bible. I was intrigued when I saw you had a page on it as well - and found out we're both going to use the same Bible. I found it through Jill too :)