The Christmas i was in second grade, my parents gave me my first real Bible.
You get a book, you read it. From the beginning, of course. So i did.
i did know a Bible is not a typical book. So i figured i wouldn't read it quickly. A chapter a day was the recommendation, but the reading was good, easy.
On Christmas Day, i read:
- the preface
- the part about Adam and Eve & their sons
- i made it through the first genealogy
- And the part about the Tower of Babel
Five years later i started again, making it through once by age 19.
Once through the Bible, in 11 years. (That number does keep coming up, doesn't it? see About Me, LH sidebar)
The PrefaceLooking at the Preface of that Bible today, i wonder that i made it through even that. i don't think i'd come across all that translation stuff before, though i probably knew about the King James Version and that English wasn't the only language in the world, even if i didn't know that it wasn't the language of Bible people.
i still believe that reading prefaces & forwards are important. That's where you learn what the writer(s)/editor(s)/translator(s) are doing, & what they are trying to say.
The Journey ThroughUsually i did try to read that chapter a day. Some days, if the story was good, i read more. One minor but memorable lesson that stuck is that the Longest Chapter in the Bible comes very quickly after the Shortest Chapter in the Bible. i read a LOT longer than i wanted that night!
i learned early on that the versions of the story presented in Sunday school weren't the whole story - and i was glad of it! i didn't want to talk about Samson and all his escapades with my friends, and i am VERY glad that we didn't get into the collapse of the society depicted at the end of the book of Judges.
Some of it made me wonder - God sent a lying spirit? God wanted King Saul tormented? Some of it i still don't understand, and some of it i do now. Never did it occur to me to ASK anyone, and i think that has mostly stood me in good stead.
And i was pleasantly surprised to find paragraph summaries of the books of the Bible - at the end!
Marks in My Bible, or Marks on Me?As i went through, i marked any passage that "hit" me with my colored markers. Since then, i've learned this sort of thing is called "kisses of the King." (This one is less concise, but you might also want to look here.)
i was "well-kissed" that first time through.
But the colorful markings don't really mean anything. i learned that Sunday school lessons are oversimplified. We miss the good stuff, like the Minor Prophets, Pastoral Epistles, and Proverbs/Ecclesiastes.
It's easier to teach stories of miracles and children, but in these books are solid teaching for the life we live. Ii's illustrated in the other books/stories, and always interpreted by other passages.