I doubt I’ll ever manage to catch up with my Bible-in-a-year plan. Working 40 hours a week doesn’t leave me much time. I’ve been getting in one reading per day, though. I promised, as per the instructions in my plan, not to give up even if I fell behind, and I’m sticking to it. I will read the whole Bible eventually, all 73 books. So far, I’ve finished Genesis, Exodus, a third of the Psalms, and the Gospel of Matthew. I’m almost done with Leviticus, which will be a relief.
I’ve been reading the Bible daily for two years now. Somehow, it is still a joyful surprise when I learn new things. Reading a Gospel straight through is enlightening. As Alex wrote today, I can see the “big picture.” I studied the Gospel of Luke with Tim and Ali sophomore year, and I read the Gospel of Mark in two days last summer (the first chunk during adoration). It’s a completely different experience than hearing the pericopes at Mass or knowing them as individual vignettes. From the beginning of each Gospel account, you know where it’s headed, and you can see it going there. Jesus tells all his parables in one long string, and you understand why the apostles were puzzled (and probably tired of hearing all those stories!) The Passion unfolds continuously from Palm Sunday right on through to Good Friday, then Easter. My mental outline was filled in with the details.
I’ve also noticed that Biblical typology is not as hard as one might think. For example, I studied salvation history with FOCUS Liz last year. Exodus 24 describes Moses and the chief men of the people engaging in a sort of proto-Mass: splashing blood upon the altar, reading the books of the law aloud to the people, eating and drinking together. As soon as we read that chapter, I immediately saw the relationship to the Mass,and I’m pretty dense about symbolism. Leviticus 12:1-8 reinforced my understanding of the Presentation (Luke 2:22-24) as Mary and Joseph’s following Jewish law. Even today, as a bonus, reading Stephen’s speech to the council (Acts 7), I realized early on that I was getting a recap of everything we discussed about salvation history. I glanced down at the cross-references, and sure enough, they started with Genesis 11 and ran straight through to Exodus.
I have been a book lover since before I knew how to read. One of my biggest regrets is not reading the Bible sooner. (There’s that whole lapse in/lack of faith, too.) The Bible is The Book. And now I can honestly say that it’s one I treasure above all others.