Last year, I wanted to do a one-year read of the Bible…but I became sick and that project fizzled. This year, I’ve decided to try again – but this time I made my goals much less stringent. I will read as quickly or as slowly as I feel like, reading as many or as few supplementary materials as I wish.
One resource I’m using is The Great Courses lecture set: Reading Biblical Literature Genesis to Revelation (Koester). It asks the question:
People begin reading the Bible with different questions in mind. Why are you interested in reading the Bible? What positive impressions do you have of the Bible? What negative impressions do you have?
I am interested in the Bible for a few different reasons. First of all, it holds a spiritual interest for me – it is a guide for morality. Second, I’m interested in the Bible as a literary work. There are endless references to the Bible in literature, movies, and colloquial lives in many countries around the world; therefore, my understanding of the world will be enhanced by a strong familiarity with the Bible. Third, I’m interested in the differences between historical Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible. Learning about these differences will teach me about human nature, and how humans can be transformed into gods. In order to start my study of historical vs. biblical Jesus, it is necessary to gain a strong familiarity with the Bible and how different people interpret it.
Koester, Craig R. Lecture 1: The Bible as Dialogue. Reading Biblical Literature Genesis to Revelation. The Teaching Company, 2016.