I hate to admit this out loud, but reading the Bible hasn’t always been easy for me.
Like many Catholics my age, I grew up not having a lot of experience reading the various books of the Bible. I consider myself a faithful person who loves and honors God. I consider the Bible sacred. But I find it tough to read.
In this microwave world we live in today, we’re all looking for instant answers and simple solutions. The Bible doesn’t work that way. It takes time, it takes perseverance, and it takes a strong commitment to spend a lot of time with the Good Book.
But I’m determined not to give up. So I’m exploring new ways to jump start my commitment to my 1% Challenge™ this Lent.
First I needed an understanding of the Bible.
- According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “The Bible isn’t a book. It’s a library. The Bible is a collection of 73 books written over the course of many centuries. The books include royal history, prophecy, poetry, challenging letters to struggling new faith communities, and believers’ accounts of the preaching and passion of Jesus. Knowing the genre of the book you are reading will help you understand the literary tools the author is using and the meaning the author is trying to convey.”
That helps. They also include a complete list of translations of the Bible. This way I can find one that speaks to me and helps me understand a bit more.
I also wanted to try some of the Bible Apps available for my phone. (I thought maybe I would try a technology approach!) I went to the website Catholic Apptitude to learn more. (Yes, Appitude is spelled with “App.” Clever.)
Finally, I did something a little unconventional, and I downloaded audio versions of the Gospels. It’s called “The Bible Experience,” and they feature dramatizations of the four Gospels. This has helped me the most. I’ve listened to segments as I walked my dog, Harry, in the evening. I’ve made it through all four Gospels. The production is very engaging and has actually inspired me to pick up my Bible and read the section that I just listened to.
Whatever it takes, right? I’ll keep it at.
But I’d love to hear your ideas on what you do to read and understand the Bible. Share you thoughts with us.
Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK and a member of the St. Dominic Catholic Parish Marketing Committee.