Blogging is tough.
I've probably made this gripe many times before, and trust me, this is one of those. Of course I didn't believe I'd be able to keep up a perfect record of writing a new blog every day, but I never thought it would be because I was actually busy. I mean, Sunday was just a bust because I did not feel like writing, but come Monday and Tuesday things just got wacky. First I wake up late on monday, so that means I'm already behind on getting some video editing done and visiting the girlfriend (who by the way is getting over the fact that her name is in between "Joshua" and "Keanu Reeves" in my tag cloud), and then I go to an acting class and back to the girlfriend (we're a new couple...we have to spend a lot of time together) so that I can't get near a computer, much less thing about a post, before midnight. Tuesday (oh wait, that was yesterday) wasn't any better. Catching up on RSS feeds and going to a college group brought me over time as well.
Anyway, you don't want to hear about that stuff.
I figured blogging more would allow my posts to be a little shorter, but I suppose that's not really true either. Considering my readership is still non-existant I'll count myself lucky I have a little more time to get it right.
Today I'm going to talk about something completely random, and since I'm on the subject of goals already, I want to bring up a goal that is common amongst Christians: Reading the bible in a year.
Ok, so it's not completely random, but considering I'm about to expand on a two second thought I had during small group, I wouldn't say it was actually planned.
It seems that everyone has the goal, as a christian, to actually read the entire bible. Now this isn't a particularly bad goal. We are called, after all, to know the word and to let it feed us and our spirit. There's something about milk and solid food in there, but I can't remember exactly what it is. Most people embark on the "year long trek" of getting through the bible, others stretch it out to two, and the hardcore christians try to do it in only a few months. All of these goals are attainable.
What I find interesting is that, in all my 24 years alive, I've never read the entire bible cover to cover even once.
Am I a bad christian? Probably. Do I feel guilty about this? Not at all.
You see, it's actually one of my favorite qualities that I haven't read every single word of the bible. At times, sure, I wish I had the right words to say, but a lot of the time I love being surprised by what I find in the text. Also I've learned that just because you know what the bible says, doesn't mean you always understand the message. I've seen people with knowledge, and I've compared it plenty of times to their heart, and most of the time I find that it doesn't align. Other times I may be saying one thing that I've learned through my relationship with christ, and someone points it out in the bible, and I never knew it was there. Sometimes it's about what's written on the heart, not what you can memorize in your mind, and that's something I'd like to adhere to.
Of course, learning the bible isn't a bad thing. I've tried myself to read through the stories of the old testament that I've never gone through, and there's a lot of good stuff there. If you're claiming to be a preacher or a pastor, I believe you need to know your way around the bible, not necessarily to prove your points, but mostly because that's what you claim as your guide.
Reading the bible in a year though? Not my priority.
I will say this though: one should definitely try and read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) at least once a year.
Why? Cause it's the story of Jesus. The confirmation of Gods message to his people, and the one aspect of the bible in which we as christians draw our faith. You can preach God all you want as a christian, but if you don't understand the basic story of Christ and the message he delivered, then I guarantee you'll be missing the point somewhere.
Then there's the fact that Jesus' words are still being interpreted and translated in many different ways today. I guarantee no other part of the bible is as scrutinized as those four books.
If anything it's also because Jesus WAS the word. Most Jews in his day may have memorized the torah (first five books of the bible) when they were young, but beyond that they knew nothing except the words of Jesus Christ. The Pharisees may have known every word in the old testament, but look at how much they were rebuked by their own king (though they didn't know it then.)
We're not even talking about those that weren't Jews. The other religions and countries that were penetrated only by the story of christ crucified and the message he claimed of a God that loved humanity just as much as they loved him. What did they know of the bible? Nothing. Jesus was enough. And for years they didn't even have the New Testament, only word of mouth.
Again this is not to claim that reading and knowing the entire bible is a bad thing. I love it and I continually want to return to the stories and experiences people have had with God to apply it to my life today. There's a lot the bible can teach.
Unfortunately I have no goal of trying to read the whole bible cover-to-cover. Perhaps by the time I'm, I dunno, 50 years old I will have finally done it, but I do know that it's not going to be done in a year for me. Of course, if I become a pastor it may be necessary, at least by my own standards, but of course we always don't seem to set strict standards for ourself.
So have you read the entire bible?
Did you do it in a year? Or did you just finish reading a verse one day and realize "Wow, I'm done!" only to want to start again?
Who, if anyone, do you think should read the entire bible?
Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.