Book Review: 1/4 Bible

So, I have three non fiction library books on the go at the moment –

  • The Yes Book: the art of better negoiation by Clive Rich, 
  • Debt free, cashed up and laughing: the cheapskates way to living the good life by Cath Armstrong and Lea-Anne Armstrong and finally 
  • The World without Us by Alan Weisman.  
Source:, wikipedia.ord &
Source:, wikipedia.ord &

I’m liking the multiple book method – the first was in my handbag, the second is my breakfast reading and the third is my favourite, I read before bed, and it’s also migrated into the handbag…  Anyhow, none of these are finished and ready for a review. So, what have I got for you today?  As some may recall, my 12 in 2 list included reading the bible.

This past Sunday 16 June, marked 1/4 way through this plan (which has a different ‘book’ for each day).  Why am I reading the bible?  Well, I’ve never read all the lesser known books, even though I know other stories so well, from years of religious schooling and Sunday school.  Even if you’re not a christian, it’s hard to deny that the bible is a part of popular literature, and a lot of cultural references are from the bible (or wrongly attributed to the bible).  I also felt the need to know what’s really said in passages that are regularly used in topical issues, like gay marriage, sex before marriage and many other contentious issues.

Let me assure you, it’s not all easy reading.  I struggled with all ‘someone begat someone’ and this tribe fought and killed all of that tribe/city.  That being said, the Psalms can be truly lovely.  Job is a great story, and I believe many people would identify with this back and forth struggle with God, and worthiness, and what they deserve.  I’ve started to list the interesting passages on the book marks I’ve created (one for each day), so that I can come back and know which were the parts I’d like to reread, or reference.  I was defaming the book with pencil underlining, but once the pencil went walkabout, I decided against a permanent scar in the bible :s (I’m sure librarians are in horror I even used pencil!)

Last night, whilst ‘catching up’ on Sunday’s reading, I found this:

And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head–it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

1 Corinthians 11: 5-6

Seems my bare, shaved headed ways in church might not have been ok! Oh well, lucky I didn’t know this passage :p  Thankfully, no one at church has been impolite enough to share this insight with me.

Defaced bible
Bookmarks showing, and some childish colouring in :p

I do however, think reading the actual bible is interesting, especially after reading A year of living biblically by A J Jacobs last year.  His experiment eventually summarised that it’s impossible in modern society to stone a man (though he tried), and maintain other more drastic passages of the bible.  And I think that’s the key – so many people quote passages of the bible as their reason in an argument, without tempering their biblical decision making with all the biblical activities that are now illegal or barbaric.  Simply speaking, everything that’s written in the bible can’t be taken 100% literally.

So, now for the remaining 39 weeks of reading!

7 Replies to “Book Review: 1/4 Bible”

  1. Growing up I was raised Roman Catholic, at that time we were told only the Priests were fit or knowledgeable enough to read the bible. I didn't like that much so as an adult I read it. There are many conflicting things in it. Things like covering your head I believe were more what was expected at the time than something that needed to be practiced through generations

    1. Yes, I definitely think a lot of things are based on a different social context (though I can imagine the transition was fiery!) Wow, only priests were worthy – that's incredible. Actually outside of religion, the bible is one of the biggest drivers of translation and there's a lot of discussion on how and why certain things were translated as they have been.

  2. Like you, I am familiar with a lot of the Bible through church and Sunday school (catechism classes) and I have read the gospels and more popular books but not all of it. Are you reading the Bible straight through or using a "reading plan"? I loved that book, the Year of Living Biblically – it showed how contradictory and impossible it might be to live by the Bible literally.

    1. I'm reading to a plan, which has a different book each day, which breaks it up nicely (Friday's are always long, Wednesdays and Saturdays are relatively 'easy'). I've editted the post to explain that a little more. And I don't read *every* day, but I catch up every few days, and get ahead if I need to :p

  3. I'm s-l-o-w-l-y reading through the New Testament with Mr 9. I'm trying to read it chronologically (by date of authorship) which meant starting at James (for variety!) There's so many theological and historical references that I'm just clueless about, though.

    The finance books look interesting and I'd really like to check out the Jacobs one.

    1. I like my 'book' a day style, though some days aren't that nice (insert screwed up face). Though the new testament is pretty approachable, though I'd get tangled out by trying to make it all in order!

      The *Year of living biblically* is awesome, without stepping on anyone's toes.

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