The Bible being the founding document of Christianity, it is of course immensely important to Christians the world over and the foundation of most of the doctrines the different strains of Christianity have developed (although they would say all of them, I can’t agree because some clearly are not). But how important is it to me personally and how much does my faith benefit from reading it? I am in two minds when it comes to the Bible because unlike many others I don’t see it as the document of Final Truth and I certainly don’t believe that everything in it is pure fact.
Almost a year ago I decided to read the whole Bible which I had never done before and I only finished a few weeks ago. While it opened my eyes to many beautiful and inspiring passages that no doubt are very rewarding spiritually, there are also many passages that made me shake my head in disbelief and even disgust occasionally.
Since then, I have been given a King James Version for my birthday and in the back there is a Bible reading schedule to finish it in just two years including reading the New Testament and Psalms twice. I decided to incorporate these readings in my daily prayers, but now I am not so sure that was a good idea. I am in 1 Samuel right now and Saul has just been thrown from God’s good graces because (and here it is) he would not completely kill everyone and everything of the Amalekites. Because Saul doesn’t commit genocide, or rather complete the genocide (and yes he doesn’t because he wants to keep their cattle) God becomes angry. As you can imagine, reading this kind of ruined my prayer time because it made me angry. I like to use those readings to come up with some rule or moral but this one I could not take anything away from. So now I am wondering whether maybe I should keep to the passages and books that I know I liked, or found useful in some way, and just ignore the rest? But, on the other hand, wouldn’t that be cheating? I think, for the time being I will continue reading it all and try not to get worked up too much but I know there are some triggers I will not be able to withstand. Another thing to pray for, I guess.