The good news about the Gospel

I did it, I finished the Bible.

I read every single word, paragraph, song, praise, lament, parable, story, persecution, prostitution, prophesy, law, sacrifice, and resurrection in the Bible.

I was on a three month plan to read the entire Bible, but because towards the end of my adventure I careened so far off the actual “plan,” I thought that I was way behind. In reality, I read the bible in three months and two days. Crazy huh?

I have finished a lot of monumental things before in my life, or had events occur that are “once in a lifetime,” and to me, they don’t always live up the hype. High school graduation didn’t, College Finals didn’t, first girlfriend didn’t, I could go on if I wanted. Very few things hit me as hard as people say they are. No one said anything about how finishing the Bible would feel. It feels miraculous.

Page-wise, I have read books with more pages, but because there are four lines of text on each page and the font is so small, I think it is the longest thing I have ever read. In the last three days alone, in an attempt to finish the Bible before my surgery today, I read over two hundred pages of Old Testament murk. Two hundred pages isn’t usually a lot for me, but I think two hundred pages in the Bible equals at least three hundred regular book, four hundred Twilight.

I feel like I sprinted at the end of the whole experience because I wanted to finish before my surgery today, but I don’t regret that decision. I have read so much in the last few days that the Bible Plan has been more on my mind than it was when I read for twenty minutes a night. This way, I finish the Bible on time, but I also finish it with a bang–with it on my mind, staying up late in the night to finish it, reading it when I had spare time, talking about with my friends in the hottub–it was omnipresent in my life.

My final verdict doesn’t change much; my opinions on books and my preferences are still largely the same. I really enjoy the New Testament and look forward to reading it again, especially the Gospels, Epistles, and James. In the Old Testament, I didn’t really enjoy the Prophets or the Wisdom as much as I liked the Historical books. Anything about Saul, David, Solomon, or Absalom kept me hooked and interested. I didn’t know what I would get from reading the Old Testament, and I was blessed to find a very obvious lesson. I mentioned it in an earlier post, but the Old Testament gives you so much insight to the thought-process of the Jews in the New Testament. The Old Testament reveals what the Israelites were supposed to do in regard to sacrifice, avoiding certain people, and really embracing the nitpicky letters of the law. When Jesus comes and the Pharisees condemn Him for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus understands how they think. He knows that according the Law, what He is doing is wrong, and that’s why He is there to change the Law. He advocates obeying the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. When the Torah says to do nothing on the Sabbath, it is because God wants people to have a day to relax and appreciate their blessings and praise Him. Jesus says that if the Sabbath is about glorifying God, wouldn’t you glorify God more by healing a man than if you had walked by that man with your head down because that’s what the law “says?” Jesus changes the game, but you need to read the Old Testament to know what the game was like before Jesus came.

The New Testament, especially Paul and the Gospels, is great because it offers great living advice. It tells you, on a daily, realistic basis, what it means to try and live like Jesus Christ. New Testament advice is more easily translated to modern-day life than the Old Testament, and so you almost feel like you’re reading a self-help book. You get so much practical knowledge from reading the New Testament that Christian or not, reading the New Testament can help you be a better person.

After finishing the entire Bible, my overwhelming feeling is pride. I know, pride is the biggest sin, but I think this is an ok thing of which to be proud. I feel like I know so much more about my God and my religion’s history, and I know a lot more about myself. I read every story that they teach in Sunday school, and I read every parable that anyone can ever quote. I am so happy I did this project and I encourage anyone who is curious about doing it, to try it. It is a blessing to finish this project, and anyone will be better for it.

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The good news about the Gospel

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