Thursday, August 13, 2009

Old Testament Survey

The girls and I finished our first group read-through of the Old Testament this summer-- after only six years of reading. (We were studying Psalms, Proverbs, the Gospels and some character-type studies during Bible time in addition to OT study in those six years, lol.) We used the Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History, and greatly appreciated the helps and questions provided in that guide.

We will be dealing with John and Romans this fall, but in January we will delve into the Old Testament once again-- starting at Genesis and ending at Malachi.

(Sort of off-topic, but I just realized that if it takes us six years to make it through the second time, Mariel will have begun the first OT study in kindergarten and ended the second OT study as a senior in high school.)

I had thought that we would just read through it this time, using the historical and geographical comments in my Life Application Study Bible, but I wasn't very excited about that prospect. I wanted to read-through again, but I wanted a new guide. I have questions that haven't been answered, and I feel like such a dullard trying to make sense of the OT sometimes. Then I was looking for another book and I found that someone has written a survey of the Old Testament, giving the broad picture.

Oh yes, I am very excited about this. I have been about the broad picture of history for the last year and a half. The the book is Understanding Your Bible by Elder Michael Gowens, and I already hold it in my hot little hand. I'm going to use it to help me in my personal read-through of the OT, and then in January I will use it as a guide in our group Bible study. (I have a personal goal of reading all the way through the Bible this year, and in the OT I have only made it to Judges. I am in Luke in the NT. I'm going to have to do a lot of reading to get through the entire Bible by December.)

I've only skimmed a few pages and already I am fascinated. A quote:

I believe that the Bible is a book of one story, not a kind of encyclopedia giving a little information about a variety of subjects which may or may not be connected to each other. Even though the Bible is comprised of two testaments, sixty-six books, and one thousand one hundred eighty-nine chapters; and although it was penned by at least forty human authors on three continents in three languages over a period of about fourteen hundred years; and even though it contains a wide variety of literary genres and forms, yet the Bible is one book simply because a common theme binds it all together.

Oh yes, very excited. I'm going to go read my book now.

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