When you finish a book of the Bible, post it here

SpyofMoses

Sparrow
Protestant
This thread is for thoughts and inquiries about the books of the Bible you've recently read. I have read all of the New Testament a few times since coming back to the faith after years apostasy, but only within the last year or so have I taken reading the Old Testament books more seriously. There is a thread for books you've finished, but not one about the Biblical books you've finished, so I figured I'd start one.

My goal is to read all the books of the Bible. This thread is also a way to keep me on track to keep reading, and it is my hope it helps others do the same. Since there is a number of posters more familiar with the Bible (and the faith) than me, I invite any of them to post insights they may have and answers to any questions others post here. I thought about putting this thread in Orthodox General, but since I'm inviting questions I figured it might fit better in this subforum.

That said, I'll get it started:


I just finished reading the Book of Judges for the first time. Although I've been told the story of Samson many times throughout my upbringing, I never knew it was a part of the Book of Judges. There were times I was wondering why Samson stayed with his wife as she repeatedly betrayed him. Is it that even the strongest man in the world was weak against feminine wiles? Or did he just not even know that it was Delilah binding him for the Philistines until it was too late?
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Hummingbird
Orthodox Inquirer
Great topic. Summer last year I read the New Testament for the first time, amid pretty hectic suffering in my personal life that was what me pushed to finally do it. Then over the course of the first half of this year I read/scanned through the old testament, getting the core out of it and getting familiar with the characters, the story and above all the overall integration of the NT and the OT. To be honest I kinda feared to dive into the OT as I was under the impression that that would shatter my very positive impression of the NT, as we always hear about this angry God in the OT. However the takeaway I made was that it truly is an integral story, Christ mentions the OT too many times and in fact talks about separating the ''weed from the chaff'' more times then the OT. What I found that God did demand wrath and termination of entire cities/groups of people in the OT, but never without warning or without the chance to repent. That was the red line to me. Sure seeming atrocities did happen that we might never fully understand, but at least my impression was that this was separating ''weed'' to avoid the chaff would be contaminated by evil. Moreover coming from a secular background in a 99.9% secular country it was interesting to see that almost all of our proverbs stem from the Bible.

I did have some questions that I dove further into, for example should we resist evil and can we judge. I found that there are many examples in the Bible where Christians put their faith above the earthly authorities, such as John/Peter maintaining to preach in Jerusalem after being forbidden to do so by the authorities, Daniel refusing to not worship God and being thrown in the lions den and the Christians refusing to worship the golden statue of Abdulnazzar. The second question I had was about judgment and I found the idea of righteous judgment very appealing. Christ wasn't a hippie as He is portrayed so often now, He did call us to judge righteously and we saw that in his behavior towards the Phariseans too very poignantly. Therefore the argument that I hear so often about Romans 13 just obey to the authorities is not accurate in the broader context of the Bible. We must view the Bible holistically to understand its meaning, and not take one quote out of context and pose that as ''this is what Christ said'' or ''this is what the Bible says''. Sure, respect for authority is an element, but as I've shown there are many sides of the same coin. That would be the main takeaway for me, life and also the teachings in the Bible are multifaceted, integral and holistic. Beware of interpreting yourself or draw conclusions based on a single quote, chapter, verse or character.
 

kel

 
Banned
I would love a read-through of the bible or some subset of it, with commentary and discussion. I've done essentially that years ago, as a 12yo atheist, but I'd like to try it with fresh eyes and with some contextualization. I do not have time to organize this, though (I've tried and let it slip), it needs to be a "course" essentially that I can follow, giving a couple hours a week to.

If anyone wants to do this, please lmk.
 

Sol Invictus

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I would love a read-through of the bible or some subset of it, with commentary and discussion. I've done essentially that years ago, as a 12yo atheist, but I'd like to try it with fresh eyes and with some contextualization. I do not have time to organize this, though (I've tried and let it slip), it needs to be a "course" essentially that I can follow, giving a couple hours a week to.

If anyone wants to do this, please lmk.
That's not a bad idea, but unfortunately I don't really have the time to organize it myself either, so I'll just say "Me too".
 

SpyofMoses

Sparrow
Protestant
Moreover coming from a secular background in a 99.9% secular country it was interesting to see that almost all of our proverbs stem from the Bible.

I was astonished to find that out about a lot of old sayings, too. It's amazing how much the religion of our ancestors is still baked into the mindsets of our not-so-observant contemporaries today. One of my favorite phrases is "the writing is/was on the wall," which comes from Daniel. That book was actually as amusing to me as any non-Biblical book I've read in years.
 

Doubting Thomas

Sparrow
Catholic
Started this about 2 years ago. Trying to do 2-3 chapters before bed every night. Started with the New Testament. Had read the Gospels and Acts before but hadn't read most of the epistles. Finished that, then started the Old Testament as well. Made it through the Pentateuch, historical books, and wisdom writings. Just started the prophets, currently on the early chapters of Isaiah.
 

SpyofMoses

Sparrow
Protestant
Well, I was kinda hoping this thread would take off a bit more, but it's indicative of my own slow going on the Old Testament. I got hung up on the book of Judges for a bit. I just finished a commentary about it. It was interesting reading snippets about the context of the times of the Judges. Not sure it really elucidated much else, though.

I've moved on to Samuel now.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Well, I was kinda hoping this thread would take off a bit more, but it's indicative of my own slow going on the Old Testament. I got hung up on the book of Judges for a bit. I just finished a commentary about it. It was interesting reading snippets about the context of the times of the Judges. Not sure it really elucidated much else, though.

I've moved on to Samuel now.
I was confused what you meant by Samuel, that's 1 & 2 Kingdoms for us reading the Orthodox Study Bible. I just finished Chronicles. I enjoyed Samuel (1,2 Kingdoms). 3 & 4 Kingdoms was a bit more difficult to read with alternating mentions of both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Chronicles was more straightforward, focusing on Judah.

It was fascinating to see the biblical role of a monarch, clearly the idea of separation of Church and state was foreign to nations of antiquity and especially the Kingdom of Judah. Where the king went, the nation follows. The entire nation feels the sins of a monarch. As Christians, we should pray for and support our politicians, pray for them to repent, and pray for the Lord to have mercy on them. In the hierarchy of God -> king -> husband -> wife -> children, when the king falls into heresy, everyone beneath in the hierarchy will suffer. We should also pray for the modern day prophets in the Church, as time and time again in the books of Kingdoms and Chronicles, a prophet corrects or reprimands the king, sometimes causing him to repent.

Even though the Kingdom of Israel had apostatized, God still granted them prophets for the few remaining faithful, and in the case of king Josiah, messengers were sent to the faithful of the tribes of Israel for them to come and celebrate the Passover, showing us that you may be living in a fallen country, but God may still send messengers to you.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
I was confused what you meant by Samuel, that's 1 & 2 Kingdoms for us reading the Orthodox Study Bible. I just finished Chronicles. I enjoyed Samuel (1,2 Kingdoms). 3 & 4 Kingdoms was a bit more difficult to read with alternating mentions of both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Chronicles was more straightforward, focusing on Judah.

It was fascinating to see the biblical role of a monarch, clearly the idea of separation of Church and state was foreign to nations of antiquity and especially the Kingdom of Judah. Where the king went, the nation follows. The entire nation feels the sins of a monarch. As Christians, we should pray for and support our politicians, pray for them to repent, and pray for the Lord to have mercy on them. In the hierarchy of God -> king -> husband -> wife -> children, when the king falls into heresy, everyone beneath in the hierarchy will suffer. We should also pray for the modern day prophets in the Church, as time and time again in the books of Kingdoms and Chronicles, a prophet corrects or reprimands the king, sometimes causing him to repent.

Even though the Kingdom of Israel had apostatized, God still granted them prophets for the few remaining faithful, and in the case of king Josiah, messengers were sent to the faithful of the tribes of Israel for them to come and celebrate the Passover, showing us that you may be living in a fallen country, but God may still send messengers to you.

Byzantine rule involved separation of church and state, but not in the way we would think of it today. The church laid down the moral doctrines, while the emperors implemented them. This is more of a ‘separation of powers’ than anything else.
 

SpyofMoses

Sparrow
Protestant
I was confused what you meant by Samuel, that's 1 & 2 Kingdoms for us reading the Orthodox Study Bible. I just finished Chronicles. I enjoyed Samuel (1,2 Kingdoms). 3 & 4 Kingdoms was a bit more difficult to read with alternating mentions of both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Chronicles was more straightforward, focusing on Judah.
I thought about including that. I've been alternating between the Orthodox Study Bible at home and the online Catena Bible when out and about.

Yes, the want for a king made me think about how people seem to crave a hierarchy, both in the ancient world and today.

But I just started 1st Kingdoms, so no spoilers!

(Just kidding.)
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
The Middle Ages gets stereotyped as a theocracy in the popular imagination but the institutions of church and the secular authority were separate even though they often collaborated. Even then, the two institutions still constantly competed with each other for power and influence. This was a bit of a surprise to me when I first started actually reading about the "Dark Ages" and Middle Ages as opposed to getting my information of the era from popular cultures since I was assumed that the kings and lords and popes and bishops just spent their entire time stomping on the faces of peasants.

A better example of a true theocracy where the secular and spiritual authorities are one and the same would be Buddhist Tibet where the monks were also secular authorities or funny enough the more "enlightened" Reformation and post-Reformation kingdoms where the king was also the head of the state church.
 

Lithuanian Bear

Pigeon
Non-Christian
The Middle Ages gets stereotyped as a theocracy in the popular imagination but the institutions of church and the secular authority were separate even though they often collaborated. Even then, the two institutions still constantly competed with each other for power and influence. This was a bit of a surprise to me when I first started actually reading about the "Dark Ages" and Middle Ages as opposed to getting my information of the era from popular cultures since I was assumed that the kings and lords and popes and bishops just spent their entire time stomping on the faces of peasants.

A better example of a true theocracy where the secular and spiritual authorities are one and the same would be Buddhist Tibet where the monks were also secular authorities or funny enough the more "enlightened" Reformation and post-Reformation kingdoms where the king was also the head of the state church.
I think this thread is about books of the bible and not about the history of the church. Well I myself would not look at Eastern Religions for examples of good rulership. Have you Read a book called Orthodoxy and Religion of the Future? Great book covering Eastern religions. It is not about Modes of Ruling But how you rule comes down from your presuppositions and Theology you have, which is what the book covers. Mainly Hinduism vs Christianity.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
^ I was responding to the discussion above between DanielH and Eusebius about the role of church/state. I also had in mind how a lot of secular people who constantly point to the Middle Ages as an example of tyrannical theocracies even though it's in the more "enlightened" Buddhist traditions (secular people tend to favor Buddhism above other religions).
 

Doubting Thomas

Sparrow
Catholic
Finally finished the entire Bible last week for the first time. I had previously read the Gospels, Pentateuch, Historical and Wisdom books, but I had not read the prophets, epistles, or deuterocanonical stuff. Was trying to do 2-3 chapters before bed every night so I could absorb it rather than read it as quickly as possible.

Wasn't really sure where to go from here, so I just started going through the Gospels again. Anyone have any other suggestions, such as commentaries or study bibles? I am Catholic, for what it's worth.
 

SpyofMoses

Sparrow
Protestant
Well I myself would not look at Eastern Religions for examples of good rulership.

Ages as an example of tyrannical theocracies even though it's in the more "enlightened" Buddhist traditions (secular people tend to favor Buddhism above other religions).

You guys because you remind of another point I've noticed since beginning to read the whole Bible:

As an apostate, I read the Bhagavad Gita and the Dhammapada and thought it was life changing. After reading the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes I realize that I would've just gone back to the Church a lot sooner if someone had just pointed me towards the wisdom books of the Old Testament.
 
Top