Bible Illiterate

So, I am a cradle Catholic. My mom is a cradle Catholic. Her dad is also a cradle Catholic. We are a bunch of Catholics. I went to Catholic school until I was in 7th grade. My friends were all Catholic. Yet, I have no clue how many books are in the Bible. I know learned how many books there are in my religion class. I had to memorize them at one point. I know that the first one is Genesis and the last one is Revelations. The Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That is all great information and all, but other than that I’m pretty much lost. I was given the gift of a rich family history and a great education, but I can’t tell you who wrote Revelations. I think it really boils down to the fact that I didn’t care much about the Bible as a kid.

I have always been an avid reader. I used to get made fun of in school because of how much I loved to read. Yet I did not read the Bible. I did not grow up reading the Bible before bed with my mom and dad. I didn’t spend my afternoons reading a few passages from Psalms for leisure. I always thought of reading the Bible as work. I thought that it was just some old book about Jesus, but I knew about Jesus already so why did it matter? I didn’t think there was anything wrong with not reading the Bible either. It wasn’t like I was being pressured to read it and I rejected it. I was never encouraged or motivated to read it. It was a pretty easy existence without the Bible being a prominent issue in my life. That sounds terrible to you devout Catholics, but it’s true. I can’t tell you that I have been reading the Bible since I was two like so many other families. That is just not who I was or am.

In the last year, I have become devoted to my faith. As that has happened to me and I have embraced it, I have come to the realization that my lack of knowledge on the Bible is actually really irresponsible of me. Not knowing the Bible makes it difficult for me to defend my faith. It greatly decreases the lack of knowledge I possess about Jesus and his life. I don’t know anything about the ten commandments besides what I learned in church or that really long movie I had to watch in religion like four times. I don’t know the Beatitudes by heart or even where to find them in the Bible. I realize now that this is a problem. I don’t know anything about the roots of my faith in the Bible. I know of them, but what do I really know until I examine the source myself? So this is my issue right now. I asked for my own Bible for Christmas, and so now I have the tools. Now I am searching the internet for a good, thorough Bible study purely for beginners. It seems silly that I wasted all that time in school and church not learning about the most important collection of books in history, but I did. And now I am dealing with what I have to do to correct my ignorance. If you have any suggestions for beginners Bible study, let me know! I’m trying to reverse by support of the stereotype that Catholics don’t know the Bible. And if you have any other advice about reading the Bible for the first time, or with new eyes, please share.

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6 thoughts on “Bible Illiterate

  1. Revelation: John,

    Beatitudes: Mt Chapter 5 the Sermon on the Mount– The Kingdom of God is at hand.

    A great book (part of a series) that goes over all of the lessons, themes, and typologies of the Gospels is “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict the XVI. He goes over many of these topics in great flowing detail that allows one to retain this information about the Catholic faith. A great chapter is on the prayer the “Our Father.” It explains the meaning of the words and petitions in great detail.

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  2. I don’t know what’s best for you necessarily, but I can say what I did: I started with the New Testament and read a chapter every day as part of my morning prayers. When I was done with the NT I started on the OT, at the beginning of Genesis. Large parts of the Bible are tedious and hard to understand, but I find that taking the scriptures in small doses helps you get through it.

    The key, IMHO, is not to be in a hurry. Don’t worry about finishing the Bible in a year. Just read it daily and finish it when you finish it. I just finished my second time through and am beginning on my third.

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    1. Thanks for this advice, I will definitely take that into consideration. Especially the bit about not worrying about timing! Thank you for taking the time to leave some advice as well. I hope you have a great day!

      Like

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