My studies of the Bible by Kenneth Bow. www.kennethbow.com
About ten years ago I tried something new. For over twenty years I read the Bible through each year cover to cover. It was my goal, I felt I needed to do that. I still believe in that.
That year many years ago I decided to try and just truly understand one book. I sought to know the author, the structure, the content, it’s relativity. I began with the book of John as it was and still is my favorite book in the Bible for a number of reasons.
So I spent the entire year just on John, nothing else. That year changed my life. For the first time I felt like I was understanding not just the words on a page, but the complete picture. I felt like I saw for the first time the purpose of that book in the holy scriptures. I was hooked! Thus began a journey I am still on today!
Next I went to Matthew and spent a year and a half. Then Luke, two and a half years of my life, very difficult for me. I moved to Mark for a year. I have continued to focus on the Bible and it’s books. Acts ( Paul’s journeys), Genesis, Job, then I went to the Prophets. Then the 400 silent years, and the Hasmoneans and Herods.
Currently I am trying very hard to understand the Kings.
There are 42 of them and one queen. I have sought to know these men. Who were their contemporaries, their enemies, the times they lived. It is hard for me and slow work but rewarding at the same time.
Especially hard because their years are denoted differently. Judah reckons her years beginning in the fall and Israel reckons her years beginning in the spring, so you have to go slow, make charts and timelines. At least I have to do that.
I have also attempted to do character studies. David of course, but also Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Josiah. I have tried to weave their lives into the complete picture.
Only the mind of God could write a book so inter-connected.
Can I tell you today that the Bible is the most fascinating book in the world! Please stop reading it out of duty and guilt and obligation and discover it’s tapestry and grandeur.
It will take you to remote places and introduce you to some of the greatest individuals in history. You will go to lonely Petra and busy Jerusalem. You will walk the capitals of the ancient world, and meet the giants of history. You will experience the pantheon of human emotions. You will laugh and cry and grow angry.
You will walk the market place, see idol shrines, observe the most tragic decisions of moronic men, and experience the most intense, sublime moments of your life.
You will hear the thunder of a prophet’s angry voice as he condemns kings, and then hear the love song of lovers as they speak of each other.
You will see hundreds of thousands led into slavery, and then see 42,000 return to the land they had violently been driven from 70 years before.
You will read with bated breath as the suspense unfolds and God steps on the scene at the last second to do the unthinkable. All that, in the book called the Bible. It is waiting for you to pick it up, spend time, meditate, explore, laugh, weep, grind your teeth in frustration, and get better acquainted with your God.
Please do yourself a favor and spend time with it.