Saturday, November 07, 2009

Modified Bible Study

Since I finished reading the entire Bible this past June....I've had to take some time off from studying it, directly anyway. Remember, it took me a full twelve months!

Instead, I've been seeking out Christian blogs, reading some spiritual books, and listening to a couple of Christian radio stations.

In Naples this January, I discovered Praise FM; and I enjoyed listening to that so much that I continue to do so now, over the internet.

And I was happy to discover that Boston does have *one* Christian radio station - 590 AM that I've found to be pretty good on Sundays anyway.

I've also committed myself to memorizing elements of the Bible - not just verses, but also authorship, chronology, motifs, history, etc.

Admittedly, I haven't put near the time into this last part as I should have.

As I've mentioned before, I have all sorts of *Google docs* saved; I have one for recently read books which contain my notes and transcribed passages; I have several docs teeming with *quotes*; I have *words* files full of their definitions; I have one full of my original witticisms like *bird blender* (redefining 'wind turbine'); and I also have a document listing the titles of all of the books I've read.

So, obviously, I needed to create a *Bible* file....and I did. This is how it starts off:

Biblical Quotes

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. - Proverbs 4:4-5

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. - 1 Timothy 6:17

A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth. And does not know that want will come upon him. - Proverbs 28:22

He who hates disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart. Proverbs 26:24

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it. - Proverbs 25:16

And do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. - Zechariah 7:10

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives. And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. - Job 19:25

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. - Proverbs 23:12

Do not hold back discipline from the child. Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. - Proverbs 23:13

Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. - Proverbs 23:14

He who witholds his rod hates his son. But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. - Proverbs 13:24

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad. - Proverbs 23:15

Forsake your folly and live. Proceed in the way of understanding - Proverbs 9:6

At the moment I have no formal study plan - I'm just sort of jumping around. I found this one site that has the entire Bible on it (there are plenty of such sites) and I'm just sort of cruising through it, grabbing verses that grab me, and typing them out in my Google doc (NO COPYING AND PASTING!). This site gives *cross references* so I may end up jumping, e.g. from Proverbs to Timothy...but usually end up back in Proverbs since it's such a deep well of profundity.

If I can spend 30 minutes each day doing yoga, i.e. working on my ravishing body...

Then I ought to be able to at least SPEND 10 minutes a day on my modified Bible study, i.e. working on my incipient morality, right?

As for doing *charity*....I'm still unfortunately batting .000 - unless pointing out the stupidity of others is countable.


panner said...

Interesting post. I like it.

Did you ever check out Alpha? Brings community into the mix, among other things.

DU said...

The best Bible study companion is the Holy Spirit. Make the sign of the cross and pray that He will lead you each time you open the Word.

Online Bible study by sound Catholic theologians such as Scott Hahn can be found at

Memorizing scripture changes one’s internal voice filling it with truth. A couple of great chapters to memorize in the NT are Col. 3, I Cor. 13, John 1:1-18, Romans 6, II Cor. 5, Gal. 5, Eph. 4, Phil. 2:1-18, James 1. Of course, reading all of these passages in context helps in understanding. It is a life long process. The truth of God’s love for us is a mystery and a spiritual mystery is infinitely knowable.

Like learning a piece of music, the more a person plays it over, the more one can integrate the dynamics. The more a person reads and internalizes the letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, the more one can personalize the truths expressed. Memorization simply takes playing the music to another level as does memorizing the WORD. We must always be careful to respect the Author and never force the meaning but submit to it. Forcing one’s own meaning into the scripture is how we get the various protestant views on nearly everything. That’s why we pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth.