Sunday, June 13, 2010


I can count on one hand the number of New Years resolutions I have thoroughly captured and completed in my life. As of today, I am 50% thru with this year's personal challenge.......reading the Bible in just one year. Being the analytical, scientific, detail oriented person that I am, I've always found portions of the Bible to be fragmented and confusing. Friends of mine, I am reading the very best Bible to battle these stumbling blocks.....The Chronological Study Bible. It is formatted (read: re-organized) to read totally chronologically, and It Is Amazing! It is also chock full of archaeological, anthropological, and historically verified facts, tidbits, and enable a full understanding of the writings in the Bible. I have gained ever so much knowledge on my quest, and have also come to some interesting (to me) conclusions and ponderings that are mine alone. Here, I give you a (very) brief and random sampling of some points of interest...if you are interested that is :) :
*The Assyrians had a god of their own who's name was Sin. Sin brought personal destruction. Hmmm....I think we all have a little Assyrian in us still.

*Regarding the 40 year walk in the desert.....Of the thousands who left Egypt, only 3 original hikers actually made it the full 40 years: Moses, Caleb, and Joshua (of course there was another generation created along the way, but I digress)

*Moses died at Mt. Nebo, which is also known as Mt. Pisgah, which means Most High Place. There is also a Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina in the Adirondacks. I'd like to visit there someday.

*I especially like Psalm 37 and 90. I've tried, but I don't find myself, in general, to be a Psalms girl. I am terribly fond of Proverbs. I connect with them. (Do you find that odd?)

*God separated the waters more than once to get his people to where they needed to be. He did it once at the Red Sea. He did it again at the Jordan so that the Israelis could get to Jericho. (check out Joshua 4 if you are curious).

*There is archaeological evidence that there was an earthquake of some sort involved when all that marching went on around the walls of Jericho. Also, the city was most likely suffering from a plague of some sort at the same time......which is (probably) why the Israelites were instructed to burn everything except for metals once the city was conquered. God knew what he was always. (that would be the circumstances surrounding Joshua 6)

*A Philistine: ~noun~ a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits. I think this is akin to calling someone a redneck these days, but a good word/definition to keep in your pocket for possible future use.

*One of the first mentioning of Jerusalem is in Joshua 18. Only back then, it was called Jebus....the city of the tribe of Benjamin.

*Guess what. The Mesopotamians also had a god named Sin. He was their moon god. Many temples were constructed and devoted to Sin. (Hmmm.....we have buildings nowadays that are devoted to Sin too?.......)

*There are a TON of references to 40years in the Bible. No, everything didn't happen wham bam accurately like that. 40 years denotes a period of time that signifies a generation has passed. (That certainly cleaned this particular issue up for ME anyway).

*Random facts: there are a surprising number of references to Bees and Horses in the Bible. I like that. Look it up.

*Samson was a Nazarite. A Nazarite was not an ethnic group of people, but rather one who makes a vow. Samson was the only Nazarite mentioned by name in the Old Testament. Do you know the story about Samson and Delilah? It's really not a very pretty story. Really, when you include all the facts, it's not that appropriate for little kid's Sunday school. Oh, and when Samson tears the temple down, he dies at the end too. I guess I never realized that part until I read the whole story.
*I really like Ecclesiastes. It makes sense. It's alot like Proverbs.

*There is a location in the Bible called Shiloh. Shiloh means "the peaceful one" or "tranquility". There is a location in Mississippi called Shiloh that had one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War.....the Battle at Shiloh . I sure wish the Union and Confederates had known that their location was named after a place of peace.

*David only knocked Goliath out with the stone. He then killed him with Goliath's own sword.

*The Israelites were oppressed for so long partly because they were not allowed to own or make metal objects or to learn to smelt metal for fear that they would make weapons. They had to trade or plunder to get anything made from metal. It was hundreds of years before this was no longer an issue.

*The giants in the Bible had 6 fingers and 6 toes. Somehow, this led me down the research path about Hemingway's cats.....don't ask. My mind moves in odd ways sometimes.

*The mighty men of the Old Testament were certainly not totally virtuous and good kind souls all the time. Heck, some of the stuff I've read (including parts about David, Solomon, etc) really would make for rated R movie material. The wars, sex, blood baths, incest, extra-marital affairs, etc is really shocking at times. I mean, wow. YET!!!!!!....... God has used all of these obviously imperfect men to achieve totally great things. There is hope for us all.

*Saul killed himself in battle because he didn't want to be killed by a Philistine (in the same battle).

*The Mesopotamians also had a god named Erra. He was "the god of mayem and pestilence". This is where our word "error" most likely comes from.

*There was a trio of singers who sang many of the psalms: Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. (Kind of like Philips, Craig, and Dean !)

*There are 150 Psalms in the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that David actually wrote more than 4000, but only a small sample was included in the Bible.

*Just because you are a good guy doesn't mean you are guaranteed to have good kids. This is a common theme throughout the OT. Check out David and his evil son Absalom. He was definitely a bad apple.

*The book of Samuel is the work of a historian, while Chronicles is more likely the work of religion based priestly historian. Basically, if you want the blood and guts version of David, read Samuel. Chronicles puts the same events in a more pure light, and doesn't include a lot of the "unpleasant stuff". Thought: is this why we are usually directed to read in Chronicles moreso than in Samuel (at least that has been my experience)?

*Regarding the government of the times. Census' were taken for only 3 reasons: draft citizens into forced labor. draft citizens into military service
(I was reading this section while we were being hounded by the 2010 Census Bureau.....coincidence? I think not.)

*While Solomon is known for building THE Temple, he really didn't do all that much. See, his dad (David) actually put everything all the materials together, had blueprints made, had EXACT measurements, hired all the best workers......EVERYTHING. Solomon only snapped his fingers and set the construction in motion. David should get more credit for the temple. Don't get me wrong. Solomon was a good guy in the Bible. He was like Donald Trump's son...he had everything handed to him on a gold platter. The best thing about Solomon was that when God asked him what he wanted, he had the presence of mind to ask for wisdom and knowledge instead of more money and more power. I like that.

*Solomon's temple was roughly 1/5th the size of Noah's ark, but of the same height. (I did the math out of curiosity)

*Solomon again. I find it interesting that the Song of Solomon is included in the Bible. The man had 700 wives and 300+ concubines. Exactly which one was he writing about?

*Joash was the youngest king in the line of David. He became king at 7 years old.

*King Azariah became a leper. (he was also in the Davidic line)

*Don't know why, but I connect better with Isaiah than with David. Isaiah....I just like the guy.

*Read during the middle of the BP gulf oil spill/catastrophe:
Isaiah 24:5- The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants.
He sure got that right.

*While there is no direct reference, it is believed that Isaiah was killed by king Manasseh. He was put in a log and then sawed in half. O.U.C.H.

*The book of Deuteronomy was written around 1400BC. It was lost for awhile, and was rediscovered around 640BC by a priest during Josiah's reign. Imagine that. An archaeological discovery back then. There was a bit of excitement about this as it was documented in the Bible at least twice that I've read. Can you imagine? Modern day archeologists get excited about things they find related to life hundreds of years ago too.

*Zephaniah (yes, he has his own book) kind of scares me.

And here I stop. I just entered 583BC, so this will be continued. This is but mere morsels of the meat and potatoes I've been eating. Oh, and know this. I've had my personal battle of wills. There are days that I just can't do it.....but I'm reading anyway. There are days that I am not enjoying what I'm reading......but I'm reading anyway. There are days that I don't feel like being involved in scripture (because I'm angry, mad, upset, or just having a really bad day).....but I'm reading anyway. It has been on some of those days that I've found verses oh so relevent to current issues in my life. I am nothing, if not tenacious. :). Did you know that fewer than 10% of Christians have ever read the Bible cover to cover. That in itself is a call to be challenged.

Stay tuned for more trivia and musings. I've got another 600 years to cover!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE those tidbits... and now I'm convinced I MUST find that Bible at 1/2 price books! So proud of you and your tenacity. Maybe 2011 will be the year I do it!