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The Story

posted Jun 20, 2013, 9:45 AM by Tracey Morris   [ updated Mar 26, 2016, 7:38 AM ]

Have you ever read the Bible through from cover to cover? Have you ever made the attempt and then gave up somewhere in the middle of all the ceremonial laws of Leviticus, if not sooner? Would you like to try again?

Reading the Bible is difficult. It is not like reading a novel that tells a story in chronological order from beginning to end. The Bible tells a story, to be sure, but not like any other book you have ever read. Actually, the Bible is not a single book, but it is a collection of 66 books, written by many different people over a period of 1500 years, bound together in a single volume. Some of those books tell parts of the long story of God and His people, but not always in chronological order. Other books contain poetry, proverbs, writings left by the prophets, letters, visions, and all sorts of other things. If you do not have some background in how this all fits together, reading the Bible from cover to cover can be very confusing. But with a little help and a little background reading the Bible for yourself is a real blessing.

Zondervan Publishing Company has recently put together a nice volume called The Story. The 470 pages of The Story simplify reading the Bible by telling the story of the Bible in chronological order. It is not a rewrite of the Biblical material and it is not someone's summary. The words of the book are the actual words of the Bible (New International Version) edited and arranged for easier reading. The Bible's BIG story is divided into thirty-one stories, or chapters, that tell the story from the creation of the world in the Old Testament, to the final days of the ministry of St. Paul in the New Testament. A single chapter may contain portions from several Biblical books as it tells a segment of the story, but all are the actual words of the Bible. Not all of the Biblical content is included. The focus is on the story itself, and many of the long and difficult sections of other kinds of material are left out. There are also included brief introductions and transitions that are not from the Bible, but are there help you understand the flow of the story. These are clearly marked, and most of what you are reading is the text of the Bible itself.

This Fall at St. Paul's we are offering the opportunity to read The Story together as a congregation. The book ($10) and additional resources will be made available to anyone who wishes to order them, and there will be different options for your reading. You may, of course, just read the book on your own, at your own speed. Or, you may read it with others. You may sign up to discuss your reading in a weekly small group, or, you may attend a class taught by the pastors. There will be a thirty-one week schedule for the reading of the thirty-one chapters, so you will need to read only 15 pages a week, or about two pages a day. In even this little bit of time you will, in that time, read the entire story of the Bible.

More information will be coming soon. Then, in upcoming weeks you will be able to sign up for these opportunities, or you may call the church office to take part. Have a great summer!

Pastor Leon