In the beginning…beginning

December 12, 2009

Now, I didn’t own my own Bible when I decided I was going to embark on this adventure, so I had to go out and buy one. Reaching the bookstore I soon found that there are a ton of bibles. I’m not talking Bibles for every religion, I mean, there were shelves upon shelves for the Catholic/Christian/“that side of religion” Bible. I read the spine of every one hoping for some enlightenment, but soon gave up on that notion given the already mentioned state of my soul. I eventually solicited the help of a fellow shopper who, I came to find, was purchasing a second Bible for herself.

Hold the phone: a second Bible?

Why, I asked myself, would someone need another Bible? I had begun to formulate the question upon seeing the shelves of Bibles and pondering the need for such variety, but this religious shopper hit home. As an example she proceeded in describing to me the tome she had unearthed had two variations/interpretations of the Bible side by side on each page for easy comparison. On top of this, the books in front of us were similar to hers, in that they were all interpretations of the Bible. Well, I was looking for the Bible, and after a short dialogue I narrowed in on what I believe to be the original text. Practically a textbook, I chose: “The New Oxford Annotated Bible” with all the fixin’s. (There’s the link if you want to pick one up yourself and read along, because apparently there are different versions)

My new friend in religion cautioned me upon our separation, with an air of condescension I should add: “The original is difficult!” she said, and I laughed the short and awkward “just-met-a-stranger” laugh despite the fact she was completely serious. Apparently I even give off the sense that I have a weak mind and soul…

My interaction in the bookstore was interesting, more so upon reflection, and here’s why. I don’t know much about the Bible, this much is true, but it seems to me that if I am going to live my life by the written words of an ancient document, I might want to actually read that document myself. I may put faith and trust in my parent or pastor that he or she is indeed telling me the word of the scripture, but if I plan on living my life under such a strict code, it seems only reasonable that I would do some investigation of my own. After all, in the rest of our lives we do make sure of our actions before we check both ways and dive in to something new. Now, I may be too harsh on my Bible informant. As far as I know, she’s read the original, the first edition, the King James Bible, and she’s ready to hear what other people say about it. Unfortunately for her, and for her fellow churchgoers, experience has not given me the ability to grant such logic and worldly aspirations to religion.

I was excited to bring my new book home and introduce it to all the rest, but I was apprehensive as well. I was concerned in between readings that due to its proximity to works of literature, Ayn Rand and general science fiction, that one or the other might explode (which in hind sight wouldn’t have been a bad thing; after the dust settled I would have known which was greater). Alas, my Bible made friends with its new bunk mates and I’m sure they share stories at night. Ha! “stories”…clever.

For any of you interested in purchasing a Bible let me tell you that it is a good investment. Despite its humble width of about 2 inches this thing has close to 2000 pages! I’d probably feel like I was getting a better deal if it was printed on actual paper. I know I’m not the first person to call it “Bible paper” but what the hell is that all about? Maybe that’s why that lady needed another Bible. Her first one probably got destroyed when she opened a window. Needless to say, I find myself taking more care of this book than others I care more about. Irony point to God. Anyway, I did spend a pretty penny on my Bible, but hopefully God will see the selfless opening of my pocketbook as a true sign of my genuine pursuit of Him.

Nah. He’s probably smarter than that.