January 31, 2008

Links for the weekend (a day early)

Posted in Points of Interest at 7:30 am by Matt Porter

Here are a couple of reads you might find interesting. The first is an ongoing blog by David Plotz, deputy editor of Slate Magazine. He is a mostly non-practicing Jew (he describes himself at one point as “pork-loving”) who recorded his first read through the Scriptures (at least the Old Testament). As a newcomer to the Bible, his perspective is fresh; as a Jew, his national (and to a lesser extent, religious) pride is evident. Watching Plotz make connections between what he reads and traditions he practices is fascinating; one begins to understand just how ancient Jewish tradition is. The writing is transparent in the extreme; when he disagrees with a section or doesn’t get it, he says so. (For instance, many chapters were summarized along the lines of, “Nothing interesting happened in this chapter.”) On the other hand, Plotz’s wonder and enjoyment of the narrative and poetry comes through equally well; his journalist’s nature seems at times enthralled with the poetic language in various passages. Most books receive their own page, or even several pages for the longer books. Although the blog started in 2006 and ended in 2007, I discovered just it this month. Blogging the Bible is an interesting read well worth your time, if only for the unique perspective on Scripture that it brings.

Plotz’s blog inspired a Christian to attempt a blog of his reading through the entire Bible. Wonders for Oyarsa started at approximately the same time as the Slate feature, but moves much more slowly (at last check, the blog was into First Kings). If you’re not up for two reads of such length (or even one), you should at least read his entries Difficulties in Genesis (and What to Do about Them) and Fighting with the Bible. The first summarizes the difficulty of dealing with things in the Bible which seem unjust to us (things such as corporate guilt and generational curses). The second is a beautiful take on the book of Job which has to be read to be appreciated.

It’s (almost) the weekend! A more regular posting schedule should recommence, along with the first book review/report post(s).

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