If my greatest reading accomplishment in 2020 was reading 100 books in a year, my reading accomplishment for 2021 was finally reading my entire Bibliotheca set in a little over nine months.
For those unfamiliar with Bibliotheca:
Bibliotheca is an elegant, meticulously crafted edition of the Bible designed to invite the reader to a pure, literary experience of its vast and varied contents.
The text is treated in classic typographic style, free of all added conventions such as chapter and verse numbers, section headers, cross-references, and marginalia.
I received the set way back in December of 2016 and despite picking it up on occasion never really read it in any serious way.
I don’t really have any deep spiritual/theological nuggets of wisdom to offer as my approach was really about getting lost in reading scripture as literature. So instead, allow me to offer my thoughts as tracked via Goodreads:
Volume I: The Five Books of Moses & The Former Prophets
I would give the design and materials of Bibliotheca 5 stars but I am not going to lie, by the end of this volume I was slogging through the kings and their continued insistence on doing evil in the sight of God. Seems almost sacrilegious to give the Bible 3 stars but hard to say “I really liked it” given the content… ;-)
A few things struck me while reading in this format: it really reads like the ancient text that it is, there is a lot of violence, and there is very little obvious doctrine or theology. My perspective leans heavily in this direction, but I was struck by the narrative drive of scripture. It is about the relationship of the people of Israel with their God. It is not abstract theology but often blunt and ugly history but with a God who is faithful.