The Boring Parts Of The Bible

For those tracking my progress (or just curious to see if I need encouragement) I’m still working my way through the Bible.  I’m maybe 4-5 days behind schedule, but I plan on catching up on the plane when I go on vacation this week.

I wanted to briefly write about the “boring” parts of the Bible, if only to remind myself of their usefulness.

I don’t mean to blaspheme or anything, I’m not saying these parts are useless by any means.  It is just that as I read straight through as if I was reading a novel, they are really very dry.  They weren’t meant to be read like a novel, they had other purposes.  So it is kind of silly for me to read through them (or skim through them if truth be told) just to say that I read the Bible in a year.  But that’s what I signed up for and I intend to follow through.  (Just wait till I get to Romans and every sentence is power packed with deep meaning and I’ll be flying through them wishing I had these minutes back).

The Genealogies: I know that these are very important to historians and theologians tracing the line from Jesus back to David and I guess all the way back to Adam.  It is very cool that the prophecies can be tracked and traced all the way through.  But I’m sorry, right now I couldn’t care less who begat whom.

The Law: Again, this is probably a lot more interesting to lawyers who can trace many of the modern laws back to their origins (God).  Also, I know that it is comforting to know that God cared for his people enough to set them up with rules to live by.  Finally, I get that God is merely setting up the means of salvation for his people by establishing the inability of man to save himself and the necessity of blood sacrifice to serve as propitiation.  With that said, I don’t think I’ll ever need step by step instructions on slaughtering a lamb for ceremony.

Borders: I’m near the end of the book of Joshua (which had some thrilling stories of battles at the beginning) and Joshua is diving up the promised land to all the tribes.  Great to see that God fulfilled his promise to his people but I’ve never heard of these cities or care about these long since erased borders.  You’d think that they could have just included a map instead of spending 10 chapters describing the borders, but that’s just me.

So I get it.  I understand why this stuff is in there.  It was never really meant for me to read it straight through and enjoy like a novel.  I’m just being a stiff necked grumbler like the Israelites were (though I don’t think I’ll be bowing down to a golden calf any time soon).

2 thoughts on “The Boring Parts Of The Bible

  1. I must admit, at one point I shared the same opinion as you currently (or nearly two years ago) do on these “boring” parts of the Bible (and I imagine there is a bit of levity in this). Beyond the extensive and deep meanings in all of this, I’d summarize what I get out of the aforementioned seemingly painful minutia in the following ways:

    Genealogies: The fact that God has various writers iterate hundreds, and even thousands, of years worth of genealogies to include every single forefather shows how much God cares about EVERYBODY.

    The Law: The incredible complexity of and difficulty in following the law God prescribed to the Jews signified just how impossible it is to completely obey God and achieve perfection with Him.

    The Borders: I agree a simple map would be nice, though I think partly why God definitively outlined their borders was to later show just how short they fell in achieving what God wanted for them (and for us).

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