Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old Testament year

So I'm two weeks in to my goal to read the entire Old Testament this year. After a little online browsing, I signed up for this plan, which emails me a reading assignment each day. With three chapters a day and five on Sundays, I'll finish the King James Version on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. I banned myself from reading anything else if I'm ever behind schedule--a harsh consequence indeed.
My sewing station / business desk / bedside table / scripture reading study.

(Side note: Did you know that if you google "scripture reading chart" all the results are Mormon, but if you google "scripture reading plan" they are not. What does it mean?? I guess I come by my fetish for charts honestly.)

So far I'm on Leviticus 15, way ahead of schedule. And I'm reading Jehovah and the World of the Old Testament, a sort of LDS-geared reference digest, as I go. And I have to tell you, I'm loving it. I don't have to give myself consequences or pep talks to keep going--I'm drawn to reading each day like I am with any other good book.

I've always said I was a New Testament girl--which I am, being a Christian and all--and that I didn't really have a testimony of the Old Testament. In fact, I've often scoffed at the poor Old Testament with its crazy, historically suspect (at best) tales and Byzantine ethical code. But now I'm seeing the truth of what they always say, which is that the Old Testament is the foundation Christ built his gospel on. In fact, it's the same gospel, but in an alluringly simplified, concretized, but symbolic form. I feel I now understand Christ's gospel better because my eyes are opened to the referents of all the symbolism and phraseology we use to try and describe Christ and the atonement.
I've had this scripture color code going for years. I need to spend some time transferring all the orange highlighting from my old scriptures to the new ones so  I can just thumb through and find all my favorite sections on the atonement.

Whenever my deep-thinking children get tied up in a theological conundrum (Who created God? Why are some people bad? How could God create Satan?), I tell them to try to explain algebra to Betsy (or whoever is our current little one). Algebra is true, Betsy is smart, but trying to explain it to her in her current state of maturity is totally futile. 

I think it must be similar for us humans trying to understand God. He's real, and we'll be able to understand him one day. But for today, he's beyond our grasp. So in the meantime, we have parables and symbols and rituals that let us glimpse him, start to get the gist. Truth in the form we can swallow. And as we study and live that, we become more like him, ready to understand more about him.

So yes, I'm well on my way to becoming one of those annoying people who raves about the joys of Isaiah.


  1. Angela--
    We have a fabulous OT institute class in our stake (starts up again tomorrow)--I'll send you an invite on the FB group so you can get the details. If you wanted to get a great perspective on how the OT is the basis for the entire gospel, I highly recommend it. Congrats on your goal and your enjoyment of it!

  2. Love this. I've been tackling the OT also and was excited to turn the page into Deuteronomy today. Like you, this has been something fun, something I look forward to. Isn't it great?