Sunday, May 1, 2016

Can you name all 66?

Could you name all 66 books of the bible?
Does it really matter?

During the week, starting with the New Testament, I tried to say all the books of the bible in order.

For the most part, I did pretty well.

I forgot Philemon in the New Testament and, while being shown grace on the order of the Minor Prophets, only missed Jonah in the Old Testament.

64 out of 66 isn't too bad...

But the person I was doing it with, whilst also achieving a good recollection, missed quite a few of the obscure books.


Because she hadn't really encountered them in depth.

But I think every Christian, like the one I was with, should be able to give a good accounting of themselves when it comes to the books of the bible.


Because they should have a good idea of the bible's meta-narrative.

Like those who gain a wider biblical perspective from teaching scripture, after sitting in church for a number of years - never mind independently spiritually feeding yourself - you should have a rough outline of the overarching salvation story.

If you don't, it might be due to the leadership of your church not feeding you a wide diet from the scriptures.

It's one of the advantages of using the lectionary passages (even though I wouldn't recommend doing it 50 weeks a year).

Following the example of Paul from Acts 20, the church should seek to teach you the whole counsel of God, spanning the breadth and depth of the entire scriptures.

But, the most important element of this teaching should never be for memory retention.

The marker of success is life change and increasing Christlikeness.

So, while 64 out 66 is a pretty good mark, I don't think it'll impress many people outside of the those on The American Bible Challenge. And even then, they'd never forgive me for forgetting Jonah.

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