This week is National Bible Week. It is has been celebrated the week of Thanksgiving every year since 1941 by the National Bible Association, an organization that works to raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to the U.S. as a nation and in the lives of individuals.
What can we do to raise our own awareness about the Bible?
Here are some suggestions:
Mary Elizabeth Sperry, associate director for Utilization of the New American Bible, points out that the Bible—actually a library of 73 “books”—includes royal history, prophecy, poetry, love songs, letters, and of course believers’ accounts of the preaching and passion of Jesus. Yet, Sperry notes, the “Bible is not a history text, a science book, or a political manifesto.” The Bible is the record of the faith of people who walked with God—and sometimes did not. We read it to deepen faith, we pray with it to express faith—but we can also study the Bible. Taking an adult-level scripture course or reading a book by someone like Father Raymond Brown will help you to discover scripture’s depths. (From Take 5 for Faith)
Studying Scripture with renown Catholic Scripture scholar Raymond Brown, SS, is a great idea. You’ll find tons of listings at the Raymond Edward Brown author page on Amazon.The New Jerome Biblical Commentary is a favorite here at the convent, and I’m also fond of An Introduction to New Testament Christology.
Join a Bible study group at your parish or online! It’s always good to pray and reflect and study with others. Good for the mind and spirit.
Praying with Scripture is essential to our life of prayer. There are a variety of ways to pray with Scripture, starting with reading it! The Canadian Jesuits have some great tips on how to pray with Scripture. This approach is one that I learned when I lived in Toronto and was part of a Jesuit prayer group.
What other thoughts do you have on how to immerse yourself in Scripture and how Scripture can be lived in every day life?
Image: A closeup of the illuminated letter P in the 1407 Latin Bible.