Although I’ve been plenty busy playing catch up with work and e-mail since the Glorious Reconnection, I took some time to explore Biblioblogs.com, a site that lists rather comprehensively Biblical studies blogs from a wide variety of sources and perspectives. I had encountered a few such blogs during my first blogging venture (2005) and a number of times since, but given that I have been notoriously unable to handle keeping up with individual blogs, I made no real effort to visit them systematically. That all has changed with the goodness that is Google Reader, of course, and so I’m very much looking forward to keeping up with these now. Truly, the blogosphere is buzzing with (serious) Biblical studies activity!
One of my more delightful finds was Kevin Edgecomb’s wholly excellent blog, biblicalia. The blog is embedded in his site, bomabaxo―which, as you will note, contains a number of singularly outstanding biblical and patristic resources (including a fresh translation of the biblical prologues found in the Latin Vulgate!). In a recent post, he has introduced a year-long Bible reading plan that incorporates not only the protocanonical books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, but also the whole number of deuterocanonical books found in the Septuagint and the Slavonic Bible (all readily available in English in the New Revised Standard Version). Of course, I quite agree with my hero Father Ephrem Lash that the Church’s way of reading is always preferable to any other. But a plan such as this does not aim to replace the daily portions from the Epistles and the Gospels which we should all be attending to, but rather “to encourage familiarity with the Scriptures” as a whole. And most certainly, knowledge of Biblical content is an end in itself, so that such an undertaking needs no justification.
Those of us who are Orthodox would do well to pick up a reading plan such as this one at the beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year, September 1/14, which is fast approaching. And I don’t think for a minute that the 4-5 daily chapters that this endeavor would require are excessive: after all, many people finished the formidable 759 pages of the last Harry Potter novel in but a day or two. Needless to say, the Bible is far more interesting as literature (at the very least!); would that some of that excitement fueled our own Biblical reading!
[Also, for those literate in Greek, this news just in from Evangelical Textual Criticism: the United Bible Societies’ critical edition of the Byzantine text of the Gospel of St John (an endeavor undertaken at the request of the Orthodox Church of Greece) is now available in an electronic edition here!]