I believe the Bible offers two “epic” story experiences:
- Bible study as a romantic quest: digging into an ancient mystery of profound cultural importance that offers awe inspiring moments of discovery/realization; an experience with the mystique of films like Goonies, Indiana Jones & National Treasure.
- The Biblical narrative itself as an epic story that sprawls generations and culminates in a climatic conclusion in the life of Jesus and New Testament.
I want to say the later experience is enhanced by engaging in the first experience/activity above – to better understand how the pieces come together in the first place – but “enhanced” might be understating it.
In reality, my own journey leaves me believing the later experience, seeing the Bible as cohesive story, is often hardly possible for modern readers without the help of time studying and likely the assistance of bible scholarship too.
Overcoming the challenge to delve into the deep past, put together puzzle pieces and have the larger story of scripture grow increasingly clear – or how these two experiences can come together – is what I refer to as the Epic Bible Mystery.
Read through the entire Bible to better understand it as an epic story.
My plan is to:
- “Read through the entire Bible” by listening to the “Daily Bible 365” chronological audio bible (NJKV).
- Lean heavily on modern bible scholarship and especially the study of biblical patterns (and reading the Bible intertextually) “to better understand” how the pieces connect together.
- Focus particularly on facets of the story that relate to the broader moments, key figures and themes of the Bible “as an epic” narrative.
Share the insights and ideas I’m most passionate about along the way.
My plan is to:
- Create short videos as often as my journey through the Scriptures inspires it.
- ie. As often as I have something meaningful to share.
- Note: I’m actually considering going through the Bible twice, once with the unfolding story more in mind and a second time with a bigger focus on the pasts “fulfillment” in the life of Jesus and New Testament.
Avoid distractions from my goal and purpose.
My plan is to:
- Share bible study and the biblical narrative as epic story experiences.
- Avoid the polemic. My goal is not to pursued anyone to believe – or disbelieve in anything.
- Avoid exhaustive commentary. My goal is not to comment on every passage or topic – but focus on the big overarching themes and throughlines, digging into the details where these warrant it.
- Avoid highlighting oddities. There are strange and perpelxing things in Scripture, but being a tour guide to these is beyond the scope of this project.
- Avoid debating moral controversy. Students of the bible know there are morally controverial or “difficult” passages aplenty. Like the above, this isn’t the focus here, which isn’t to say some passages mentioned in regards to the biblical epic may also fall in this category. Just that, I won’t be addressing them at this level.
After 15 years of studying the bible with a focus on biblical patterns (and intertextuality) and also a keen interest in it as an epic story, I’m excited to be taking up this quest, uniting these interests, to both share the most exciting things I’ve learned and also learn more from others along the way.
The Bible Saga Study has begun.