Bible Reading and Literature
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Bible Reading and Literature

For a country that is predominantly Christian, the Philippines is not famous as a Bible reading nation. Many homes comprise at least a copy of the Holy Bible, but is it being read only on special occasion. A Bible study or prayer gatherings are the most available time the Book is open and read. The Society of Saint Paul Philippines has been trying to rectify this situation and encouraging the widespread reading of the Bible by conducting a yearly National Bible Quiz.

BIBLE READING AND LITERATURE

The Philippines proudly boast to be the only Christian country in Asia. More than 92 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, others belong to various nationalized Christian sects, and about 5% are Muslim while approximately 2 percent belong to other or none.

For a country that is predominantly Christian, the Philippines is not famous as a Bible reading nation. Many homes comprise at least a copy of the Holy Bible, but is it being read only on special occasion. A Bible study or prayer gatherings are the most available time the Book is open and read. The Society of Saint Paul Philippines has been trying to rectify this situation and encouraging the widespread reading of the Bible by conducting a yearly National Bible Quiz.

The Bible is essentially a religious history book, a book all-about God and His relationship with mankind. It is also a book of perfect literature.

The Bible is one of the best-selling books of all time and stands as one of the foundation of human civilization. It is most probably the influential literature in the world. The Bible has been translated into variety of languages from the Biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramic and Greek. In total, the full Bible has been translated into over 450 languages. The English Bible translations in particular have abundant and varied history of more than a millennium and the King James Version of the Bible has had a lasting impact on the English language.

The main genres in the Bible are narrative and poetry which also includes prophecy, pastoral, encomium, visionary composition and drama – "Book of Job." It also includes oratorical, travelogue, proverb, saying, chronicle, parable, lamentation, saying, epistle and song – all in all, more than a hundred literatures. Absolutely, it is a complete book of literature.

The Bible is also a complete vault of archetypes. It is indeed universal because it touches the very essence of human experience. It uses most of the resources of language and figures of speech such as metaphor, imagery, symbol, allusion, irony, hyperbole, word play, direct address or apostrophe, paradox and personification. There is no wonder why there are many biblical allusions in the authorship of Shakespeare, Ernest Hemmingway, John Milton and Herman Melville.

From the University of Oregon, Professor Leland Ryken said that the goal of literature is to make the readers share indirectly or relive an experience. He quoted, “The truth that literature imparts is not simply ideas that are true but truthfulness to human experience.” The truthfulness of human experience makes the Bible for all people

Verses from the Bible: as literature;

“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…” Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3

For poetry and beauty of language, there is the Song of Solomon;

“The flowers appear on earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, voices of the turtles are heard in the land…”                                                                                                                        

“As the lily amongst thorns, so is my love among the daughters….”

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." Genesis 9:3 ESV

I Corinthians 13 which is about love, “love” is synonymous to “charity”;

“Though I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have no charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal;

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing,”

And it ends thus:

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood like a child, I thought as a child; but when I was a man, I put away childish things.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest is charity.”

Others:                                                           

"The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:31 New International Version

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."

Luke 6:31 New International Version

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without

expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you

will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

Luke 6:35 New International Version

Now, there is the “Lord’s Prayer”, which is very simple, reassuring prayer: it calms the mind and self, and puts anyone who chants it in a meditative state, in peace of the Lord.

The Bible is truly one of the greatest books in all literature and in the world. It’s a pity that it is not being read by more people nowadays. Thanks to the Society of St. Paul for conducting the National Bible Quiz and urge the students and youth to join the contest promoting Bible reading.

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Comments (17)

Excellent job!

Excellent information. Thanks Sir

A great reminder. We often leave our Bibles on the shelves just to be covered by dust :) Thanks, sir!

This was an excellent reminder that we all need to read our Bible daily, not just at church on Sundays and on special occasions. Well done, Ron.

Ron, the pity of what you singled out in this article is not that more people are not reading the Bible...it is that they do not apply it to their lives...thank you for a wonderful article.

Excellent, excellent, excellent! Great biblical history lesson and verses that anyone and everyone will do well to live by. My goodness, can you even imagine a world where everyone preferred the other person's needs as being just as important as their own? A world where we treated people just the way we would like others to treat us? A world where the only thing that abounded was love and charity? This is what the Bible offers to us as a way of how life should be. Sounds like "heaven," doesn't it? :)

Voting this and putting on my facebook as well. Well done, good and faithful servant!

Yes, it is a good article with an exhortation to read our bibles but also as Beverly Anne pointed out, we must learn it and apply it. Jesus said, "if you love me you will keep my commandments"

I also wrote an article on reading the bible with a little different slant. Do Christians Believe a Literal Interpretation of the Bible (the answer is yes) http://societies-religion-culture.factoidz.com/do-christians-believe-a-literal-interpretation-of-the-bible/

Thanks everyone for the read and thoughtful comments. Yes Beverly and Judith, to apply what you read is the very significant thing after reading, much appreciated.

Ron, this is one of your best pieces of work. Outstanding.

I do love I Corinthians 13. Even the NIV version shows Paul at his most contemplative, the lines hypnotically rhythmic, the nuances of feeling so subtle. I loved reading the Holy Bible. Thanks for this article, Ron, which reminds me that I should often return to its pages as they are timeless and continue to be relevant in our times, in our lives.

very well down, you brought back to memory some beautiful passages for me.

Thanks Martin, Jonel and Carol for the support and encouragements.

I like reading these scriptures. My life is centered around the Bible and have liked reading it for all my adult life. I think you have done a wonderful job on this article.thank you.

Thank you very much my friend.

One man told me that it's better to have a broken Bible than to have a broken body. Interesting read, all my thoughts are influenced from the Bible being thought at Sunday School when I was but a child.

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