Abridging the Bible for a literature-minded friend

My writer friend Andrew is looking for reading material, so he asked us to pitch him our favorite book. This was my response:

…Despite my extreme familiarity with Christian theology, every time I read [the Bible], I find something new. I’m recommending it, though, because it has so many stories that are absolutely crucial referents for Western literature. It’s not as popular now, but before, say, 1950, I’d imagine every educated person and most non-educated people had read it cover-to-cover. I know I can’t read twenty pages of Spanish/Span-Am literature without coming upon a Biblical reference.

It’s a long story, so I’m going to do you a favor and pick out the most important threads [from a literary perspective]:

HISTORY
Genesis (skip the genealogies)
Exodus 1-17, 19:16-20, 31-35:19
Joshua 6
Judges 6-8, 14-16
Ruth
1 Samuel 1-3, 8-10, 15-21, 24, 26, 28, 31
2 Samuel 1, 5-7, 11-12, 18-19:8
1 Kings 3, 8 11:1-13, 18-19
2 Kings 2, 5:1-19; Isaiah 39:5-8 (fits here); 2 Kings 24-25
Tobit; Judith 2, 13; Esther
Daniel 1-8, 13-14
Jonah

POETRY
Job 1-7, 38-42
Psalms 13, 14:1, 19, 22, 23 (Good Shepherd), 27, 29, 40:1-3, 84, 100, 121, 122, 125, 130, 137, 139, 144
Proverbs 9:10, 13:24, 15:1, 16:18, 17:28, 23:7, 25:25, 26:7, 26:11, 28:20, 31:10-31
Ecclesiastes; Song of Songs/Song of Solomon; Wisdom 7
Isaiah 6, 40, 52:13-15, 53, 62
Jeremiah 1, 31, 37
Hosea 1-3

NEW TESTAMENT
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Revelation. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are rather similar, so you can cruise through repeated stories, but John is quite unique.

Explore posts in the same categories: Literature, Religion

3 Comments on “Abridging the Bible for a literature-minded friend”

  1. The Scrapper Says:

    I don’t know if you’re interested, but what about a preliminary analysis of the stats from the season up to the Maui Invitational? We can compare it to last year’s numbers, see who the most effective players are? You can write a guest post if you’d like, or I can write it, or if you’re busy and can’t do it that’s obviously cool too. Just throwing around ideas. Hope you’re doing well and having a happy thanksgiving.


  2. Premium post, great looking website, added it to my favorites!


  3. […] 1Abridging the Bible for a literature-minded friend « Taiwan, Japan, Spain, and I SUBMIT […]


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