So when I started my job in October, I moved all my books from school and other various books that I've collected over the years into my office. On my bookshelf in my office there were already books there from the previous person, some good, some a waste of money, some I didn't even read the spine on. This book falls into the last category.
I was perusing my books this morning and found the book, "The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden" I know, long title. It piqued my interest. What's more interesting is that it's from the church library...and printed by The World Publishing Company and copyrighted in 1926. The introduction and preface were written by Dr. Frank Crane. At first I had reservations with having this collection of books on my shelf. It has various books in it like "The Gospel of the Birth of Mary", "The Protevangelion", and "I & II Clement". I know some of the excluded books weren't that bad, it's just they were excluded because their subject matter wasn't as universal as what was accepted. Also, there's the conflict of Gnosticism in most of the books written in the second, third, and fourth centuries and as Christians we're told to stay away from those heathen excluded books that may be the words of Satan himself! But then I read the Introduction and the Preface. Dr. Crane never had the books translated and published to push a Gnostic faith, rather he states in the Introduction:
As a believer in the authenticity of our accepted Scriptures I have no hesitancy in saying that I am perfectly satisfied to let the common sense of the world decide upon the superiority of the accepted text.
The publication of this book will do good because it takes away the veil of secrecy that has hidden for many years the act of the church in accepting certain Scriptures and rejecting others. All of the grounds are rendered perfectly intelligible to the common man.
So after reading this I thought, "Hey, I'll read some and see what it's all about."
Now I'll be perfectly honest, my Bible study times as of late have been a little sparse, and I'll admit I felt a bit guilty that I was so willing to read these other books written around the same time (supposedly about the same topics) of the "accepted Scriptures" and thought, "Why is it soooo easy to dive into this, but getting myself consistently in the Bible is like pulling fingernails?"
Sure I could chalk it up to the increased stresses of the new baby's impending arrival. I could even blame various events/people I've talked to/radio stations I listen to/things I read and say, "I'm getting my Bible through these various media..." But in all reality these pothole-crap-shoots of Bible aren't like really getting INTO the Bible. When I think of Bible study, it's not like studying the back of the Cap'n Crunch box at breakfast (read: lots of random messages all strewn together in a crappy version of Where's Waldo...how many Cap'n Hats Can YOU Find?). No no, studying the Bible should be like reading a good book...but then applying it to your life (like all those Star Wars books I've read...I'm THIS close to mastering my Force Push ability). Studying the Bible is reading the Bible, grasping the underlying concepts and themes, figuring out how they were applied back in the day, and then thinking, "Hmmm...I could do that!" and then DOING IT. You see, studying the Bible is the most active studying you can do. It's hands on. The Bible has countless lessons to be learned...and we can know them...but unless we're living them, they're worthless (like High School calculus). Come to think of it...studying the Bible is more like training to be a Jedi than getting an A in History. Our ENTIRE lives change when we study the Bible...and if they're not, put down your concordance, your parallel Bible, and cancel your subscription to Jesus Seminar Weekly: "Putting the Crazy in Exegesis" and get out and LIVE like the Bible tells us to. Bottom line, the person that knows it less but lives it more is closer to heaven than the person that knows it all but never takes a step.