Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lector Bible

In South Carolina at least, Catholics must know their faith Biblically to be best equipped to be New Evangelizers: you know, talkin' 'bout ya faith ta people dat ain't Cat'lic. So that means you, Mr. Palmetto Lector, should have a Bible. I mean you should have one you will read. And mark up. And highlight. And make your own.

When I first started reading the Bible regularly, I used a plain hardbound copy of the NAB. But because it was hardbound, I wouldn't mark it up. I kept telling myself to get over it: it was my book, I could mark it up however I liked. I finally forced myself: I highlighted something. I felt like a vandal.

So I bought a cheap paperback version of the same Bible. Highlighted something...that seems ok. Highlighted something else...uh-huh. Added some margin notes...I feel good! This works!

Over the next few years I colored and tagged that cheapie like a graffiti artist. But eventually that Bible became so globbed with stickytabs, highlights, underlines, paperclips and margin notes that it was unmanageable for speaking from. As Frederick the Great said, "Wer alles verteidigen will, verteidigt nichts/ Who would defend everything defends nothing." If everything is eventually highlighted, then nothing is highlighted. Besides, I had internalized most of what I had been marking up. So three years ago I gave that copy to my son Michael, and bought another copy, same as the old one:

Still manageable. When it's not, I'll pass it on and start again.

Catholics in general, and Lectors in particular, who want to study the Bible are rightly advised to own a Bible that they are comfortable reading. I know everyone does not love the NAB, but one thing in its favor is that the readings we hear at Mass come from the NAB. So that's what I use.


P.S. Little quiz for ya! See handwritten note Shekhinah > Cherubim > Mary>. What's that got to do with the 'Signs and Wonders of the Apostles' in Acts 5? (Click image for a bigger jpeg.)

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