Monday, January 22, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? January 22

So my plan is, each Monday to update anyone who reads this on what I'm currently reading and what I may have finished in the last week.

Currently Reading:

Title: What Happened
Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Date Started: January 1

I am also currently reading the bible but not tracking it like normal since it is a year long reading challenge.
          Genesis: 1-11

Currently Listening:

Title: Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Narrator: Christopher Hurt
Date Started: November 27, 2017
Note: On part 4 of 7

Finished Reading:

Title: Cowboy Seal Homecoming
Author: Nicole Helm
Date Finished: January 21
Stars: 4

Title: Harley and Ivy
Author: Paul Dini
Date Finished: January 18
Stars: 4

Title: The Blacksmith's Son
Author: Rebecca Thomas
Date Finished: January 18
Stars: 2

Title: Pugs of the Frozen North
Author: Philip Reeve
Date Finished: January 17
Stars: 5

Title: Repairing the World
Author: John Chu
Narrator: LeVar Burton
Date Finished: January 17
Stars: 4
Comment: Season 2, Episode 1 of LeVar Burton Reads

Title: Prison Island: A Graphic Memoir
Author: Colleen Frakes
Date Finished: January 16
Stars: 5
Comment: 2018 Read Harder Challenge - A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image

Title: Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories
Author: Sara Varon
Date Finished: January 9
Stars: 4
Comment: 2018 Read Harder Challenge -A comic written and illustrated by the same person

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Job #2018BibleRBR

In the chronological plan, I'm using this year, they take a break in Genesis to delve into Job.  They write: Job lived sometime after the beginning of creation (Genesis 1) but before Abraham was born (Genesis 12). As a result, the Book of Job is integrated into the Book of Genesis.

Keeping with the idea that the Bible is a collection of morality stories, the book of Job is teaching readers that bad things do happen to good people and it is not a punishment for something they have done wrong.  My bible also points out that the book of Job is also considered a frame tale. Frame tales are stories within stories, think Arabian Nights and how it's a story about a woman who tells stories and sometimes a character within her story tells a story.
Of Note: Job is a story within a story: chapters 1-2 and 42, 7-11 constitude a folke tale; set within that tale, in 3,1-42, 6 is a poetic debate about the case of suffering.
Frist the frame.  This kind of reminded me of the story of the Sun and the Wind and who can make the man take off his coat.  The Sun knows that the wind isn't going to win the challenge, but to prove his point he needs the Wind to try his hardest and fail.  The same is with this, Satan is sure that he can get Job to blaspheme God and presses upon Job trials to test his devotion. In the end Job may question God, but he never speaks out again him, he doesn't take God's name in vain or curse him, he just wants to know why.

The bulk of this book of the Bible is like so much of the poetry I read as an English major.  I read it, I know the words being used but I can't make sense of so much of what I'm reading.  Job is suffering, his family has all been killed, he's contacted some horrible disease and no one wants anything to do with him except for 3 of his friends.  Yet, I feel like these friends are almost frienemies. They don't want to believe Job that he didn't do anything to cause God to curse him, they keep telling their friend he's lying and to just admit he sinned. Really?! What kind of friend are these guys?

Job questions God and God pretty much is like who are you to question me?  God is giving Job every opportunity to lash out at him and Job is just like I'm sorry, "I am of little account" (Jb 40, 4) I just don't understand and it's frustrating. I've lost so much and I just don't understand why but I shouldn't question you, you have a plan. Then God rewards him because he helped God prove to Satan that the devout cannot be swayed.

So now my favorite part - Job 40, 15-24

See, besides you I made Behemoth,
that feeds on grass like an ox.
Behold the strength in his loins,
and his vigor in the sinews of his belly.
He carries his tail like a cedar;
the sinews of his thighs are like cables.
His bones are like tubes of bronze;
his frame like iron rods. 
He came at the beginning of God's ways,
and was made the taskmaker of his fellows:
For the produce of the mountains is brought to him,
and of all the wild animals he makes sport.
Under the lotus tree he lies,
in coverts of the reedy swamp.
The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
all about him are the poplars on the bank.
If the river grows violent, he is not disturbed;
he is tranquil through the torrent surges about his mouth.
Who can capture him by his eyes,
or pierce his nose with a trap?
 I love that for an example God picks the hippo!

Now we head back to Genesis for next week's post. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Genesis: 1-11 #2018BibleRBR

I started this challenge a little late, and because I'm doing this Chronolocialy my posts will be grouped a little differently than a weekly checking post.  I'm starting off with this first section of Genesis because then chronologically it moves to Job.

I will be using The Catholic Youth Bible. I received this one when I was a senior and leaving the Youth Group at my church.  One of the reasons I've held onto this particular version is that before each book there is a section that describes what you are about to read.  It gives you a bit of history, there is also a side by side timeline of Bible History and Human History, it was just where I would go whenever I had questions about faith and religion.
The Book of Gensis is divided as follows:
1. The Primeval History (1-11)
2. The Patriarch Abraham (12-25:18)
3. The Patriarchs Isaac and Jacob (25:19 - 36)
4. Joseph and His Brothers (37-50)
Here are some passages and footnotes I found the most interesting:
Gn 1, 5  God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed - the first day.
In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial literary structure of Gn 1-2 God's creative activity is divided into six days to teach the sacredness of the sabbath rest on the seventh day
Starting early, this sets up the idea that the bible is a collection of stories written in a way to teach a lesson.  They are fables, written maybe to collect the oral traditions or to write history, but mainly to teach people morals. We start off with a story that is meant to teach readers to respect the Sabbath. You may have worked all week and feel like there is more work but look even God rested and so must you. Looking at it this way, the story of creation is no different than say the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.
Gn 2, 7 the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
God is portrayed as a potter modeling man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebrew between adam (man) and adama (ground). being: literally, soul.
There was a lot of wordplay in these few first chapters. This being the first one, gives a clear example of the importance of naming in the bible. Along with the importance of naming is this image of God working with clay. At the time I believe this would have been something people could relate to, working with their hands to create something. Whether it was as an oral story told or once it was written down, the idea that creating something is hands-on connects with a lot of people.  These images make the work more relatable.
GN 5, 1-32 Generations: Adam to Noah
Althought this chapter, with its highly schematic form, belongs to the relatively late "Priestly document," it is based on very ancient traditions. Together with Gn 11:10-26, its primary purpose is to bridge the genealogical gap between Adam and Abraham. The long lifespans attributed to these ten antediluvian patriarchs have a symolic rather than historical value. Babylonian traditon also recorded ten kings with fantastically high ages who reigned successively before the flood. 
I honestly have always found these chapters borning. I understand their importance, but I tend to just skim over them. This time I read them and this footnote gave me a better appreciation of the genealogical connection between these men and the importance it has on the story. Reading them instead of this long list of men who lived way too long, it's more a list of important men and the connections that lead from the first man to another very important man. The older their age at fatherhood and the longer they live is a representation of their worth.
Gn 6, 1-4 Creation of the Nephilim This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology. The sacred author incorporates it here, not only in order to account for the prehistoric giants of Palestine, whom the Israelites called the Nephilim, but also to introduce the story of the flood with a moral orientation - the constantly increasing wickedness of mankind. 
 I am a Supernatural fan and now that we're dealing with Nephilim in the series this was really an interesting chapter for me to read this time around. I can't say that this short section ever really made an impact on my memory. When they introduced the Nephilim on the show I had to look it up cause I had no idea what the heck a Nephilim was let alone where it connected to the bible.

Just a quick note on the flood.  A number of years ago I listened to the audiobook version of Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis. In it, he discusses a number of creation stories and nearly all of them talk about a great flood.