This past week our church bible study group got one step closer to finishing the entire New Testament, and with only three chapters left in the Book of Revelation, we’re about done! I can hardly believe it. We’ve been meeting together at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lincoln Park for nearly 2 years now and are about to finish it. We’re already talking about starting on the Old Testament immediately the week after.
When we started the group, our aspiration was merely to read the Gospels — which I thought was a huge task in itself. For those of you unfamiliar or lost in the simulacra of menippean phatic communion, the holy book for Christians is the “Holy Bible.” It’s made up of books by various authors spanning thousands of years and is divided into two sections:
• “The Old Testament” covering the ancient history humankind, from the creation of the universe up to the time of the inception of the Jewish people and their relatives, and then those people’s general history up til the time of an individual named Jesus.
• “The New Testament” covers the history of the life of Jesus, and the history of hir followers in the years following the departure of Jesus. The first four books of the “New Testament” tell the life of Jesus and are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – together they are referred to as The Gospels. The books after The Gospels tell the story of the followers of Jesus until a lot of the generation who personally knew Jesus passed away.
Why tell you this? As an Episcopalian, we really aren’t the evangelical type, but I’ve known so many people of late who know little to nothing about Christianity that I thought I’d speak of it. If you didn’t know, that’s the context.
As far as the final book of the Bible – the Book of Revelation – which we are in the midst of reading, it’s a very famous book as it is not only the final book, but was a titanic “vision” which the follower of Jesus by the name of John, received from God. It is a book full of strange creatures and things, “end of the world” scenarios, and pictures of oppression, such as the number 666 which many Christians quote as being an evil number of Satan and symbol of hir enslavement of humankind. In the end, such oppressions are merely us choosing to be separate from our God power.
Anyway, it’s pretty cool stuff. With Thanksgiving, we’re going to put off meeting this week, but will have a big party to finish off the whole thing next week. I can still hardly believe it, we’re finishing the New Testament!