"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Most Influential Book

Recently, I finished reading what I consider one of the most influential books in the world, the Old Testament. Not only is it a religious base for Christians, but for Jews as well. Plus, how many other works of literature reference stories and ideas that originate in the Old Testament? The literary canon, my friends, know it and love it.

I'm pretty proud to say that I've read every word, including the Mosaic Law and role-call of Israel (I know, not the greatest plot-line), and I was reminded of a couple of things this time around. The first is that I'm really glad that the Old Testament God is different from the one I am familiar with. Otherwise, I would have been zapped a long time ago.

The second is that reading about the struggles that ancient Jews went through reaffirms in my mind the sad and beautiful history that the Jewish faith carries with it. Theirs is a history full of meaning and tradition, of sorrow and the sublime, and I feel reading the Old Testament has impressed that on me even deeper.

Third, I love the book of Isaiah. His writings can make sense to me and my modern perspective just as it did to the people of his time. His gift for writing anachronistically really speaks to me and I appreciate his poetic writing.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Old Testament. I have only read it in its entirety once, and I do have to say that I will probably never again read the numbering of the tribes of Israel or the intricacies of how to diagnose leprosy but I absolutely love the deep and rich symbolism of our savior that fills so much of the writings of the ancient prophets.