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11.29.2011

An email upon my completing 7 complete readings of the Bible

>How does it feel to have read the bible 7 times complete?

Well, I've thought about it. One thing that nags at me is I don't *feel* like I have it all in me at a deep, essential level. Like I keep thinking if I had had it read to me as a child, then I'd read it as a child, and I'd memorized passages as a child, then it seems like it would *really* be in me in a more substantial way. But I'm not sure it works that way even for people who start with it as children.

Even if it still seems 'surface' in you I still have experience with it that after even my first complete reading it would 'come up' from inside me when I was pondering doctrinal questions or arguing doctrinal points, or just being challenged regarding doctrinal points, or discerning 'on-the-mark' and 'off-the-mark' regarding doctrine. The material of the Old and New Testaments would come to mind in a sort of whole way.

So I can't say it's only surface in me.

It's living language, so...

Also, to use the Homeric epics example, when you get the higher visual language in you you are seeing things you couldn't see before, *even if you don't have the epic poems in you in some technically memorized way.* And you take it for granted, mostly too. You are put into new territory and you don't realize that you are in new territory.

Maybe I can say this: I do suspect that it only took three complete readings to get basic 'in focus' understanding of what I was reading (maybe four or five, but that may have to do with time eras because I read the Bible three times complete in sort of the same time era of my life, then the fourth and fifth much later). Like the history books. Maybe the prophets came along last. But doing it that way is best. It is organic. Inside out development of understanding of it.

So, 'seven times' might have been fanciful just as a number. I can see benefit now in doing another with a system like Paul [of England] has been mentioning. Basically just always drenching yourself in it. Yet mechanical is what is to be avoided, and mechanical reading happens when you don't increase level of being. To increase understanding you have to increase *capacity* for understanding. - C.

ps- Learning doctrine from the on-the-mark school [Reformed, Calvinist] contributes greatly to understanding the 'whole' of Scripture, yet you have to have the whole text of Scripture in you to have the raw material corresponding to what you are reading in doctrine. And understanding is, of course, seeing the parts in relation to the whole.

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