Proceeding to the Deuterocanonical Writings

I am currently reading the Book of Malachi for my daily quiet time.  I said in a recent post that I was thinking of going to the New Testament next rather than the deuterocanonical writings.  I have changed my mind about that: I will be going through the deuterocanonical writings next.

This is a bit daunting, for a variety of reasons.  For one, I have a host of commentaries that pertain to the Jewish and Protestant canon of the Bible.  I do not have as many for the deuterocanonical writings, which appear in Catholic Bibles.  I have a bit more than I thought, though.  My HarperCollins Study Bible has notes at the bottom.  I have a Catholic Study Bible, which also has notes.  I just remembered that I had a commentary on Wisdom of Solomon, and I dug it out.  Plus, maybe I can search online.  In going through the deuterocanonical writings, I will not have the vast resources to consult that I ordinarily have when I have a Bible question: what does this verse mean, and why is it saying that this way?  But I am not totally in the dark.

Second, I find some of the deuterocanonical writings to be boring.  Or, to be more accurate, I find one of them to be boring: I Maccabees.  I Maccabees has a lot of battles and alliances, and those things do not interest me that much.  Maybe I will feel differently this time.  I am not entirely the same person today that I was the last time that I read I Maccabees, or the rest of the deuterocanonical writings.

Third, I do not feel inspired when I am reading the deuterocanonical writings.  They do not have that Bible-feel to me, for some reason.  Maybe that is because I am not used to them.  Also, my sentiment is rather subjective: it reminds me of a guy I know who said that the King James Version is the only legitimate Bible because a person he knew felt inspired by the Holy Spirit when he read it, but not when he read other versions.

Anyway, committing to the deuterocanonical writings is a pretty big commitment.  It may take me a year to go through them.  Maybe my experience will be positive.  After going through the deuterocanonical writings, I will proceed to the New Testament.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to Proceeding to the Deuterocanonical Writings

  1. Good luck, I look forward to reading your comments and I hope that it is more interesting this time around 🙂


  2. Laura Droege says:

    Good luck. When I went to a Christian college, my intro to Bible prof had us read selections from the Deuterocanonical writings. Some of the students refused on the grounds that “they aren’t scripture”. Personally, I liked them, and didn’t see the need to view them as “inspired by God” in order to feel inspired by some of the stories they told. (People martyred for their faith, for example.) I also thought it was a little insulting to the one Catholic in the class for the students to say that!

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