A.J. Jacobs has always been intrigued by religion and, after he became a new father, wondered if he was missing anything. So, for a full year, the ?Esquire? magazine editor-at-large followed the mandates of the Bible as closely as possible and wrote it about it in a new book, ?The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.?
I’m very interested to read his book, particularly since he’s chosen to live 8 months according to the literal reading of the Hebrew scriptures and 4 months living according to a literal reading of the New Testament.
My own belief that any so-called “literal” interpretation of scripture is a business of picking and choosing. The Bible if taken literally contradicts itself, quite often, so you have to read it intelligently and prayerfully to get any good out of it. Because of my own leanings, I tend to read scripture from a Jesus-centered interpretation; I read scripture through the eyes of Jesus’ basic teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and place other texts as being less significant than these.
I know my old professors at Austin Grad (then the Institute for Christian Studies) would be troubled by my approach, but to me it seems more coherent and feels better to me. And I’m now at a place in my journey that I feel ok with choosing my own path despite what others might say.