A friend was prompted to ring me the other day because she is reading a book for the third time and recalled me saying that I never read a book more than once, apart from the Bible, because there’s too much out there to read without wasting time reading something you’ve read before! I know not everyone feels the same way as I do.
The Bible, of course, isn’t a single book but a collection of 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament). That’s a lot of reading, but you can choose a book in the same way you would if you went to a library. Browse the shelves and see what takes your fancy. Perhaps you have a favourite book that is your ‘go to’ book or books which you re-read regularly.
You might be familiar with the Radio 4 programme ‘Desert Island Discs’, where guests share what songs and luxury item would be their ‘must haves’ if stranded on a desert island. The castaways are told that the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible (or other religious/philosophical text) is already on the island. The other week I was asked which four books of the Bible I would choose to have on a desert island if the Bible wasn’t already there. My choices were Mark, Romans, Psalms and Colossians. I really wanted to pick five as it was a close call between Colossians and Habakkuk. I don’t think the latter would be in many people’s top 4 (or 5). Habakkuk is one of the so-called minor prophets (minor in terms of the length of the book compared with the major prophets; it’s not a status thing). The reason I like the book of Habakkuk is because it reminds us of our complicity (albeit sometimes unintentional) in the injustices of the world and is also a reminder that we have to play our part in setting things right.
So, if you had to choose (and I’ll be generous and say) 5 books from the Bible for your ‘desert island’ choices, what would they be?