hen I commented to some of my Christian friends that I might be willing to read some of the chapters of the Bible and comment about what I thought of them, they all, as one, blanched. I think they thought I was going to act like River Tam from Firefly, in that I’d tell the Shepherd his Bible was broken and write all over it, trying to decode it.
No, I’m just reading it.
So, at a friend’s suggestion, I started with Daniel (which is odd, since a workplace Bible studies group who invited me to attend because they were discussing Persians and I’d written all about them in Early ReTyrement). So I read through his book and found it interesting.
The Book of Daniel is broken into several sections – first, he’s taken from Jerusalem by the Persians and put through training to serve the royal house in Babylon. Then we have several dreams by the ruler Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel interprets. Daniel seems as skilled at long living as dream interpretation since he is noted to have served several Persian rulers (I’m not going to pluck one of my reference books down to figure this span – I’m not here to declare the Bible broken). Then comes the famous story of him being dropped into the lions’ den and surviving through God’s grace (the clever Persians who set this trick up up don’t fare as well, ending up as Cat Chow themselves). Then comes Daniel’s own dreams, with the POV shifting (in one case) to first person.
I really liked parts of this – in Daniel 2:1, Nebuchadnezzar demands that not only should his dreams be interpreted but the interpreters should be able to tell what the dreams were in the first place. To me, this was just like a scene out of Breaking Bad where there appears to be no way out. Of course, with God looking over his shoulder, Daniel has no problems passing. Most of the other dreams are “future” history played back, with rulers and empires playing out the rolls of trees and killer goats.
Still, I think 11:37 was pretty much aimed my way (as a friendly warning), which I accept with the grace it was meant with.
So in a few weeks, let’s go back and look at how it all began with Genesis…