I really enjoyed reading the comments Anonymous (and I believe I know who you are, JEP) wrote on the post I put up last week about my own experiences reading the Bible. They raised a lot of thoughts which are appearing in random order here.
1) Did people who couldn't read the Bible (either due to its unavailability or their inability to read) feel guilty about not reading Scripture? How much of this emphasis on individual Bible study is modern?
2) I really do wish people in the liberal church were more Biblically literate. It would give us a much stronger base upon which to discuss why we think, as opposed to believe, that a fundamentalist reading of Scripture is erroneous. As it is, so often it seems that one side knows the Bible inside out but misses the point and the other side gets the point but doesn't know the Bible very well. This does not help either side take the other seriously. In truth, I think this is one of the weakest parts of the liberal church's argument; it would be very hard if I were a fundamentalist to take liberals seriously if they haven't seriously engaged the texts as a whole.
3) Oh, it annoys me when the Lectionary avoids tough passages, when they snip around the difficult bits. I tend to preach on those bits the most.
4) *Shameless Plug* I love the way we approach Scripture in the Confirm not Conform program. Really, the lessons about the Bible for both the youth and adult program are terrific. One of the things we ask in the Adult program for the homework is exactly what Je--I mean Anonymous writes about when she (or he) describes her (or his) early Bible memories. I, for one, am convinced that our early experiences of the Bible shape how we think we can approach the Bible as an adult, and it's important (or at least helpful) to know what those attitudes are.
5) Isn't this a great T-shirt? h/t to The Episcopal Cafe for first bringing it to my attention.
And, finally, out of curiosity, is there any particular book of the Bible that you specifically avoid reading or have never read? Is there any bit of the Bible that scares you?