Monday, May 21, 2012

What is your favourite book of the Bible?

Of course, there are some stock answers. If you say the Epistle to the Romans, then you're probably a narrow Protestant (and I invite you to ponder whether the Gospels might be more important than St Paul's commentaries, profound and beautiful though they are).

Or, if you choose the Book of Revelation, then you may well be a rather apocalyptic Protestand. And if you choose Daniel, then you're almost certainly an apocalytician.

By contrast, choosing the Psalms suggests that you're on the opposite end of the spectrum, that you aspire to the monastic life and are into the Divine Office (aka the Liturgy of the Hours.)

I've been asking friends this question. There's been an interesting range. Several nominated St John's Gospel, because it's so spiritual.

After that, the answers tended to diverge, with people selecting books that have a personal meaning for them. For example, one woman chose the Book of Esther and another chose Tobit.

And my choice? Well, I like Genesis, which sets out the beginnings of it all, and I like Revelation, which gives an overview of Salvation History. Perhaps it indicates that I'm a big picture guy! (My favourite gospel is St Luke, mainly because of his narrative of the Christmas events.)

Anyway, what's your favourite book of the Bible and what does this say about you?

Of course, if you don't have a favourite book of the Bible, perhaps that's an indication that you need to immerse yourself in Holy Scripture a bit more.

And, in conclusion, perhaps we should remind ourselves to spread our reading. While it's probably desirable to have a favourite book, we should also read, ponder and pray about the other books from time to time.


  1. I seem to remember being asked this.

    Now of course, when I say "John," it will sound like I'm trying to seem spiritual. If I say "Ephesians," then I'm a "narrow Protestant." Better not to say anything, then.

  2. Ad primum, I should have added that people who aspire to be spiritual can also nominate St John's Gospel.

    Ad secundum, my comments on narrow protestants were directed at those who choose Romans. (I've actually seen websites that say you should read it about 50% of the time, spreading the other 50% across the other books.)

    Perhaps I should add that St Paul's epistles were reputedly the favorite reading of that stout protestant, St Dominic.

  3. I'm not convinced the psalms are just beloved of those attracted to contemplation - there is a reason they feature so heavily in the Mass propers every week after all!

    I like them above all because one can find the entire Bible reflected in them.

    And good to see you posting again!