by Stephanie’s Ninth Suitcase
Have you gotten your Christian points for today?
The Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith. And that’s how we know we’ve got our ticket to Heaven. With a minimal daily warning of 15 points, you too can be on your way to the pearly gates.
All Scripture is inspired, but some is more inspired than others. That’s because Bible reading is supposed to be an intellectual activity. If you’re not giving yourself a headache, you’re doing it wrong.
That’s why Bible points are awarded on a five point scale.
One-pointers still get you a point, but obviously, there’s a major difference between Ezekiel and Psalms.
Point scale (per chapter)
Genesis: 2 points. Because Creation narrative and the Fall is pretty fun to read.
Exodus: Solid 3, as we’re getting ready to move from the fun stuff into the law.
Leviticus, Numbers: 4, These texts are a mental and physical challenge (I often find myself nodding off midway through the twelve days of sacrifice), but they’re also the law, which we know is obsolete.
Deuteronomy, Joshua: 3. Heading back into the fun narrative.
Judges: 2. This one is way too exciting to be worth a lot of points, but at least the chapters are longer than six verses.
Ruth: 1. The narrative is easy to follow, and the chapters are pretty short. You can knock out the whole book in half an hour.
1/2 Samuel, 1/2 Kings: 3 points. Longer chapters. Plus, Jesus was the “Son of David.”
1/2 Chronicles: 4. Now we’re talking. Long chapters, lots of repetition, and not just law.
Ezra, Nehemiah: 3 points. True, the chapters are a bit short at times, but the Christian-community can use a lot more scholarship on this portion of Israel’s history.
Esther: 1 point. How many times is GOD mentioned in Esther? I don’t know why they let this one in.
Job: 1. Between narrative and short poetry, this book is sort of a Genesis meets Psalms. Emphasis on the Psalms.
Psalms: Some Psalms are so short, I was tempted to make each worth only a half point, but I promised a one point scale. (But between you and me, I wouldn’t try to get away with a 1:1 ratio on the Psalms. God knows how many verses are in Psalm 117.) Bonus points for Psalm 119, though. That’s worth 3.
Proverbs: 2. This is poetry, but some of it is actually really hard to dig into.
Ecclesiastes: 4. The chapters are too short to be a five, but this book really conveys the gravity of life. Christians need to be more solemn.
Song of Solomon: 3. This one is so tricky. It’s full of passionate verses that you may not want your children to read. But, the whole “do not awaken love” thing is a great opener for the monthly abstinence conversation. And the allegory is rich.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel: 5. Major prophets= major points. What are these guys even talking about?
Lamentations: 4. Because we can all use a bit more sadness. I like assigning this one to my children when they’re on restriction.
Hosea-Zechariah: 2. These are minor prophets which, despite being hard to read, just really don’t matter. I mean, how many times have you heard Obadiah preached in the past year? Five years? Hosea would get an honorable mention, but it only gets preached to keep the women coming back.
Malachi: 4: Minor prophet, yes, but this guy is right before Jesus, which makes him a bit more important.
Matthew: 4. Long chapters, and about Jesus. But too engaging for the full five points.
Mark: 3. Mark is docked because it’s so short. Gospels should be at least 20 chapters.
Luke: 4. Basically the same as Matthew. You can bump that four up to a five by doing side-by-side comparisons of the two.
John: 2. This book is so poetic that it’s barely even a Gospel (and let’s not even talk about the length), but Jesus’ name appears too many times for it to be a 1.
Acts: Four. This book is a little too accessible to be a 5, but it is good to read regularly and see how your church isn’t matching up to the early church.
Romans: 5. Solid theology. Paul was better at explaining that stuff than Jesus.
1/2 Corinthians: 3. Because chapter 13 is read at every wedding ever. Come on guys, there are 28 other chapters in Corinthians.
Galatians-Titus: 1 each. Five for the whole book. The theology is there, but they’re so short. There’s really no excuse for not reading the whole book in one sitting.
Philemon: 1. How is this even a full book?
Hebrews: 5. This one is dense. I’m not exactly sure what it’s saying, but it’s something theological.
James: 3. And don’t even try to read this in one sitting. Too much there.
1/2 Peter, 1-3 John: 1. See Galatians-Titus.
Jude: 1. The Philemon of the final books.
Revelation: 5. This is the one that matters the most, nowadays. And where else will you furnish material for your eschatology debates?
0-9minutes: 0 points. You aren’t fooling God with that tiny little check-in.
10-30 minutes: 3 points.
30-60 minutes: 5 points.
60-90 minutes: 8 points.
90+: 10 points, the maximum for prayer.
I could get into good works and Scripture memorization. And oh, evangelism! But if you’ve gotten this far reading (or skimming), I hope you’ve picked up on the satirical nature of this post.
As the kid who was always the first to raise her hand on Sunday school (and regular school, too), I strived to be the perfect little Christian kid. And for me, that manifested in me almost grading my performance on things like reading the Bible.
That said, please don’t interpret this as me hating the Bible… really it’s coming from the very personal and specific angle of me trying to earn my way as a Christian, which is exactly what Jesus doesn’t want from us.
In all honesty, I do feel nervous at times, opening the Bible. Not because of God’s words, but because of the expectations I have put on myself. For that I can use prayer, as God leads me into the things He has for me, and those things He’s teaching me.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth,comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13
Thanks for reading! 🙂