The Little Bible

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a very long time — I even searched my archives because I was sure I’d written about my Little Bible before. It is so tiny, it should have been lost years ago, but I have always known pretty much where it is.

Tattered book cover with faint "The Little Bible" text
Cover of The Little Bible — much worse for wear

When I was young, not long after I learned to read, I think, I was given a tiny book that contained excerpts from the Bible. In fact, the cover page makes the claim that “The Little Bible Contains Selections from Every Book in the Bible as found in the King James Version.”

Dona Patrick, This book belongs to Virginia Green 501 Raymond, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -- Psalm 119: 105
Aunt Ginny must have given it to me.

We were not a regular church-going family, but I definitely had questions about God and religion and I must have felt the need to learn “The Lord’s Prayer” for some reason. So, I turned to page 75 in my Little Bible and memorized “Mathew 6:9-13.”

I don’t know how long it took me to memorize it, but I do remember going into the living room and reciting it for my father who, if I remember correctly, was surprised enough to ask where I learned it. When I showed him the Little Bible he didn’t believe me at first.

First part of the Lord's Prayer on page 75
First part of the Lord’s Prayer

I was very proud of myself for learning “The Lord’s Prayer” by myself and, for years, proudly recited it whenever we happened to go to church.

I wonder if I’d not memorized it then, would I ever have memorized it? I don’t know any of the other passages that are routinely recited at most churches, for instance, the Apostles’ Creed — I don’t know that by heart and I think it is shorter than the Lord’s Prayer.

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