Cover to cover Bible reading

February 19, 2009 7:43:48 PM PST
Ask people if they know verses from the Bible and many say yes. But have they read the entire bible? A lot say no. Now one event hopes to change that, and take only two days to do it. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It's a message being spread around world to get more people to read the Bible. Now, a university in Houston is spreading that message in a whole new way.

"We will be reading the Bible, non-stop from Friday at 9 o'clock in the morning, until Sunday at 9am," University Chaplain Father Mike Buentello told us.

The University of St. Thomas is hosting what it calls "Word of God: The Bible Unites." It's a round the clock reading of the entire bible.

"Too often, we have the Bible displaced in our homes," said Father Buentello. "We dust it off, but don't make full use of it. "

The university was inspired after Pope Benedict met with the Senate of Bishops in Rome in October. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was in Rome at that time, and says listening to someone read the Bible strengthens its meaning.

"To listen to the text of the scriptures being read out loud is a beautiful way to make them register in our hearts and minds," he said.

Some 200 volunteers from different religions will each read for 15 minutes at the campus chapel until its read completely.

"It's just going to be a good reminder that there's always just a little time out of the day to read one passage or one psalm," said student Jessie Martinez.

Another goal is not just to read the Bible, but to share it with people from all walks of life to remind them they have something in common.

Organizers even produced a PSA to show how people from different faiths are volunteering to read, including faculty member Debby Jones, who is Jewish, and finds great meaning in the event.

"For me reading the Hebrew Bible in this chapel reminds me that this is our common denominator and reminds me that so many of the basic tenets of our faith are the same," she said.

"This can only be an event that will spark, I think, some further desire, even energy, to read God's word," said Cardinal DiNardo.

The reading begins Friday at 9am and runs straight through Sunday at 9:30am at the chapel of St. Basil. That's on the University of St. Thomas campus.

The entire 48 hour reading will also air live online here on abc13.com.

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