Readers of The Anglican who miss the late Rev. Canon Don Beatty’s popular column, Reading the Bible, can now enjoy the series in a book.
Canon Beatty’s column, which ran from 2008 to 2016, aimed to give lay people a deeper understanding of the Bible. In simple, straightforward language, he wrote about the people, places and history of the Old and New Testament. He often ended his columns with the refrain, “Enjoy the dialogue!”
Canon Beatty died in December 2016 at the age of 83, just as his final column went to press. In a tribute to his father, his son, Andrew, has collected all the columns into a book, Reading the Bible. “We had all of these amazing documents that he had worked on over the years and it just seemed to make sense to put them together in one place so people can enjoy them,” he says. “I thought as well this would be a continuation of his ministry – another way of outreach and keeping his thoughts alive in the minds of readers.”
He says his father was excited about the book and looking forward to its publication. “One of the last things I was able to tell him was that his book was all finished and ready to go, so I think he was satisfied and happy to know that had happened.”
Andrew Beatty worked on the book on and off for more than a year, collecting the columns, organizing them in chronological order, and finding the right photo for the cover. Each column is about three pages long. The book is 337 pages in total.
Now that the book is published, Mr. Beatty feels a sense of relief and accomplishment. “The biggest thing was that I hoped I would be able to do it properly, in a way that he would have enjoyed and been proud of, and to give justice to his words. I really hope that people can enjoy it and continue to have the dialogue with the scriptures, as my father used to say.”
He and his mother, Barbara Beatty, have given copies of the book to family and close friends, and it has been well received. “I feel really blessed that we managed to do it,” says Ms. Beatty. “The joy I have in sharing the book is that Don’s ministry is being extended in such a positive way.”
This is the second book that Mr. Beatty has compiled of his father’s writings. A few years ago, he published His Banner Over Me, a collection of Canon Beatty’s sermons. “A lot of people really enjoyed it and this book seemed like a natural progression of that,” he says.
Canon Beatty, who retired from full-time ministry in 1995, wrote the Reading the Bible column while he was an honorary assistant at St. Luke, Dixie South in Mississauga. He had served his entire ordained ministry in the Diocese of Toronto.
“I think about him pretty much every day,” says Mr. Beatty. “He was a very special man and I know he touched a lot of lives in a very positive way.”
He says his father took joy in many things, especially knowledge and learning. “Up to his last day he was still reading and studying and learning and investigating more, and I think that was such a big part of who he was and what he did. His ministry was very much an educational ministry. He loved explaining things and showing the connections, without intellectualizing them or putting them in an ivory tower. He made them very accessible to people.”
Reading the Bible is available at Amazon.ca or Lulu.ca and costs $25. For more information about the book, contact Mr. Beatty at [email protected].