Excerpted from an English translation of the story "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov:
Then after the tenth year, the prisoner sat immovably at the table and read nothing but the Gospel. It seemed strange to the banker that a man who in four years had mastered six hundred learned volumes should waste nearly a year over one thin book easy of comprehension. Theology and histories of religion followed the Gospels.
B is preceded by A = B follows A.
Having taken into account the explanations above, and if they are correct, would you tell me how the bold part could be correct?