I know I said I was overwhelmed with things to do, but I had to share this…
Was out tractoring on a pretty day and was pondering how people approach the Bible. I realized we have two major problems at work in the lives of Christians:
1. Too many Christians don’t read the Bible.
Ignorance of what is in the bedrock book of the Christian Faith is bad and getting worse. It seems like people are simply not reading the Bible well enough to know it. There’s not a problem today that isn’t touched on in the Bible. Knowing God starts with knowing His Word. We are a lesser people because of our ignorance of what’s in that book.
2. Too many Christians don’t read the Bible.
What these supposed scholars do instead is study it to pieces. Especially in the case of the New Testament, the books were letters. And who sits down to read a letter by parsing all its verb forms? In the end, the unity of that book and its simplicity go missing, and the studiers go off on each other, arguing silly points that would largely go away if they instead read the book like a letter, in its entirety, as it was intended.
People, read the book. And not piecemeal or with a Vine’s Expository Dictionary at your elbow. Just read it.
We now return Dan to his regularly scheduled blog-cation.
17 thoughts on “The Bible–Just Read It!”
Very good points Dan.
This morning I was considering how infrequently I have been reading the Bible and instead have been allowing myself to get influenced by other sources. It’s easy to slide on this…
As to your 2nd point, many of the group Bible studies that I have been engaged with have been out of balance. More often groups tend to pick over minutia instead of looking at the big picture or considering the application of the text.
Read an entire book in one sitting. For a NT, I like the Phillips translation because it does away with the pesky verse markers.
I agree. I’m thinking we do need to do some study of the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:14-18 and 2:23 KJV ‘study to show yourself approved, rightly dividing the Word of Truth’. The NIV bible translation says in vs 14 ‘warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and ony ruins those who listen… who have wandered away from the truth’.
We’ve generally wandered from truth in our day. I’m thinking that many believers are at risk of not going on with God in their spiritual walk because they are following the cunningly devised interpretations of scripture in many varied teachings about what the Bible says and means. The first step in freeing ourselves from error is recognizing that error is possible. It’s our reading of the Bilble and our belief in the inerrant Bible scriptures that will help to counteract error. I agree with you. We need to read our Bible.
Today many Christians are being taught that the Bible has some error in it. That what your mortal human leader teaches about the Bible has more truth and confidence in it than the written word of God itself. The Bible is being greatly undermined in our day.
Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church has been writing on the less than ideal translation into “study” that has given that verse a twist that is probably not there in the original Greek.
Nice, simple, to the point – timely, too 🙂
Rick, I am so tired of self-certified theologians. The Web is full of them, and they have studied so hard they can no longer see the simple or understand it. I think they are just as damaging to the Church as those people who don’t read the Scriptures at all and yet consider themselves Christians.
You and I think so much alike it is exciting – not frightening at all – I’m enjoying having the posts show up that say “Sorry – I won’t conform to your little model or pet theory of church or God, and I’m going to stand out here and call you on it.”
Keep writing what we need to hear. It won’t always be what we want to hear – especially if we’ve bought into the current version of how things are done. I’ll continue to shop elsewhere – like here 🙂
I very much agree and thanks for the reminder! May I add that I think Christians should also read the Bible in order, from cover to cover? I truly believe that’s how it was meant to be read! We miss so much by skipping around!
If you want “in order,” then you need a chronological Bible. If I remember correctly, Job is the oldest book, so you start there.
I’m waiting for the release of the I Don’t Like to Study Bible.
Love how you are brief and very specific. I need to practice that more often. My goal is to “just read it” and then to just live it. The analyzing confuses me most of the time. I hope I don’t analyze & confuse. Got me thinking…
One thing I often advise people is to read larger sections of the Bible in one sitting. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time for this but one way I accomplish it is by listening to audio bible. I find that listening is also a great way to “read” the Bible, after all most of the Bible was written to be read aloud.
I think that unless you read some of the smaller books in one sitting, they lose their immediacy, and people will get caught up in minutia instead of grasping the big picture. An audio Bible can be a great option for listening on the way to or from work, but I’ve found that I now tend to tune out monologues from people, which hurts my ability to focus with audio books. I think it’s from hearing my son opine one too many times about the capabilities of certain Pokémon. 😉