Can I Read The Bible?

Written by Joe Watson. Media by Max Gensler.
Can I Read The Bible? graphic
Graphic by Max Gensler
Can I read the Bible? This might sound like a ridiculous question, but it is worth asking. Many people think reading the bible is an easy task. However, there are others who find it to be a daunting task. The truth is the Bible is a very complex book, and it is not something you can just pick up and throw around as you wish. Yet, it is not so hard to understand that we can’t read it at all. Considering how deep and intricate the bible is, we should approach it with a deep and intricate mindset in order to understand it. Otherwise, we will find ourselves believing things about the bible which are simply not true, or even contradictory to what we would actually believe if we gave the Bible a fuller look.
Many consider reading their Bible to be a tedious part in their walks as Christians. As a bible reader, you ought to think of the Bible as the race you will never finish. In this way, you won’t get it in your head that the Bible is something you can master. The race should not be something that discourages you. Instead, you should take the race as a challenge to get better at reading the Bible. In the end, the finish ought to be the same for everyone trying to read the Bible faithfully. You will get to know God more intimately through your reading, and your walk with Christ will be a fuller experience.
It must then be said that reading the Bible is not a solo experience. You cannot read the Bible in a vacuum of your own thoughts. This will lead to many blunders when reading the Bible. The Bible has always been read in a community of people. From the beginning, when the Jews first read the Torah as sacred scripture, to when the first Christian communities read the letters of Paul and subsequently the Gospels, the Bible has always been read in a community. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean you should drop the Bible and only hear it read on Sunday when you are with others. This idea could also lead to you being misdirected in your faith. For example, for many hundreds of years, it could be said that the Catholic Church kept its members from examining and allowing other voices to be heard concerning the scriptures. Which, if you don’t know, lead to the reformation giving us most of the protestant denominations we have today. This is why it is so important to hear from a group of people who may have differing opinions on certain issues. The Church, pastors, mentors, and friends should all influence your faith and theology.
A great question to ask yourself when reading the Bible is, “what is my purpose and intention when reading the Bible?” One good answer can be found in the Bible itself, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2nd Timothy 3:16 ESV). Learning about God, and how to live as a Christian are some really good purposes for reading the Bible. Helping others understand the sin in their lives and creating environments geared towards sanctification is also an important reason to read the Bible. You should also be someone who challenges the doctrines of your friends and corrects them on some funky understandings. Finally, reading scripture is a worthwhile pursuit for a Christian in order to train in righteousness.
an encouragment
It can be hard to read the Bible, and may even feel like a scary experience. However, it is worth it! You may think you’re not able to read the Bible, however, I am an undereducated Southern Illinoisan from a town out in the middle of nowhere and I can read the bible. So, I know you can too. The Bible is an amazing God-breathed book. In other words, it’s got some pretty cool ideas for you to understand and learn about.
If reading the Bible is really something you want to do well, then here are some great resources which have helped in my own experience with reading the Bible.
Eat This Book by Eugene H. Peterson
Systematic Theology By Wayne Grudem
Everyone’s A Theologian By R.C. Sproul
How to Read The Bible and Do Theology Well By D. A.Carson


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