A strange thing is happening among Bible believing Christians today: they are afraid to read the Bible. True, there are a lot of conflicting ideas out there about what the Bible says, and they can’t all be true. But that in itself should move us to read the Bible itself to see what it really does say.
Don’t expect to understand everything you read in the Bible the first time you read it, or ever for that matter. The Bible is so deep and rich in meaning than no matter how much we read and study, there will still be more to discover. Don’t let that frighten you. The wonder of the book is that it is plain enough for a child to understand all that is needed to know God and find salvation, yet deep enough to confound the proud who profess to have discovered a system of interpretation that explains it all.
There is no such system. All the supposed keys to interpreting the Bible conflict with each other, and with the Bible itself. The Bible interprets itself. The more you read, the more you will understand it. There is a unity in the message and the symbolism that runs throughout the whole.
The Bible will often speak to you directly, seemingly miraculously, in words that exactly fit the longing of your heart, the great question you are facing, or brings a healing balm when you are most troubled. Don’t try to make that happen, don’t try to manipulate every passage of Scripture to provide a personal spiritual message for today.
The Bible reveals itself on different levels. There are messages that provide a flash of light on your pathway just when you most need it. There is also the glow that embraces you as you gain a new insight into who God is and how His purpose is the same today as it was in the account you are reading from thousands of years ago. Step by step we grow in understanding God in every level of our being; we become more like Him, more the person He always intended for us to be.
Read the Bible every day. Read the whole Bible. Read it as a story. Read it for understanding yourself and the world around you. You won’t be conscious of remembering most of the words you read. But they become part of you and resurface at moments that will surprise and perhaps even shock you.
It is the Word of God after all, a supernatural message from our Creator. Don’t miss out on what it can do for you.
4 thoughts on “Read the Bible”
Thank you for your thoughts on Bible study. The Word is rich in literal stories for the light reader and if one can open the door to the second level, one steps into an awesome cavern of Truth.. Are you ready for an exciting journey into its incredible depth and breadth..if so, prayerfully open the Word, along with a Greek lexicon, Bible dictionaries, contemporaneous historical writings, and more..and study the context, understand the spiritual truths being symbolized throughout and notice the christocentric message of each book..
context, christocentric, I agree, those are the keys.
The “literal” stories ARE the “spiritual” stories. By the grace of God, and not to my credit, I’ve been able to read and study the other books you mention for over 50 years. Give me the plain and unadulterated “literal” Word of God any day.
I find it helpful to look up the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew words. Yet I do not know either language, so I proceed with caution. I have Bible dictionaries and commentaries that are useful for understanding the context. Yet the more I read the Bible, the less I rely on dictionaries and commentaries.