A few Difficulties and Discouragements.
Reading and studying the Bible, this is a very very important topic to me.
It is possibly one of the topics I am most passionate about and I want to encourage people to read and study the Bible for themselves. That is why I started this series of blog posts concerning Bible study.
A Few Questions
I want to start by asking you a few honest questions.
Have you ever read the Bible? And I mean the whole Bible.
Have you ever read any other book right through?
Would you read a book a few random sentences at a time?
Would you open a new book and start reading 2 sentences from the beginning of chapter 4, then tomorrow you read 4 random sentences from chapter 12 then the next day you might have a little bit more time and you read a paragraph from the end of chapter 1? No one would do that. You can’t read a book like that. It is absurd! Also it will take months to finish and how would you keep track.
Then why do we read the Bible that way? Especially when we have never read the Bible in its entirety before? How will we ever have an understanding of the complete picture?
Of-course the Bible is not like any other book, and we will talk about a few things that sets it apart in later blog posts, but to understand the Bible we need to read it like any other book. We need to approach it logically.
A Few Difficulties
Now I must admit the Bible can seem to be a very daunting book and, at first glance, might not seem to be very compelling or enticing to read. Especially if you have never read the Bible in its entirety before or not in a long time.
I think the first reason it can seem very unappealing and even intimidating is it’s sheer size!
It has about 1200 pages on average, depending on the size and translation of your Bile. My personal bible has 1186 pages excluding word-lists and maps.
Then there is the cultural, geological and time differences. The last book of the New Testament was written just short of 2000 years ago. It was written in a different time for a different culture in a different language in a different and very
far-away country. It is indeed a very different world than what we live in today. All of this can make certain things in the Bible very difficult to understand and maybe even boring and tedious to read. This disconnect in time and culture might also lead one to think that the Bible is no longer relevant, applicable or even necessary to modern day life.
Then there is so much in the Bible that we don’t understand. Some things we might not understand because we
don’t yet understand. What I mean by this is that Scripture interprets Scripture, you may not understand something because it might only become clear later in the Bible. Or you might not understand something in the New Testament because you might not know or understand something in the Old Testament.
Are you reading the Bible for the first time or are you very new to it or have you read pieces and parts of it for many years but have never read it in it’s entirety and as a whole? If this is the case then reading the Bible might feel like building a puzzle without the picture on the box. Building without knowing what the completed puzzle should look like. Building blind!
But building and discovering the Bible in this brand new way is very exciting! Do not start to get the idea that it is all doom-and-gloom and dull-and-drab. This is the most exciting task you can undertake! The Bible is a treasure chest of immeasurable bounty that will always leave you wanting more. God’s word is constant and it will always be relevant and always applicable.
In conclusion: Yes, Reading and studying the Bible, if done right, can seem a very big task.
So you might ask; why? If it is so different and difficult then why even study the Bible at all?
Before we actually get in to the “good stuff” and before we talk about why it is important to study Scripture in my next blog post, I want us to take a step back and just pause for a moment. Let’s examine our own motives and motivations and ask ourselves; “Why do I want to read the Bible?”
- Do I feel it’s just something I have to do? One more thing on my To-Do list?
- Is it just what “good” Christian women do?
- Am I reading the Bible to calm or “ground” myself?
- Am I reading it to prepare and motivate myself for a busy day?
- Then there is what I like to call the Fortune-cookie method – Am I reading the Bible to search for an inspirational quote for the day?
There might be many reasons why we personally want to read the Bible, some good some… not all that good.
However, it’s always good to stop and examine our own hearts first. Think about and answer this question honestly for yourself.
In the next blog post we will dive deeper into some of the most important reasons why to study Scripture.
“Your statutes are the theme of my song
during my earthly life.” – Psalm 119:54