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February 27, 2009

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Amen.

I think, that it's very easy to misinterpret the Bible when we read little bite-size pieces. When I became a believer I was told to read the Bible, so I read it off and on through out the day, everyday, until the New Testament was finished. Then I did it again. We should be a people fully saturated with the word. How can we do that without consistent Bible reading? I have recently started reading the Bible for an hour every day. I was going through a dry spell reading at 20 minutes per day. Reading for a longer period got me excited again about what God wants to teach me. In fact, I am finally connecting all the stories I read before. Reading for longer periods has helped me to see the whole picture as well as trust God with more of my life. I like to write down the connections that I'm witnessing.

I always love how uninformed journalists specializing in religion are. It must take a special kind of genius to follow the issues in one area like that and remain that ignorant of basic ideas.

Big Lol dennis!

Well said. I especially liked The question to ask when reading the text isn't "What does it mean to me,... (but) What information is this text meant to communicate?"

I truely did not understand the significance of this until I took a two year bible study course that really focused on proper hermeneutics.

We need more people like you Lisa.

At a previous job, my commute was an hear each way. I got a NASB on mp3 and listened to it. I could "read" the NT in 2-3 weeks. It was great!!! Sadly, my new job is only 15-20 minutes each way, so it takes much longer to read through the bible.

Keep reading!!! Lots of good stuff in there. Use Greg's advice, "never read a bible verse".

@Dennis and Toomervik. Wait until we get closer to resurrection week. The strip mall of "debunked Christianity" will be rolled out like it is every year.

When I first became a Christian, I did read the entire Bible. I love to read in general, so it was no hardship to me. But as the years have passed, I can see how people can be Christians for years and have never read it through! I think that is awful. How can you profess and live out a faith when you really don't even know what it teaches? Shame on churches for only giving people bits and pieces.
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I've always wondered why the Bible is treated differently than other books. Unless it's dictionary or some other type of reference book, we normally don't grab a book off the shelf and start reading anywhere. We start at the beginning.

The Bible is also pretty straightforward. Anyone who can read can understand at least the basics of what is being said. It's not a strange, esoteric text that can only be understood by people with advanced degrees or who have studied it their entire lives.

God gave us the Bible for us to read and understand it, and therefore know Him. He did not mean for it to be a mystery understood by only a few elites.

We make things much more difficult than they need to be!

Amen, Mo!!!!!

" a religion journalist" who completely ignores hermenuetics as a discipline taught in every seminary?
There is very little professionalism left in journalism.

Maybe I'll read a line or two of Time Magazine a day and blog about it.

Take one Bible, ask one Holy Spirit for revelation and understanding; repeat.

Probably the reason we have so many denominations today is because everyone reads their Bible whole heartedly....apart from the teachers God placed in the church.

Ever since Augustine, we’ve had 3 different systems of theology spread across professing Christiandom.

Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, and Augustinianism. That is Works, Works and Grace, and Grace alone respectively.

My advise is to find the teachers of Grace alone, and have them guide you through Scripture. Some of the best are Calvin, Luther (Before Melanchthon), and early American Presbyterian and Reformed Theology. Some Baptists.

Today, representatives of Semi-Pelagianism are the Methodists, Nazarenes, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, etc.

Quakers and Unitarians would be Pelagian.

Hope this helps.

I almost prefer people who have never read the Bible at all to people who read a verse or two at a time. It is so dangerous doing it that way. But that seems to be the way things are done now days, but that also seems to be the reason most Jehovah's Witnesses can turn the average Christian into a doctrinal pretzel in 5 mins time.
I look at the Bible like a love letter by your High School Sweetheart. It isn't something that you read a line here and a line there of it is something you read from cover to cover and then you read it again until you have the thing memorized.

Jeff,

Not to be too picky, but the recipe should be:

Take one Bible, ask one Holy Spirit for ILLUMINATION and wisdom in application; repeat.

>"Jehovah's Witnesses can turn the average Christian into a doctrinal pretzel in 5 mins time."

I believe this is true since most Christians today are built upon the same Free Will doctrinal platform as the JWs. A system of Works/Grace.

I once reacted to a JW elder using scripture applications from Luther's Bondage Of The Will (pure Grace). The elder had never thought outside of the box called free will. He left dumbfounded planning a meeting with some of his teachers, never to return.

JWs and other cults pray and read Scripture fervently.

I wouldn't be surprised if this same religion reporter has written an "Isn't it great that evangelicals have finally discovered the poor?" article in the last few years.

Why is this type of person -- learned, liberal, secular, etc. -- so unwilling to crack the nut that is Christians and Christianity? It's not as if we are doing this stuff in a corner. It seems that anybody trying to do a halfway charitable job could get it right (or at least better than it is usually done).

For our part, we need to remove stupid barriers like overtly spiritual language and other off-putting religious display, exhibiting clear thinking, and being gracious in debate.

This is all STR ambassador stuff.

Imagine the existence of a sports commentator who knows nothing about the sports he or she is reporting on. It would be laughable and obvious to any knowledgeable person that the sports "journalist" is clearly out of their element. But when it comes to reporting on religion it is more common than not that the journalists are ignorant of the subject matter. I think it is because journalists generally espouse a worldview that trivializes religious viewpoints.

I see the same thing happening with actors who play roles in movies with religious themes. Typically, when serious actors go on the publicity circuit to promote their current film they will talk about the extensive research they did while preparing for their role. But, when the movie has a religious theme of some sort, I never hear them say how they read the Bible or conducted research to understand the motivation of their character!

Sometimes the people at my church who are having a hard time getting into reading the Bible are advised to just read a verse or two a day. The reasoning is that it's better than nothing. How would you all respond to that reasoning?

Thanks.

Great comments!

The topic of this thread is "How to read the Bible."

Does the Bible actually teach us how to read it?

For example, if you read in Galatians 3:16 "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ."

I feel this teaches us a certain approach to reading the scriptures - valuing the actual words used - and not just reading to get a general feeling for the story being told, as some today claim is appropriate.

Similarly, Jesus quotes Exodus 3:6 where God says, "I am the God of Abraham," even though Abraham has been dead nearly 400 years at that point. Jesus points out that the Saducees were mistaken when they claimed there was no resurrection and that this verse demonstrated their mistake. In fact one word - "I am" instead of "I was" - invalidates the entire Saducee claim that there was no resurrection.

What I feel we have here is the Bible teaching us how to read the Bible.

My question - what other verses in the Bible teach us how to read the Bible?

If reading the Bible itself, in any manner one chooses, is not enough then what becomes of the doctrine of "sola scriptura"?

When we spend more time in front of the television than in the Word it's not wonder Atheist, Jehovah Witnesses, and Mormons can confuse us. In the case of J.W. they seem quite zealous, but their zeal is not based on true knowledge. If we have the truth why aren't we passionate about the Scriptures? As for, "reading a little is better than nothing," that's true to a point, but is that all the devotion we can give? Is that loving God with all that we are?

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