The Bible, for many, stands as the cornerstone of their faith, be they Christian or Jewish. I have led Bible studies at my church, taken several hours of Bible study in seminary and read the Bible, yet not as often as I should.
Through all this interaction with the Bible, several things have jumped out at me. One in particular is the fact that the Bible can be very intimidating. New and old Christians alike can be intimidated by this collection of books for several reasons:
1. People are perplexed by labels applied to the Bible such as inerrant, infallible, inspired, etc.
2. People often don’t know which translation to read
3. People don’t seem to know where to start
4. People get bored by the lists of genealogies and aren’t sure why that stuff matters
5. People are confused about which parts to read literally and which to take figuratively
6. People aren’t sure which laws or teachings apply to us today (Old Testament vs New Testament)
7. People aren’t sure how to interpret various passages
8. People sometimes have doubts about its validity and relevance today
9. People are confused by “apparent” contradictions that often lead to doubting their faith
One thing I find so interesting is that I have run into people who have gone to church their whole lives, volunteer regularly at church, and never miss Sunday School or a potluck, yet they have never read the Bible.
If the Bible is a cornerstone of our faith, we must overcome this intimidation, read it, and seek to understand it. And it’s not just newbies that are intimidated by the Bible. Many people are.
Also, this intimidation or hesitancy to read the Bible leads to one of the stereotypes Changing the Face of Christianity is trying to reverse: having a superficial faith. We need to know what we believe and have confidence in knowing it’s true.
So over the coming weeks and months I thought we could take a deeper look at the Bible. Let’s understand how this collection of scrolls came into our hands. Let’s take some of the mystery out of the Bible. In short, let’s make it less intimidating for people to read.
The Bible is a wondrous and complex book that I find something new in all the time. Perhaps you are someone who has read the Bible many times. Wonderful! Join us and add to the discussion and perhaps learn something new. I look forward to our conversation on this incredibly important topic.
Stay tuned for our next article where we dive head first into the topic of Biblical Inerrancy.