GodReflection: My Bible Doesn’t Read Like Yours
It seems everyone has a survey to send out. I go see my doctor and out of the digital sky a survey appears. My local supermarket chain wants me to complete a survey after every basket of groceries. Make an internet purchase and poof a survey follows.
I wonder in the history of the world—other than at a research organization—has anyone ever taken time to read the responses? After all there are only a gazillion questions.
Whether or not I like the generous abundance of surveys, I’ll have to admit they can be a rather good tool in any attempt to read public opinion when properly designed and used.
It only takes a cursory scan of Pew Research Center’s religious surveys to see that the world does not exactly place a premium on familiarity with Bible content. From the surveys, it would be easy to conclude that for the vast majority the Bible is no big deal.
When it comes to the way I read my Bible I find that time and effort is a screen that has a lot to do with the way my Bible reads.
That brings me back to my question. How big of a deal is my Bible?
I must examine additional considerations to answer my inquiry.
Am I a frequent or an occasional reader?
I would assume the person who is an hour a year reader will not read and understand their Bible in the same manner as the person who spends an hour each day allowing the words of the Bible to flow through their mind and heart. Most likely, if my Bible is important to me I will be a frequent reader.
Do I enrich my Bible reading with the use of a variety of translations?
One of the great benefits of life in this century is the advancement of Bible translation. Those who read from the English language can read Scripture from dozens of translations and paraphrases.
The comparison of a text through three or four different translation often adds texture to a section of Biblical verses.
Is my Bible important enough to me to make the effort to learn from insights of other believers?
I moved to South America in my early twenties. Quickly, it dawned upon me how blessed I am to be an English speaker. Not because I might have thought English to be superior since any attempt to elevate the English language would not hold a candle to the beauty and expressiveness of the Romance languages.
No, Jesus didn’t speak English as he walked the streets of Jerusalem. My English language blessing is due to the richness of Christian publications.
In addition to journals, articles and Christian Blogs, Intervarsity Press estimates there may be as many as eight to nine thousand religious books published each year in English.
The rich treasures found through the printed page allow me to explore gold mines of accumulated knowledge of the church that can enrich my own insight into God’s Holy Bible
My Bible becomes a big deal when I realize it is the one tool at my disposal to align my heart to God’s heart.
I would like to think that the more Bible knowledge I gain the better chance I have to know and understand a tad more about the Holy that has gone to such lengths to demonstrate love for me.
The greater my degree of comprehension that my Bible exists to align my heart with Father Son and Spirit the less I will misuse it in proof text fashion to shoot arrows at others.
The way I read my Bible is a big deal because it teaches me how I am to treat you.
Since Jesus came to earth to show us the Father it is through the transparency of Jesus that I see God’s heart. When I spend time in the Gospels I learn to incorporate the way Jesus lived. I see the value he placed on others and his ultimate desire for the good of his neighbors.
When I know God my task becomes to reflect Jesus in every encounter. (Boy, do I wish that I had a better track record on that one).
From the Jesus of my Bible I am to learn how to treat you as a valued possession of God. I am to respect you in the same way the Holy gives value to me.
Isn’t it a fair assessment to recognize that we each read our Bible differently due to the fact that we each approach the Bible with different degrees of intensity and frequency?
And, by reading from other Jesus followers don’t we each bring sharper tools to more clearly understand the words before us?
All of the above is dependent upon How big of a deal is my Bible?
Certainly, this is a post where I would love to get your feedback and insight. Take a few minutes and let me hear from you.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Is My Bible a Big Deal or Not?