Let me start by saying all the errors in my writing are all mine. Any truths that are contained in this post (or any other) are by His grace. I desire for more of His grace to come out with any post than my error-filled thoughts.
Growing up in a Christian household allowed me access to a Bible any time I desired. In our country, we can even find one in hotels while traveling. This is not the case everywhere! Before I state anything else about the Bible, I want to give thanks for the opportunity to have easy access to the Scriptures. A friend of mine told me of a time when Bibles were scarce, and Christians in a part of Europe treasured their time reading the Bible because they only had it for a short period before it had to go to the next family. Access to Scripture, or even hearing Scripture read is uncommon in places in this world. Here in America, we have translation upon translation, apps on our phones dedicated to providing different translations, commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, and Bibles for our children. With so much access, it is easy to forget how thankful we should be, and if we are honest, it is saddening to think how little we know about the book that tells us about God. It wasn’t until recent that I learned a little of what believers have endured in order for the Scriptures to be available for the common man to read. If you are interested in learning a little of the history of the Bible, I highly recommend checking out Lamp in the Dark – The Untold History of the Bible. It is lengthy, but informed me of the Catholic movements to suppress the Scriptures becoming unavailable the masses, the Jesuits, as well as the process that went into making the King James Version.
One thing that I had heard before, and want to make sure that I encourage you all to be careful of, is that you do not turn the Bible into an idol. I am not saying that Scripture does not have authority. I am saying that you can love the Bible more than God. In my own life, I have enjoyed discussing the Bible more than loving God. That is idolatry. It is out of wanting to honor Him that I write this in the first place. In my bibliolatry period, I would have discussed this with the need for me being right, trying to show my knowledge to anyone who would read or listen. Now I want Him to be glorified. So, please know that your desire to be right about Scripture or what God has said in the Bible can easily trump the need to make God’s name great, to humbly serve Him, or to actually DO what He says in the Bible!
Up to this point I have referred to the Bible as the Scriptures. You often hear it called the Word of God. The Word of God is not just the Scriptures (John 1:1-14.) This article on the Word of God shaped my thoughts on what this actually means.
If you’ve seen the video link above, or discussed what translation of the Bible to use, you may come across schools of thought discussing why the King James Version is the only acceptable version of the Bible to use. Seeing the video encouraged me to look for differences in wording when doing my reading. If you watch this, you will receive more insight as to why people prefer the KJV. Note: this guy is entertaining because he has so much to say he can’t think straight – kinda like my posts right?
I could go on and on about websites I like for Bibles, books to read, more posts to check out…and I may do that later on. For now, here are my final words of encouragement:
- don’t go to the Scriptures trying to pull out verses here and there to prove that you’re right about something. That is exactly what people did to justify chattel slavery in this country, and it is what Satan did when tempting Jesus.
- don’t believe or try any of the meditation stuff about reading or saying a passage of Scripture over and over again until something sticks out. These methods are gaining popularity, but does God want you in a trance or does He want you to LOVE?
- read the Bible, but don’t turn it into an idol! Read it for yourself, and don’t constantly rely on the interpretation of someone else. Read it in community, and encourage others to read as well!
- memorize Scripture! I’ll have to write a post on methods I’m using to do so.
- PRAY!!!! Pray for wisdom. Pray for any errors in our interpretations to submit to His truth. Pray for His grace to instruct us and to be obedient.
- The translation that is easiest to read and understand may not be the translation that is best to understand what was written.
- Remember the purpose of Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.His peace