Monday, September 05, 2005

Do we need to read the Bible?

This post follows on from the previous one, which in the comments of Mase pretty much made the point I'm going to.

That if we are to truly try and live that life that Jesus did, if his life is indeed to be the yardstick by which we gauge our lives, then its just massively important to be immersed in reading and conversing with the Bible-particularly the Gospels.

I think I've talked about this before, but for a while I felt people were enforcing reading the Bible on me, that I had to read it all the time to be a good Christian and that kind of rubbish, and for a while I reacted very strongly against that, and made it my mission to prove that you could in fact be a Christian without looking at the Bible. I still believe you can (but I reckon its important if we're to grow heaps-as I've just explained above), but luckily I've matured enough to get over other people's stupid comments and realise the value of it myself.


Anonymous said...

maybe just submission to the gospel while reading instead of always trying to understand is a good way of looking at it- for more info on submission see 'celebrating disciplines' by Foster

jarrod said...

What do you mean by "submission" rather than "trying to understand" anonymous? WOuldnt true engagement with scripture result in deeper understanding of the person of Jesus?

Digger said...

Yeah good call Jarrod. Please explain how you submit yourself to a book?

Anonymous said...

didn't mention anything about not achieving a greater understanding of Jesus through reading the scriptures.

Submission, as instead of reading a particular reference with the intent of finding an answer to it and often in the process finding and justifying an answer we want (often unknowingly).
Submission instead of imposing our views into what we read. Just read the bible without your own adgender to finding all the answers to life- and maybe you'll learn/ understand a heap more instead of just reaffirming any crap in your head. How many times have people gone to war both sides believing God would have them win.
often so many different 'answers' can be read into any one bible passage.
Sometimes (not saying all the time) we should just read it for what it is not using it to find a higher justification of our own views.

Digger said...

Yeah I think a greater understanding of Jesus can be achieved through both thinking intellectually about the Bible and just simply tyring to read it.

Yeah i agree, it is easy to try and use the Bible to justify the thoughts we already have, a trap we all too easily fall into.

But see I think the problem is that we can't read the Bible without looking at it through our own cultural worldview. We can't help but impose the views that are already in our head. Any person who's done some serious study of the Bible will tell you that.

You're right, so many different interpretations can be read into passages, which is why we need to take seriously the effect that our own already held views will have on how we read the Bible.

Anonymous said...

definately can only see it through our own world views and hopefully God uses that- but we really nedd to be aware of that, I think.
Sorry about using the word 'submission' prob a dumb choice, we all have our own interpretations on diff words to!
And ultimately I guess I meant submission to God by reading the bible while being aware of our biases and at times just absorb the Gospel without having to find meaning and answers in every verse- instead trust him to show us.

Digger said...

Yeah so true, definitely something we need to be aware of.

Yeah I think we agree on that one, being aware of our own biases as we trust God to reveal His truth to us, whether that be through thinking logically or just the still small voice of the Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Cool, good to discuss with you- made me have to think more about what I meant and try to explain.

doer said...

Hello, just visited your bible blog, I also have a bible related website, it's about some books which is helpful to understand the God's Words

Mac said...

I have personally experienced the bible a great and marvelous book as the word of God, but find it difficult to comprehend as an entity and make all the right connections where they are due.

My approach to reading the bible has been and still is, to understand and familiarise myself with the character of God, why He is, and why we are. Moreso I strive to have an intimate relationship with God as I already have where I can talk to him any time of day, not only at prayer time. I can cry and he is with me to comfort me, I can laugh and he is the source of joy as he is with me ALL the time.

I do not want to sacrifice having this intimate relationship with God for merely being able to quote the scripture back to front, interpreting it and being able to give sermons that would make the pope feel incompetent.

My approach has worked very well for me. I read books that other christians have writen like Joyce Meyer, Choo Thomas, Mary Baxter etc. These people take today's real life and zoom in on what God says. I have for example just finished a book by MK Baxter "A devine revelation of Heaven" where she often refers to scriptures which i then read in the bible. The book puts into perfect, understandable terms the intent of the scripture and how these various referenced texts interlink. I have learned more of heaven and what God says about it through this approach than by reading the bible for the last 10 years.

Anybody who is struggling to make the connections between bible studies, try a book on a certian topic and see how God has given people the ability to do this for us and make it easier for us to understand. Fact in point is, people today live for today. they do not occupy themselves with things like christian scripture or any religeous scripture for that matter. One way to get them to find God is to do eactly what these writers are doing, connecting real life issues of today to the word of God. Even if the person does not read the refered scriptures he is subliminally informed of a greater power which is God and prolonged exposure to these "Success Manual" as some businessmen refer to, might just be what is required for them to meet God.

In conclusion, for me, personally, it is to establsih an intimate relationship with God. I can guarantee you that if you have this relationship and you truly know God and what he is like, you will read the bible for the first time and immediatly identify the character of God and the intent of any parable or anything instantly because you know God. It's like knowing the love that God has for us and that we should have for one another and then reading the 10 commandments. You will note that the commandments are an elaboration and explanation of things that one would not typically do if you love someone. Thus, if you truly understand love, you would not do these things even if you had never laid eyes on the 1 commandments. Do you guys understand what I am saying?