Friday, July 25, 2014

Reading the Bible

Whether you consider it significant literature or the inspired word of God, the Bible is an important book by any standard; yet, many have never read the Bible. There are things that can get in the way of reading it. It is not the kind of work that lends itself to reading from start to finish in one sitting. In fact, it is better not to start at the beginning and read through to the end. It is better to start somewhere like the book of Mark or the book of Psalms if you are reading it for the first time. Another problem is that the language can seem old. We likely all have a Bible in our home that has been handed down in the family, and chances are that Bible will be the King James translation. That version of the Bible was first published in 1611. The tip here for new readers is to choose a contemporary translation like the New International Version, the New Living Translation, or another recent translation of the Bible.

Another key to reading the Bible is reading a little at a time and reading regularly. If you have never read it before or you have tried to be consistent at reading the Bible and failed, I recommend reading one chapter a day, six days of the week. In this way you will have time to slowly consider what it is you are reading and see how it might have connection to your life.

When should one read the Bible? There is no one answer to this question. Some read first thing in the morning before their day starts, others like to finish the day with reading books, newspapers, or inspirational material. Here is a general principle you might try: read the Bible before you touch your electronic devices. For me, this means before I check my phone or computer in the morning. Now you may want to adapt this and read the Bible before you touch electronic devices for social networking, since you may choose to read your Bible after you have gone to work and used any number of electronic devices. Perhaps your "rule of thumb" might be Bible before Facebook or Bible before personal email.

No matter where you are at in life, from a follower of the Christian way to committed atheist, I would highly recommend giving the Bible a try. You may be surprised by the wisdom you find.

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