Tommy Keene – Reading the Bible: Ordinary Reading (Part 2)

In the previous post we established that good Bible reading requires us read the Bible as God speaking to us in a manner that we can naturally understand. But how do we actually do that?

It’s harder than you might think. Over the years we have trained ourselves to read the Bible in an unnatural way, so we’re going to have to break some bad habits.

Read the book (not around the book)

This may sound obvious, but the first and most important rule for interpreting and appropriating any biblical book is to actually read the book. Our ability to read well is often disrupted by a multitude of distractions, and those distractions halt reading. So read the book as it was meant to be read—that is, in a steady stream without pauses or breaks. You need to immerse yourself in the text.

To continue reading Tommy Keene’s post, click here.

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Tommy Keene – Reading the Bible: Ordinary Reading (Part 1)

Sitting down to read the Bible isn’t enough. We need to learn how to read it well; and, reading it well is actually more difficult than one might think. Many of us want to grow in our relationship with God, in our knowledge of what he has taught, and in our spiritual lives, and we know that reading the Bible is central to that goal, but we often find our bible reading frustratingly fruitless. What am I supposed to be getting from this text? How does it teach me about Jesus? How does it help me to grow?

Don’t be discouraged. Reading, like anything else, is a skill that needs to be learned, practiced, and trained. You might think “I know how to read,” and once you know how to read it’s simply a matter of increasing your vocabulary. Reading is easy and intuitive, and therefore shouldn’t require any extra training once the skill is acquired. It’s like riding a bike.

But that’s not true. It’s not true for “ordinary” books, and it’s not true for the Bible. In fact, there’s a justly famous book called How to Read a Book (which, I must admit, I have not read) that addresses the complexities of reading, and this is just one of many such books. Reading requires developing certain skills and, like anything else, practicing those skills over and over and over again! That’s true for ordinary books, and it’s also true for the Bible.

To continue reading Tommy Keene’s article, click here.

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David Murray – How to Help Your Children Read the Bible

Earnest Christian parents want to help their children learn to read, understand, trust, and love the Bible. But most of us find this to be a significant, even daunting, challenge. The Bible is big and complex enough to intimidate adults. How do we help our children get to know the most important book ever assembled and begin to develop habits of enjoying it daily?

There is no simple formula for success here. Each child is different, and the Holy Spirit works in different ways and at different times with each one. But I have found certain means of grace that generally prove effective. As a parent of five children, as well as a pastor, I’ll share eight that I’ve found helpful.

1. Give Them a Bible They Enjoy

Have you ever given your children their own Bible? If they do not have one, invest in one. And buy the best Bible you can afford, one your children will enjoy picking up and looking at, one that communicates how special and valuable this book is.

To continue reading David Murray’s article, click here.

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Scott Slayton – 4 Bible Reading Strategies for Reading Plan Quitters

Do you sometimes find yourself being envious of the people who start a Bible reading plan, follow it faithfully, and stick through until the end? Then, they start the same Bible reading plan the next year and persevere to the end again. I’m sorry, I just struggle with doing that. Sometimes I find that I get halfway through a Bible reading plan, get bogged down, and cannot go any further.

This used to create a load of guilt in my heart because I would get stuck in the middle of really good Bible reading plans. It’s happened to me with some great Bible reading plans– Robert Murray McCheyene, the Bible Eater, and Dr. Horner’s Bible reading plan. All of these plans are built around solid strategies for reading the Bible, but in my personal weakness, I struggle to persevere.

To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.

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David Mathis – Reading Is Just the Beginning: Five More Ways to Enjoy God’s Word

When you hold a Bible in your hands, you are holding one of the most precious objects imaginable. No antique or priceless artifact, no famous piece of art or giant diamond is more precious than whatever medium communicates God’s own self-revelation.

The Bible is not just the most printed, distributed, and quoted book in the history of the world; it is God’s own word to us. These are the very words of God in one coherent word (message). It is not the pages and ink themselves that are of such value. It’s not the mere jots and tittles, letters and markings, but the content of what God himself has said.

To continue reading David Mathis’ article, click here.

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Brandon Smith – The Real Reason We Don’t Read Our Bibles

Through my work with the Christian Standard Bible, I came across some stats about Bible reading. Eighty-eight percent of American households own a Bible, but only 37 percent of people read it once a week or more. People said they don’t read their Bibles because they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to understand the words.

These two frustrations are understandable, and we’ve all struggled with them. But are they the real reasons people aren’t reading their Bibles?

Root Issue

When you think about it, we should get really excited about Bible reading. The God of the universe has given us his Word. He could’ve tapped out when we disobeyed him in the garden, but he didn’t. He went looking for us and talked to us (Gen. 3). Knowing our gracious God gave us his Word should make us want to read it, but often that’s not enough.

We don’t read the Bible regularly because we don’t understand how it works. We often think it’s all about us, and that opening Scripture is only useful when we think we need it. We don’t understand how amazing the Bible really is.

To read the rest of Brandon Smith’s article, click here.

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