Why read the Bible?
‘Time to turn our attention back to our walk through the Gospel of John which we started back in April! But before we do, I should like to address a question I was asked by a student, ‘why should I read the Bible? I mean, I have a hard time understanding it, and it takes a lot of work it seems…so, what’s the point?’
Wow, that’s a big question to address… how to answer … hmmm. Well, simply put, the Bible has the ability to change our lives because it is the divine Word of God. People choose to read it for both information and inspiration, and find it is filled with more than they can ever fully comprehend. You see, the Bible is God speaking to us what he wants us to know—how we got here, how he feels about us, the history of his people, the revolutionary Savior who showed us how to live, the plan of salvation, God’s purposes for our lives, the second coming of Jesus Christ and the destiny of those who believe in him, and those who reject him. Simply, there is nothing more worthwhile to read than the Word of God.
What exactly is contained in the Bible? Sixty-six books—39 in the Old Testament, which was written in Hebrew, spanning 1500 years; 27 books in the New Testament, which was written in Greek, spanning just 80-90 years. The Bible was God-inspired, or as the Greek word indicates, ‘God breathed’. One of the ways we know that the Bible is true is that even though it was written by 40 different authors, there are no contradictions. Amazing!
Which one version or translation do I use? I don’t . . . I use many. Often, I use the New International Version because that seems to be the one that most people have on hand, and it is very readable. It really depends on my purpose—am I reading it for study and writing, or personal inspiration? Am I taking it to church with me? Then I like to bring the one my church uses. Am I sharing a verse with someone? You can check out Bible Gateway on the internet, http://www.biblegateway.com/, to compare different translations; I often do that when I am studying.
The main thing to know is that the Bible is what it purports to be . . . TRUTH. It is the Word of God, regardless of what a person may think about it. It is supported by archaeological evidence, fulfilled prophecy, historical and scientific evidence, AND the fact that those who read it and seek to apply it, are radically changed by it.
Why does it have the power to change us? “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3.16-17
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of God stands forever,” Isaiah wrote. That’s why I read the Bible, that’s why I write about the Bible, sending these studies all over the world! Amen.