People like to quote the Bible. More accurately, they quote the bits and
pieces that appeal to them, or that suit the moment or, unfortunately,
their own purpose or agenda. Often, a phrase or passage is taken out of
the real context of its words or history. This can -- and often does --
change its meaning, sometimes radically.
Do you own a Bible? If you do, do you read it? Or do you take other
peoples’ word for what it says? Isn’t it time to read and study the
Holy Bible yourself?
You’ll want to choose a Bible you feel good about. It should be a
version you can understand. You should be able to read the print easily.
It should also feel good to your hands, a book you like to carry, to read,
to keep next to your chair or bedside. You might even want more than one,
perhaps a study Bible, to help you understand the times and language in
which the Holy Bible was written; and a smaller Bible to carry with you,
to church, to work, when you travel.
Read the Preface in the front, or the Notes to the Reader. These will tell
you the background of the Bible version you hold in your hands. Look at
the list of abbreviations and measurements, the maps, the Table of
Now, dive in! There is no right or wrong way to read the Holy Bible. You
might want to start at the beginning and read to the end. You might want
to start with the Books that are easier to read and to understand. You
might even be drawn to the Book or verses God wants you to read right
now—don’t worry, you’ll know when it happens, you won’t be able to get
the idea out of your mind!
Of course, you’ll want to re-visit familiar passages, the old favorites –
you might even be surprised by the actually words -- but don’t stop
there. There are wonderful nuggets of wisdom, and humor and beauty
between the covers of your Bible. Explore its pages. Read the passages
more than once. Often, a passage becomes more and more clear as you
study and meditate on it.
Read the fine print of the explanations, usually found at the bottom of
each page. Bookmark the pages that have a special meaning for you.
Underline the passages that strike your heart of hearts. Use a
highlighter. There’s nothing sadder than a book that looks new,
as if no one reads it, consults it or loves its words and the messages
they bring. God doesn’t mind if you mark your Bible, if it means you
truly want to understand the Word.
Finally, it really doesn’t matter what the so-called “experts” say. After
all, they’re human, too, and prone to errors and bias. What’s really
important is discovering what the Holy Bible says to you. Open your
heart and soul and mind and spirit to the Word of God. You will be
rewarded beyond imagining!
To get you started:
The Guide to Bible Versions