Thursday, March 1, 2012

Have You Actually Read The Bible?.......

Cindy and I were talking over dinner last night, and the conversation turned to some of those incredibly interesting stories in the bible.  These stories always have deeper meanings than appear on their surface, and contain timeless lessons for those who ponder them.

I wondered aloud how many people have actually read the bible cover to cover.  The more I thought about it, the more interesting that question became.  I mean, here we have this book of deep, deep wisdom.....and my guess is that 95% of American adults have not read it in its entirety.

OK, OK---maybe I'm not talking about the "begats" and some of the esoteric stuff in books like Leviticus.....but I am referring to the bulk of the Old and New Testaments.

I saw a poll that was done a few years ago where 80% of Americans call themselves Christians.  How can that truly be if I am right and 95% haven't read the bible?

Thoughts, anyone?


  1. I will be the first to admit that I have never read a good portion of the Bible. Not until something big happened in my life did I put reading as a priority. I realized that there was so much I did not know and therefore things that I needed to know have now been brought to the light. (too many mistakes that could have been avoided) Oh how I wish I had read more growing up but all that is changing. Reading God's word has become a passion for me and a delight to see what else I have missed. Knowing God's word and the Lord Himself, every day, helps so much with renewing our minds and hearts.
    I'm sure there are many that have not read a good part of God's Holy word. If you have not, take time today to start, perhaps first Matthew and the Gospels and go from there or find a reading plan. A little bit every day, pondering what you have read and asking the Lord questions can help bring us closer the Him.

    1. It's funny, Sara....I know in my own life I was away from my faith for decades---that is, until God decided to get my attention in a serious way. I started reading Genesis---and I couldn't put the book down. The stories are timeless, timeless, timeless. When I read scripture, I relate it today so easily.

  2. Sara G, I agree with you! Reading the Bible everyday does help us renew our minds and hearts. It also keeps me more focused on God each day when I read the Bible. I can tell a difference on the days I have skipped reading God's Word. Last spring I finished the New Testament and am now on chapter 26 of Genesis of the Old Testament. I had wondered about learning things from these "old people" and what a surprise! There is truly nothing new under the sun and human nature has not changed at all. The study Bible I'm using has really helped in my understanding of the Bible.

    In a few months I hope to have read the Bible in its entirety.

    A good blog question, dear husband ♥

  3. Sometimes I think Christians have a hard time admitting that they have a hard time read Scripture. I'm guessing many assume that everyone else is reading along easily, and they don't want to admit that the Bible isn't the easiest book to dive right into. There isn't an obvious place to start. I think many start in Genesis, thinking it will read like any other book, and then they run smack dab into Leviticus. I think those of us who are familiar with Scripture can be of great help in showing others how to navigate their way through--how it's not all chronological, and some is history, poetry, prophecy, etc.

    I've read through cover-to-cover at least four times, in several different translations, and have discovered several things: Have a comprehensive view of God's word is a little like learning to navigate one's way in an unfamiliar city. You start recognizing landmarks and where things are in relation to one another. The other thing I realized is that Scripture really is living and active, just like it says. The Spirit is always at work revealing deeper truths (or, things I just plain missed on previous readings)

  4. Clint: As I age, I have more and more appreciation for the real bread of life the Bible is to me. And you're right, even not looking at it from our spiritual vantage, the stories alone are fascinating from a literary point of view. The Lord blessed us in giving us His word.

  5. Well Clint, I think it is because we are supposed to believe with our heart and confess with our mouths that Jesus is the son of God and we shall be saved and called his people. You know humans need specific direction, especially infant Christians, so some stop there and call it good. Those so-called Christians who want to know God's will for them, live the life He has called the to, will seek God's word and the gathering together of His people. As I see it, some want front row seats in Heaven and others don't mind sitting out on the lawn. Just how I see it. Enjoy your day.

  6. I have read the Book cover to cover several times over. Each time, I find new insight into issues that did not register previous times through. I agree with you about people declaring themselves Christians, yet have not read the Bible. We are encouraged to read and question our Pastor, and ensure that he is presenting the Word with no human variations. In some denominations, the reading of the Bible is discouraged, and the leader is the sole interpreter. I feel for these folks, and keep thinking that the leaders are called to a higher level of accountability when they stand before the Lord.

  7. That would be like my beloved one, to send me a love letter and then me tossing it to the wayside as though it is not vital to the experience of his sharing his love, his dreams, his committments to and for can I know his dreams if I do not ready his letters? I am not one to say that sitting down and reading it as a "book" is the validation of being a Christian however if I am a Christian I am "gonna wanna" read the Bible. It is the written Word of God as Christ was the Living Word of God...both are necessary to the Christian's growth.

  8. Clint,
    Such a good question you have posed.
    To answer you in a literal manner, I have read the entire Bible (cover to cover including the begats :) at least three times. I have read individual books of the Bible, for example the gospel of Matthew, countless times each.

    Right now, I am following the suggestion of our pastor to read the book of Ephesians every day for a couple of weeks, to allow it to soak in. It is a good exercise.

    All this is because I was raised by a mother who taught me and my sisters to memorize Bible verses as soon as we could read. We stopped at the door, on our way out to school each morning, and would recite that week's verse as best we could.

    How thankful I am for her example!
    good post. Bless you - Marsha

  9. I admit the last time I REALLY read the Bible I was going to Sunday School, but I know what I believe in and brought my three with that knowledge to the best of my ability.

    Great issue you brought up here Clint. Thanks.


  10. I have read it...through last year was the 4th time. Each time you see more and more... Last time what impacted me the most, was the fact that people have always been the same....
    Jesus is our only answer.

  11. Amen to that Clint! I would like to run a poll and ask these questions:
    1)"What is it that a person has to understand and trust in to be a Christian?"
    2)"What are we being saved from?"
    Here is a good quote "Sitting in a church makes you as much of a Christian, as sitting in a garage make you a car", lol!
    What amazes me about reading my Bible is that the more times I read through it the more I learn and the more I realize I have a lot to learn. God Bless you all and a very good topic of conversation!

    1. I had 2 quick thought.
      1)Have you ever though that maybe the reason why the nation is in the shape it is in, is because most of the nation has turn their backs on God.
      2)There is to side to in a conversation one is talking (prayer) and the second is listening (reading Gods Word). Most relationships would suffer if conversation was only one sided! :-)

  12. I have taken the Bethel Bible Course and we did read the entire Bible. In fact more than once and I learn something new each and every time. And I own a set of the Barkley Commentaries for the New Testament and I have read them many times. And I study with the Concordances. It has all the answers in there. sandie

  13. Long time ago, I was still in school, I read the bible from the beginning to the end. In my boarding school we have had at chrismas time a advent calendar and every day there were tasks inside. My task was to read the bible. My first thought was: oh my gosh, but starting, I found it really interesting.

    Good post Clint, because I think, the next "book" will be the bible again.

    Have a beautiful start into the weekend and greetings to you and Cindy ♥