Why should we read the Bible? How should we read the Bible? What is the bible even about? The Bible contains the story of God and His people, and is an ancient scriptural text that is the basis for Christianity and many of its denominations. As one of the most prominent religions in the world with over two billion people who identify with the religion, God, Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible are eminent (or infamous) terms in the global psyche. Now, religion may be a sensitive topic for many, but the Bible can still be a text read and studied by everyone. Although you may have mixed feelings about it, reading the Bible can even be beneficial from an educational and historical standpoint. Yes, we may have preconceived notions on what the Bible is about based on what people say, but reading the Bible ourselves can give us context and help us come to understand the stories within it. It’s one thing to hear someone explain what a book is about, it’s another thing to read and experience it for yourself.
The Bible contains a lot of history, approximately 4000 years worth. The origins of Judaism and Christianity are found within this book, beginning in what is now known as the Middle East. Throughout the scriptures, genealogies and family lineages are recorded to prove these people existed and that there is a tangible reality to the events of the Bible. Many stories are quite interesting as well. There are the general Sunday school stories about Noah, Jonah, and David and Goliath, but there are some lesser known stories like Balaam and Balak (Numbers) that are fun reads as well.
One concern many have in regards to the Bible is that it is boring or hard to understand. That is true, the Bible is not an easy read. Because the Old Testament contains a lot of history, it is fairly detail heavy, especially when it comes to the laws the Israelites had to abide by at the time. For example, the book of Leviticus consists only of laws Moses received from God that he was commanded to give to the Israelites (many more of God’s commands are scattered throughout the first five books of the Bible, which were all written by Moses).
There are also many parables (prophecies) contained throughout the Bible that may not make sense either. For example, in Matthew chapter 13, Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven in seven different ways using parables. Upon reading this, it may seem quite confusing. What is Jesus’ true, intended message here? These may be difficult reads, but we should not try to use our own thinking as a means to dissect or interpret them. We can read the Bible simply for context.
If we are more compelled to learn more about the Bible, then we can come to understand them through bible studies with a knowledgeable teacher. There are womens bible study and men’s as well and a step to take in doing so can be looking into resources such as Bible Study for All as an example to start. That’s when we can receive an explanation to the Scriptures of God and Jesus’ true intentions found within the Bible.