The Bible has been around for twenty five hundred years. It continues in its completed form to be the best-selling book on the planet. From its obscure origination it has become a worldwide sacred text. It reveals how that we can have a relationship with God and with fellow humans.
In studying the Bible we discover that it must be read on its own terms. It does not always behave the way that we think it should, and it often leaves us with more questions than answers. It provokes a process of wrestling, doubting, imagining, and aggressively discussing its mysteries. It is living, breathing, captivating, and confounding, yet it equips us to engage and participate in God’s creative, loving, and redemptive work both in this world and the cosmos. We must learn to love the Scripture for what it claims to be and not for what we want it to be.
The prophet Amos declared, “There is a famine in the land, not of bread and water, but of hearing and knowing the Word of the Lord.” Most of our Western churches teach and preach from 30% or less of the Bible. This deconstructs, distorts, diminishes, and even destroys the complete message of the Word, resulting in a failure to equip the people of God to live it and proclaim it. This is more than an oversight. It is a crime with eternal consequences.
There was a time when the forces and powers of darkness strategically developed a plan to keep the Scriptures out of the hands of the people. Even through the intense persecution of the Dark Ages, the words of the Scriptures prevailed and even flourished. Satan has now put more subtle and devious and effective strategy in place, and it involves inundating people with the Word of God. To the human economy, obscuring its message through accessibility has diminished its value. Hide it in plain sight.
In the next two posts we will discuss what a life-long pilgrimage of Scriptural study would look like for individuals and for gathered believers in the body of Christ, the Church. We will conclude in a final post as we explore some of what the Bible says about itself, and the living Word, Jesus Christ.