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The Bible should not be opened and read haphazardly!
Several years ago, I heard a story about a man who, in the midst of incredibly difficult circumstances, contemplated suicide by hanging himself. He turned to the Bible for guidance and chose to let the Lord lead him to the verse he needed for the day. So, with his eyes closed, he opened his Bible, and randomly placed his finger on a verse. He opened his eyes only to realize that his finger was pointing on Matthew 27:5 which said, “And Judas went out and hanged himself.” Closing her eyes once more, he opened his Bible at random and he immediately searched for a new random verse . This time, when he opened his eyes, his finger was on Luke 10:37 which said, “Go and do likewise!” Still not giving up, he closed his eyes again and tried to find another random verse. This time, his finger fell on John 13:27, which says, “What you are about to do, do quickly!”
“Christians Should never read a Bible Verse”
Greg Koukl, a Christian apologist and radio talk show presenter who also founded the Christian apologetics organization Stand to Reason, once stated that Christians should never read a Bible verse.
If there was one bit of wisdom, one rule of thumb, one single skill I could impart, one useful tip I could leave that would serve you well the rest of your life, what would it be? What is the single most important practical skill I’ve ever learned as a Christian? Here it is: Never read a Bible verse. That’s right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph at least. . ..
The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words. . . . It’s the most important practical lesson I’ve ever learned . . . and the single most important thing I could ever teach you.
Did you know, for example, that you can manipulate the Bible and try to make it say that God doesn’t exist? You can do that by ignoring to read the given words in their context and reading only the last part of Psalm 14:1 which says, “There is no God.” The complete verse reads, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” This is a glaring illustration of how people misinterpreted the Scriptures when they ignore the context.
The context in which a word is used determines its meaning. For example, the word “bright” in the sentence, “He is a bright child,” can mean two different things. It could mean “full of light” or “smart.”
In this context, the most logical definition of “bright” would be “smart.” Even when it comes to the Bible, understanding the context is so essential for correct Biblical interpretation. Without understanding the context, you might wind up teaching the right message from the wrong text or the wrong message from the right text, or you might end up misunderstanding, misinterpreting, and misapplying the Bible as a whole.
On the other hand, a meditation on a Bible text from a sermon or devotional may be edifying, motivating, and inspirational. But if it is not the original message that the writers of the Bible intended to convey, then it is a mishandling of the inspired text and lacks biblical authority, even if the quote is directly from the Word of God.
You can only be transformed by God’s Word if you have a proper understanding of the way it was written and its context. Each component gains strength when it contributes to the whole..
But remember this advise that was given at the beginning by the Christian apologist, Greg Koukl:
Never read a Bible verse. That’s right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph at least. . . The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words. . . . It’s the most important practical lesson I’ve ever learned . . . and thing single most important thing I could ever teach you.
What is even better is that you should strive to systematically read through the entire Bible at least once in a year.
The Bible was given to transform, not inform.
Evangelist Dwight L. Moody once said, ❝The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.❞ This does not imply that the Bible was given to us solely for the purpose of improving our morality; rather, it was intended to direct us to Christ so that we might be made righteous through faith in Him.
Would you like to join our Cover2Cover Bible reading challenge?
I hope you’ll sign up below and take on the challenge of reading the Bible every day in a careful and organized way. This program will enable you to read the entire Bible in one year. Scriptures for each day’s reading are available in both audio and text forms. Each day’s Bible readings are followed by a daily dose of Inspirational Thoughts and God-centered, grace-filled, Christ-exalting, gospel-driven insights.” Sign up below to participate in our Cover2Cover Bible reading challenge.
The passages for each day’s Bible reading are given in both audio and text formats with God-centered, grace-saturated, Christ-exalting, and gospel-driven insights for each day’s scripture readings. Isn’t this a great New Year’s gift?