Tag Archives: Bible

Reading the Bible Through

Early one January an adult Sunday school class had just begun its session. The Bible teacher got up and asked a simple question. He had asked this question in other classes and venues, and knew what the answer would be. “How many of you have read the Bible all the way through”? He asked for a show of hands. Many in the class looked at each other and seemed a little ill-at-ease with the question. One lady in the back of the room raised her hand. In classes of 25 to 30 students, this was normal: one or two believers had actually read the Bible through. The rest were embarrassed; inevitably tried to justify their response with mumbled replies.

We now face the beginning of a new year. There are many who will be trying to design improvements to their physical situation or emotional wellbeing. A few will be concerned about their spiritual growth and behaviour and will resolve to read the Scriptures on a regular basis.

Reading the Bible through is one of the most basic and helpful ways to provide growth and maturity in the Christian heart and life.

Some people like to try to read the Bible through in a year. This is a noble task. For many, however, it creates some problems.

open BibleIn our current day and age, many people—especially younger people—have difficulty reading complete books. Some have difficulty with well-written paragraphs. Still others can only comprehend short cropped phrases. For many people reading and writing is confined to 140 characters or less. Some have difficulty following an argument from paragraph to paragraph. All these things affect their understanding of what is formally written, leaving them unable to comprehend what’s on one page of the Bible, much less what’s on the rest of the pages.

A second difficulty with reading the Bible through can be lack of interest—spiritual, doctrinal or subject matter. It is difficult to read the Bible for some because they just aren’t interested in what is in the Bible. It is important that each time you begin your Bible reading you take time to pray and ask the Lord to help you with your interest, diligence and understanding. Ask God to teach you by his Spirit through his Word.

A third problem involved with reading the Bible through is time. There are so many pulls on our time each and every day that we don’t have any moments to spare to come aside and read the Bible. We make good progress at taking ten or fifteen minutes to spend time with the Lord in his Word, but then one thing or another manages to steal that time away.

Thus, it takes quite a commitment to begin daily Bible reading, and particular diligence to read it consistently and all the way through.

The most important thing in deciding to read the Bible on a daily basis is to remember that you are meeting God through reading his Word. You are doing this for your relationship with him and your spiritual growth. It is to know God better.

There are several practical ways of reading the Scriptures and of reading all the way through. First is the need to set aside time to do so; second is determining how you’re going to do it. Would morning or evening be best? Third is should you endeavour to read through the Bible in one year, or two, or five? Will you read straight from Genesis to Revelation or use some other system?

There are many tools which are available for the believer. There are numerous translations in English—some are good, while others are a detriment to spiritual growth. There are devotional Bibles which have the text divided into 365 day increments for convenience. Many Bibles have a Bible reading plan located in the back of the Bible, and there are many Bible reading plans available on the Internet. The wonderful Christian blogger Tim Challies has a recent article on this.

Some people like to read the Old Testament text in the morning and the New Testament text in the evening. Thus they start and finish the day in God’s Word. They will often start in Genesis and Matthew, and just plough through.

There are many who will try to read the Bible through during the calendar year 2017, and while this is a noble endeavour, it can be rather difficult, particularly if you set a specific amount to read daily. There may be certain days that will interrupt the reading schedule because you are ill or traveling or for some other valid reason, and you will struggle to catch up. If you do not have time to go back and catch up on your reading, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up again on the next day and continue on. You may miss some of the details or context, but you will be able to continue without the burden of having to make up readings which slow you down and eventually cause you to stop altogether. Being able to brag that you have read every single verse of the Bible is not why you have committed to reading the Scriptures. It is important to read the Bible completely even if you miss several small sections.

Dr Allen Fleece recommended that you could spend thirty days in a book of the Bible. He recommended starting with Romans. You read as much as you can each day, and when you reach the end you start over. You do this for thirty days. Then you continue in 1 Corinthians for thirty days. Some people like to add “Spiritual Vitamins” by reading a chapter of the book of Proverbs each day of the month.

Some people read the Bible all the way through, not concerned with when they finish. They average a chapter or two a day, and take time to slow down if necessary to ensure they understand what they’ve read. They take their time day-by-day in God’s Word.

It is my hope and prayer that you will make a decision and a commitment to read God’s Word consistently in the coming year, that you will understand what you read and that you will be able to have a much closer relationship to God through his Word. God is as willing as he is able to assist, help and bless you in this.

As Dr Fleece used to put it, “When you open your Bible God opens his mouth; when you close your Bible God closes his mouth”. Make your commitment today.

Blessings,

GW Anderson
Spoudason Services

 

George W. Anderson taught at Columbia International University before becoming the Editorial Manager as well as an Editorial Consultant of the Trinitarian Bible Society in London. Mr. Anderson offers his knowledge and expertise at Spoudason Services, a research & teaching consultancy in Bible, NT Greek, hermeneutics & theology for Bible students, SS teachers, pastors & missionaries.

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The Essential Greek New Testament for the Absolute Beginner

We are excited to release the Essential Greek New Testament for the Absolute Beginner (thank you, James, for the title).

This book represents a new approach to the study of the Biblical Greek by allowing an absolute Greek beginner to start “reading” the Greek New Testament from the first day. As such, it will establish itself as an indispensable resource for those who would like to get a glimpse of the New Testament in the original. The compilation of resources will also be useful to those who have some knowledge of Biblical Greek.

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Spurgeon: You cannot read the Bible, while anything that man writes is greedily devoured

“… many of you will read a novel from beginning to end, and what have you got? A mouthful of froth when you have done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect, while anything that man writes, a catch of the day, is greedily devoured. …

I bring the broad charge against you. Perhaps ye say, I ought not to charge you with any such thing. I always think it better to have a worse opinion of you than too good an one. I charge you with this: you do not read your Bibles. Some of you never have read it through. I know I speak what your heart must say is honest truth. You are not Bible readers. You say you have the Bible in your houses; do I think you are such heathens as not to have a Bible? But when did you read it last? How do you know that your spectacles, which you have lost, have not been there for the last three years?”

from the sermon “The Bible” by C.H. Spurgeon

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The ASV, a Forerunner of Trustworthy Modern Bible Translations.

The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible was first published in 1901.

It has been hailed as one of the most accurate English translations of the Bible and earned the reputation of being the Rock of Biblical Honesty. Although the English used in the American Standard Version is somewhat archaic, it isn’t nearly as hard to understand as some passages of the King James Version. Other names for the American Standard Version are Standard American Edition or Revised Version.

You can purchase your copy of the ASV Bible on Amazon.com or at the OSNOVA store.

The ASV Bible is the result of cooperation between British and American scholars who worked on the revision of the King James (Authorized Version) Bible between 1872 and 1901. The goal was to provide readers with accurate, literal, word-for-word translation of the Holy Scriptures. The revisers retained the archaic language of the KJV in most instances. ASV has served as the basis for a number of modern translations and paraphrases, such as Revised Standard Version, Amplified Bible, New American Standard Bible, the Recovery Version, the World English Bible, and the Living Bible.

“A fascinating fact about the ASV”, writes Pastor Brett Maragni, “is that both the RSV (Revised Standard Version) and the NASB (New American Standard Bible) are revisions of the ASV. Since the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) and ESV (English Standard Version) are both revisions of the RSV, that means the ASV, second of course to the King James Version, is perhaps the most influential literal translation produced in the English language. That is remarkable considering you have to search high and low to find a copy to purchase.”

You can read more about this Bible translation at OnlineBible.org.

Have you ever heard of the ASV Bible?

What is your preferred Bible translation?

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The Liberating Power of the Gospel

Freedom is precious. Hundreds of thousands of lives are sacrificed for freedom, billions of dollars are spent to preserve it, countless books, songs and poems exalt it. Freedom is a desire of every human being. Yet not every kind of freedom is true.  There is a true Freedom – freedom from sin and death – offered freely by the One who has already paid the price.

Jesus, through His Word, the Bible, has the power to “proclaim freedom to the prisoners” and “to release the oppressed”. We as His followers have the privilege to partake in sharing the Good News of His redemption.

Here are just a few ministries that through the Word of God bring freedom to those oppressed by sickness, addictions, and sin:

1. OneHope is a ministry, spreading God’s Word to millions of children and youth throughout the world. One of their video testimonies tells about a young boy from Russia whose life was completely transformed by the Book of Hope:

This video is close to our hearts as we are from Ukraine, next door to Russia, and the children in our country face the same problems.

2. George and Sarah deVuyst are an example of a sacrificial ministry for the sake of God’s Kingdom. They have chosen to abandon the comforts of American life and suffer the inconveniences and “absurdities” of life in Ukraine along with their three children, so the Word of God is spread and instilled in the lives of Ukrainians.  We have been friends with George and Sarah for over 10 years now.

Here is a little video about Ukraine and the ministry of this amazing family we love dearly:

Read Sarah’s blog to learn more about their life and ministry in Ukraine.

2. Spring of Hope Kenya is a ministry we heard of through Paul Steinbrueck‘s blog, Live Intentionally.  SOHK provides a care center (orphanage) for children who have no extended family to care for them. They also work with at-risk children, who have been either street boy or girls (homeless) or children who, due to poverty or abuse, would not receive an education without outside assistance.

Through these faithful people, God has touched and transformed many lives.

Please pray for these ministries and ask God how YOU can be a part of His liberating work!

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