How to Read the Bible

Lou Lotz

READ : Acts 17:10-15

[They] examined the scriptures every day. (v. 11)

The Jews of Beroea read the Scriptures every day. Like the psalmist who said, “I will delight in your statutes” (Ps. 119:16), the Beroeans took pleasure in God’s Word, examining it daily, studying it faithfully.

Why is there so little delight for us in reading the Bible? A big problem is that we read the Bible in too piecemeal a fashion. The Bible is divided into thousands of verses. A printer named Robert Stephens marked off the verses during a horseback journey from Paris to Lyons. Every time the horse jogged, so the story goes, Stephens marked off a verse.

We must admit that Stephens’ verses are very useful because they enable us to find Bible passages quickly and easily. But verses are units of reference, not units of understanding. You really can’t enjoy reading the Bible until you sit down and read it in big chunks – whole chapters, whole books, picking up the story line in the beginning and following it through to the end. Do you pick up your favorite novel, read a sentence or a paragraph, and then put it down? Of course not. We should read the Bible the way we would read any other book. It is then that we discover that the Bible is not just any other book!

PRAYER

Help me to delight in your Word, O God.