The First Five Books [The Pentateuch (Genesis–Deuteronomy)]
Some Objections To Reading Scripture
Many believers have a silent objection to reading the overall story of Scripture, or even reading some of the smaller stories completely in favor of reading a few unattached verses. They will seldom vocalize this because they do not wish to bring disapproval on themselves. If they do vocalize an opinion, it usually falls into one of the following objections:
Objection #1: The Bible Is Too Big. Where Do I Begin?
They are right! The Bible is a big book. In my personal copy of The New International Version: Textbook Edition (2011), there are about 1250 pages of text to read—and small type at that. But this objection can be overcome. There is an ancient proverb which says, “The longest journey begins with a single step.” I have provided a guide for reading the whole story in God’s EPIC Adventure 1 and a reading plan called “Reading the Bible Without Additives in 100 Days” to help overcome this objection. 2 So, when you read the entire First Five Books of the Bible (Pentateuch), you may know how the story of God’s call and covenant with his people fits together.
Objection #2: The Bible Is A Dull And Boring Book!
I wrote a little booklet entitled: “It’s not the book that’s dull!” This tongue and cheek sense of humor was to get people to focus on some of the real reasons why they had the feeling that the Bible was dull and boring. Here are two reasons:
- The translation that most readers are reading may be difficult to read. So, when reading the Bible, secure a Bible translation which is up-to-date. If the translation you read is full of archaic language or nonsensical sentences, your tendency will be to see Scripture as just a dusty-old-history book written to a previous generation, and never read very much of it. My recommendation are the New International Version of the Bible (2011 Edition), or The Books of the Bible (a version of NIV without chapters and verses) or The Good News Bible. They are both good translations and easy to read.
- Another reason a person may find the book dull and uninteresting is because it is often read like a newspaper which has no value beyond the day of its reading. The Bible has had more influence on the world than any other book. One secular author has said that a person who has not read the Bible is an illiterate person. A strong saying! Think about it.
There are other objections, I am sure. These are the two which I encounter most often. My opinion is: if you learn to personally use materials like you are reading, with your family or your church community, and you read Scripture in an up-to-date translation, you will find that the Bible is not too big to conquer or too dull or boring to read. It will become alive and active in your life. Your job is to be impregnated with the sacred text so that you can imagine how you should respond to life situations and the improvise how to do respond. Remember: wholeness (as in reading the whole Story of Scripture) heals while fragmentation injuries!