How Do You Read the Bible?

Welcome back to Beyond the Pew. My name is Matt Rice, and this series we’re gonna start diving into Scripture a little bit, more specifically, on how you can start to study Scripture together as a family. In this first episode, this first one in the series is going to be real basic.

So if you know Scripture, then this may be very rudimentary for you. But, if this is your first time actually sitting down to crack open the Bible and to start really to digest it, then this will be really good for you.

So what I always do when I talk to people about Scripture is, I point out to them as Christians like our focus is the New Testament. But out of the whole Bible, it’s a very small portion of Scripture. So just as a visual, you can see right here that about a quarter of this Bible is the New Testament. And so, this is what we focus on mostly as Christians.

It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a ton of value in here, but as far as what we focus on typically, it’s New Testament because that’s where we get to hear about the life of Jesus, his miracles, and the forming of the Church and what the new Church did in the New Testament. It’s just really exciting stuff for us Christians. We get to see a lot of the background and a lot of our heritage that came from our Jewish roots in the Old Testament.

So basically the structure of the Bible is relatively simple. It’s like a library. It’s not a book, it’s a series of books. So just like you wouldn’t walk into a library and pick up a book that is in the first book that starts with “a” and start reading, you go to the library you find the book that interests you. You find a style of writing that interests you. So that’s what you do when you go into Scripture, when you want to first start diving into it. Start looking at something that you’re interested in.

For me, I love action. I like seeing stuff happen and hearing about things happen, so, to be honest, I’d turn to Acts of the Apostles when I really want to be inspired and I want to look at this. So I’ll flip to Acts of the Apostles and there is action, there’s something happening over and over again in Acts. If romance is something that you enjoy, honestly Song of Songs. The Song of Solomon is what you would want to read in this. There’s some really beautiful language in that and honestly my wife and I, on the inside of our wedding rings, we have a verse from there which is, “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.” There are all types of different types of literary styles in Scripture, and just find the one that best suits you.

So the way that the scripture is set up is with chapter and verse. So when someone says, “John 3:16,” you look for the book of John, which that is one of the Gospels, one of the four Gospels, you have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So you’ll turn to John 3. And you’ll see at the top, it’ll say John 3, and then you’ll look through the the Bible itself and it’ll say chapter 3. You go down through John 3 you look for 16. So John 3:16 then we see, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.”

The reason it’s set up that way is it so that it’s easy to find. Those chapters and verses were not originally put in there with the text, they were put in there for us. So that we can easily reference God’s word, because this is meant to be something that we devour, that we that we look through and we pray through and we invest in.

A lot of times as Catholics we will get so comfortable with hearing Scripture at Mass, because we hear a lot of scripture at Mass, that we think like that’s enough, but it’s not enough. We have to dive into this ourselves as a family and at home, and my hope is that you find a Bible like this, this is a Catholic edition of Scripture and it’s got footnotes in it, which will help you as you’re reading through it, so it’s a study Bible.

There are devotionals as well, Catholic devotionals, that will help you dive into it a little bit deeper, but my prayer for you is that you find that, you find a Bible that you want to dive into and invest in and that you spend time in God’s Word daily and especially as a family. And we’ll dive into that a little bit later in this series. Thanks for joining us. God bless

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