Wisdom. Joy. Death. Purpose. These are a few of the topics the bible addresses in its vast amount of historical, philosophical, scientific, psychological, geographical, astronomical, and spiritual information. Here within I will note some information as to why you should read the bible. For me, the Bible is more than a book. The Bible is a guide for life from God. But for you, I can guarantee that you will be greatly impacted by the message of the Bible regardless of your beliefs.
Here are a few reasons why you should read the Bible.
One Quick Scientific Note:
One incredibly fascinating point to note is the complete accuracy the scriptures contain regarding issues the writers did not have the technology to know. For example, how did Job know that the earth was suspended in space? (Job 26:7).
The Bible does not contain all information regarding science, obviously. We still can’t prove how we got here definitively, thousands of years later. However, the fact that it does not contradict science is wonderful. God and science are not at war.
What is even more incredible is the harmonic nature of the book. Take (approx) 39 different people from different cultures with different languages over 1600 years and ask them each to write a chapter of a book. What are the odds that it would reverberate the same message? (source) Slim to none, right?!? This is one of the miracles of the Bible.
While the bible is not a primer on psychological information it does admonish hearers in a way that modern psychologists would admonish their patients to act. Consider with me Jesus’ command to love your neighbor (Mark 12:31). The human need for love and affection is essential from birth as maternal deprivation experiments have proven (wiki source). Our desire for love does not diminish as we age, but it grows as our understanding of human relationships grow.
A reading from Micah 6:8 is even more telling of how humans should act toward one another. First, to do justice has become a bit of a fad in the 21st century. But who would argue with bringing water to the thirsty, or clothing to the naked? Psychologically doing good is beneficial more for the doer than the receiver of the justice. Doing good makes you happy! (source)
Second, to love mercy is a great mental plus. Ponder the last time you felt judged by someone, or how it felt to be down and out, instead of on the inside of a desired social circle. The command to love mercy includes widening your circle to welcome the down-and-outers, the stigmatic people of society.
Third, and last, to walk humbly before God regardless of belief system is a mark all people could aim for. While I believe in the Judeo-Christian Triune God, you may stand before Islam’s god Allah or the Hebrew God YHWH, or maybe your god is science and reason, in each circumstance all of man would benefit from walking humbly. Who in a present state of mind fully believes they are invincible? A knife strike to the hand reveals that we each bleed the same, each of those before us has died, as will our progeny. A daily dose of humility is much more desirable than eating humble pie.
Philosophy: The Love of Wisdom
The love of wisdom is readily apparent in the Bible. One entire section of scripture is titled “Wisdom Literature.” This portion includes Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Psalms, and the Songs of Solomon. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes have had profound impacts on the world, for who in the Western world has not heard these sayings…
“There is a time for peace and a time for war” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
“Like a dog that returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” – Proverbs 26:17
The Bible is riddled with philosophy that not only challenges people to think critically but also pierces their soul with timeless questions of human purpose and identity.
King David wrote:
“3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?” – Psalm 8:3-4
King Solomon wrote:
“9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;” – Ecclesiastes 3:9-12
“38 You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:38 – 42
These statements are deeply confounding. They can revolutionize our thinking and bring us to a new level of understanding.
Life, Death, and Eternity:
The final reason (at least within this blog) that you should read the bible is rooted in our life, death, and eternity. Many who assent to the Bible’s profound message vehemently disagree with its claim to ultimate truth of mankind’s destiny. These people agree that the Bible is full of timely information on ethics and morals, but cannot come to terms with the timeless statements of eternal salvation or damnation.
It is a mystery, the story of salvation, that God would become incarnate, as man, to provide forgiveness of sin and salvation from eternal death. It is a mystery that one can read and understand the message, but not accept it. It is a mystery as to how a heart that is hardened against God can become transformed from rock into a clay vessel.
The author of Hebrews confronted this issue when he wrote:
“12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” – Hebrews 3:12 – 13
And Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
“18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
“27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,” – 1 Corinthians 1:18, 27-30
The Bible is not only a book of relativistic morals or ancient Hebrew history, it is so much more. It provides information for daily living whose principles transcend time. It is a compilation of accurate histories and beautiful songs as well. Most importantly of all, you may find the ultimate joy of God’s presence in your life because of Jesus’ work on the cross for the salvation of humanity.
If you are interested in discussing this more feel free to drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This blog was written to fulfill the Student Learning Requirement portion of THEO2013: The Bible and the Church
Please comment on these four questions.
1. What did you like about the student’s presentation?
2. How could the student improve in the way he participated?
3. What other words of encouragement do you have for the student?
4. Name of person commenting and his/her relation to the student: