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Read the Bible for Yourself!

Chris JubyThis guest post is by Chris Juby (@chrisjuby).

Bible Gateway has been republishing my @BibleSummary Tweets for seven months now. We’ve made it through the five books of Moses and we’ve just finished Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land. Next come the strange, wonderful and sometimes disturbing stories of the Judges.

How are you finding the journey? My guess is that there have already been a few surprises if you’ve been following the whole way. That was certainly true for me as I summarized.

Even though I’d read the whole Bible before, I remember feeling very puzzled when the book of Exodus switched from the famous story of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt into detailed lists of specifications for the tabernacle about two thirds of the way through. And somehow I had previously managed to miss the fact that the whole of Deuteronomy is Moses’ farewell speech to the Israelites before he dies and they enter the Promised Land.

This may sound obvious, but one of the benefits of working through the whole Bible is simply that you find out what’s actually in there.

That was one of the most common responses I had as I worked through the original project. Dozens of people got in touch over the months to say how glad they were to discover what’s actually in the Bible. And that was both from Christians and also many who weren’t Christians.

Even if you leave aside the enormous benefit we get from reading the Bible for our faith, the Bible also plays a foundational role in Western culture. It’s worth knowing what it says!

Another common comment that people make at the Bible Summary website is that the summaries leave out important details from the chapters. I always reply that I agree! No summary could do justice to the richness of a chapter of Scripture.

Now, you may ask why these people who want to know what’s in the Bible don’t just read it for themselves. And that’s a very good question! We all know that it would be good for us to read the Bible more. Why don’t we just do it?

How about you? What’s holding you back from reading more of Scripture today?

There’s really no excuse not to. As you read these words on, you’re not more than a click or two away from every part of Scripture in almost every language and practically every translation ever produced. From a historical perspective, that’s absolutely incredible.

Before the invention of the printing press, having your own copy of Scripture was a relatively rare thing (and pretty much only for those who could read Latin). Christians in centuries past would consider us beyond blessed with the resources available to us.

If you want a glimpse of how blessed we are, take a look at this video of Chinese Christians receiving Bibles for the first time.

So here’s the challenge: are you going to make the most of that blessing?
Don’t just rely on what you think you know about the Bible, read it for yourself today!

BIO: Chris Juby is director of worship at King’s Church in Durham, England, where he lives with his wife and two young sons. For three-and-a-half years between 2010 and 2013 he summarized a chapter of the Bible each day on Twitter, and he’s now working on a Bible handbook called @BibleIntro. You can find out more at the Bible Summary website.

Filed under Bible, Guest Post