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Bible News Roundup – Week of May 31, 2015

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National Bible Week November 15-21, 2015: “The Bible: A Book for the Family”
Association of Catholic Publishers

Baltimore Washington Monument 1815 time capsule yields Bible & other artifacts
Baltimore Post Examiner

Audio Scriptures Bring Christ to Unreached Groups
Mission Network News

Cooperation Speeds Bible Translation in Panama
Mission Network News

Presbyterian Mission Co-worker Edits Innovative Study Bible on Mission
Presbyterian Church (USA) News

Will the iPad Replace the Bible?
Real Clear Religion
Bible Gateway App

Ramadan Begins June 18; Wycliffe Associates Takes Steps to Protect Translators
Mission Network News

Bible-themed Park in Sioux City, SD Dedicated
Sioux City Journal


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Trinity Sunday: Considering One of Christianity’s Greatest Mysteries

220px-Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-compact.svgThis Sunday is Trinity Sunday, a day set aside to reflect on one of Christianity’s most interesting but difficult-to-understand doctrines: the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity posits that God is one God who is also three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Unlike many other tenets of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity is never concisely explained in one place in Scripture (the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible). And it’s certainly a difficult concept to grasp logically. But Christians believe that it is the clear teaching of the Bible, and that the three persons who comprise the Trinity fill distinct but essential roles in God’s relationship with humanity and creation.

Nonetheless, Christians have long struggled to understand the nature of God’s three-part nature without inadvertently drifting into any of many heresies that misrepresent the Trinity. This video humorously illustrates how quickly you can get into theological trouble when you try to explain the Trinity:

But don’t worry—you’re not expected to have all the details of the Trinity completely figured out. The exact way in which the Trinity works is a mystery that we can’t understand, but pondering it isn’t an act of pointless theological hair-splitting: because this is how God reveals Himself to us in the Bible, it’s important and worth reflection.

If you’re interested in a more thorough overview of this doctrine, theologian R.C. Sproul nicely explains what Christians believe about the Trinity in an entry from his Essential Truths of the Christian Faith devotional. The full entry is below; to read more devotionals like this, the entirety of this devotional series is available online and via email here at Bible Gateway.

The doctrine of the Trinity is difficult and perplexing to us. Sometimes it is thought that Christianity teaches the absurd notion that 1+1+1=1. That is clearly a false equation. The term Trinity describes a relationship not of three gods, but of one God who is three persons. Trinity does not mean tritheism, that is, that there are three beings who together are God. The word Trinity is used in an effort to define the fullness of the Godhead both in terms of His unity and diversity.

The historic formulation of the Trinity is that God is one in essence and three in person. Though the formula is mysterious and even paradoxical, it is in no way contradictory. The unity of the Godhead is affirmed in terms of essence or being, while the diversity of the Godhead is expressed in terms of person.

Though the term Trinity is not found in the Bible, the concept is clearly there. On the one hand the Bible strongly affirms the unity of God (Deuteronomy 6:4). On the other hand the Bible clearly affirms the full deity of the three persons of the Godhead: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The church has rejected the heresies of modalism and tritheism. Modalism denies the distinction of persons within the Godhead, claiming that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are just ways in which God expresses Himself. Tritheism, on the other hand, falsely declares that there are three beings who together make up God.

The term person does not mean a distinction in essence but a different subsistence in the Godhead. A subsistence in the Godhead is a real difference but not an essential difference in the sense of a difference in being. Each person subsists or exists “under” the pure essence of deity. Subsistence is a difference within the scope of being, not a separate being or essence. All persons in the Godhead have all the attributes of deity.

There is also a distinction in the work done by each member of the Trinity. The work of salvation is in one sense common to all three persons of the Trinity. Yet in the manner of activity, there are differing operations assumed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father initiates creation and redemption; the Son redeems the creation; and the Holy Spirit regenerates and sanctifies, applying redemption to believers.

The Trinity does not refer to parts of God or even to roles. Human analogies such as one man who is a father, son, and a husband fail to capture the mystery of the nature of God.

The doctrine of the Trinity does not fully explain the mysterious character of God. Rather, it sets the boundaries outside of which we must not step. It defines the limits of our finite reflection. It demands that we be faithful to the biblical revelation that in one sense God is one and in a different sense He is three.

  1. The doctrine of the Trinity affirms the triunity of God.
  2. The doctrine of the Trinity is not a contradiction: God is one in essence and three in person.
  3. The Bible affirms both the oneness of God and the deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  4. The Trinity is distinguished by the work assumed by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  5. The doctrine of the Trinity sets the limits of human speculation about the nature of God.

— from Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul

How Can We Hear God’s Voice in Scripture?

howtounderstandthebible

This is part of Mel Lawrenz’ “How to Understand the Bible” series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.


Some years back, I did a survey of our church’s congregation with the simple question: “If you could ask God one thing, what would it be?” I was not surprised that the most frequent response had to do with the problem of evil in the world, but I was struck by the next most common question: “How can I hear the voice of God?” The various wording people used indicated some were facing important decisions, others wanted to know if their lives were “on track” with God, some were in crisis, and still others expressed feelings of spiritual isolation and just wanted to “hear” from God.

There is a long history and many debates about how God “speaks” to us. Our concern in this chapter is how God speaks in and through Holy Scripture. This must be the believer’s major conviction, that we find the voice of God in Scripture, and that the authority of the Bible trumps all other claims about hearing God. Throughout Scripture, God is talking. Creation took place at the verbal command of God. The Hebrews became a nation when they met their God at Mount Sinai and he spoke to them through Moses. The prophets’ oracles often began with: “This is what the Lord says.”

Man holding hands in prayer.

And the Gospels proclaim a whole new form of the voice of God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Or, as the opening words of the book of Hebrews puts it: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1-2).

Whenever we find ourselves longing to hear the voice of God—wanting to know if we’re doing the right thing, or yearning to know that we are not alone—we must remember this: We have in Scripture thousands and thousands of expressions of the will and the ways of God. We have an analysis of life that is complex and refined, giving us concrete moral instruction and wisdom-based ethics. We have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). We have the “wisdom from above” (James 3:17 ESV). We have “Spirit-taught words” (1 Cor. 2:13). Do you want to hear God’s voice? Then take in what he says in his Word. Drink deeply. Study well. Meditate slowly. Keep starting over.

It may be that the most relevant question for us is not “Where can we find the voice of God?” but “What prevents us from taking in the voice of God?” Many biblical passages speak to that.

Listening to the voice of God is risky. At Mount Sinai the people said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die” (Ex. 20:19). Moses replied that the fear of God would be good for them; it would keep them from sinning, although it will sting at times.

There are many passages that say we resist listening to God because we know obedience is the next step. In the parable of the soils, Jesus analyzes why the word of God (the seed) does not take root. Shallow acceptance (the rocky ground), and the competition of worries and money (the thorny soil) get in the way. But simple lack of understanding (the path) thwarts a person’s spiritual life.

How can we hear God’s voice in Scripture? It isn’t really complicated. We need to read it. We need to do the work to understand it (which is the point of this whole book). And we need to have the right heart attitude, which is more challenging than anything else. We have to honestly admit that we will resist being obedient to God, and that we will be tempted to make the Bible mean what we want it to mean. That prospect should terrify us. Putting our words into the mouth of God is the height of arrogance.

Here is a caution. For years I sat in Bible studies where the leader read a passage and then asked the group: “What does this mean to you?” Only much later did I learn (and it made perfect sense when I did) that the meaning of Scripture does not flow from the subjective experience of the believer. The question is not “What does this mean to me?” but rather “What does this mean?”

When the apostle Paul said, “I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin” (Rom. 7:25), he meant something specific. It is our obligation to dig and dig until we learn what he meant, and then talk about how it applies to us.

There is only one way to receive the pure and powerful truth of God—and that is to seek to understand what the Bible meant so we can apply what it means to our lives today.


Get the whole book version of How to Understand the Bible here. Not yet signed up to receive “How to Understand the Bible” via email? You can follow along here at the blog, but we recommend signing up for email updates here. “How to Understand the Bible” is available as a print book at WordWay.org.

Mel Lawrenz is Director of The Brook Network and creator of The Influence Project. He’s the author of thirteen books, most recently Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership.

What Distinguishes One Bible Translation From Another?

If you’ve browsed a Christian bookstore and walked into its Bible section, you’ve seen the tremendous variety of Bible translations that are available. You’ll also notice those same translations here on Bible Gateway.

[See our blogpost: Read More Than One Bible Version Side-By-Side.]

You may wonder what distinguishes one translation from another. Or ask, “What is a ‘literal’ translation, versus a ‘word-for-word’ translation?” Dr. William D. Mounce (@BillMounce), Bible translator with the ESV and NIV translations, has some answers.

Dr. Mounce is a scholar of New Testament Greek and president of BiblicalTraining.org (@BiblicalT). He’s the author of numerous books, including Basics of Biblical Greek, which is used widely by college and seminary students.

Watch this Seven Minute Seminary with Dr. Mounce, produced by the website Seedbed (@OfficialSeedbed), powered by Asbury Theological Seminary.

[Also see our blogpost: Doug Moo’s Special Message on Bible Translation (Live Presentation from ETS 2014)]

Read More Than One Bible Version Side-By-Side

The parallel Bible feature on Bible Gateway lets you read a Bible passage in several different versions side-by-side. It’s very easy to do! Whether you’re grappling with a challenging Bible passage, or are just curious to see how different translators approach the same scriptural text, you’ll find it a useful part of your Bible reading.

[Also see our blogpost: How to Read the Context of a Verse on Bible Gateway]

Here’s how to read more than one Bible side-by-side.

While Reading a Bible Passage

Look up any Scripture passage (say, 1 Corinthians 13) and then click or tap the Add Parallel button. It’s just above and to the right of the text and looks like this:

Click to add a parallel Bible version on Bible Gateway

This will result in a second Bible translation appearing on your screen. You can then select which Bible version you’d like to be in parallel by selecting from the complete list of translation names in the drop down menu above the second column.

Click to add a second parallel Bible version on Bible Gateway

Do it again and you’ll get a third Bible version in a third column.

Click to add a third parallel Bible version on Bible Gateway

A fourth click will generate a fourth column.

Click to add a fourth parallel Bible version on Bible Gateway

Click up to five times and select any translation you want from the drop-down menu in each new Scripture panel that opens to create your own five column parallel Bible. To remove a Bible from the parallel view, click the X in the top right of any column.

While Performing a Bible Search

You can also choose to search in multiple versions from the Passage Lookup and Keyword Search pages. Click Lookup passage(s) in multiple versions on the Passage Lookup or Search in multiple versions on the Keyword Search:

This will expand the version selector to five drop-downs. Select the versions you want to view:

Compare Multiple Passages in Multiple Versions

You can also compare more than one Bible passage in more than one translation by using the Passage Lookup. Use the directions above for searching multiple passages from the Passage Lookup page, but instead of just filling in one passage, click “Lookup Multiple Versions”:

Type in each passage you’d like to compare and then click on “Lookup Passage.” The passages will appear in rows on top of each other in each translation column.

Here’s an example comparing Genesis 1:1-3 and John 1:1-10 in five different versions.

Of course, if you’d like to purchase a print edition parallel Bible, you’ll find a wide variety to choose from in the Bible Gateway Store.

Bible News Roundup – Week of May 24, 2015

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Bible Verse Sends US Marine Back to Court
Military Times
Isaiah 54:17

University of Florida Under Fire by Atheists for Bible Verse Inscription
Christian Examiner
Micah 6:8

North Las Vegas School Apologizes to 6th-Grader for Barring Bible Verse
Las Vegas Sun
John 3:16

Despite Trials, Bible Translators Working Faithfully
OneNewsNow

New Translation Method Gets Bible Translated in 2 Months
Christianity Today

Video Interview: Dr. D. A. Carson on the New NIV Zondervan Study Bible Releasing in August
The Gospel Coalition

New Campaign to Provide Bibles in China
Baptist Press

Ecumenical Bible Week is 24-31 May in Ireland
Press Release
Website

Australian Christianity: An Interview with the Australian Bible Society
Ed Stetzer

Electronic Bibles For Fiji Blind Children
Fiji Sun Online

Handwritten Peshik Aramaic Bible of the Chaldean Syrian Church released in India
The New Indian Express

Jonathan Edwards’s Blank Bible
Bible Design Blog

Mid-Wales UK Church Attracts Visitors by Knitting Bible
ITV


See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

Pentecost: The Holy Spirit Arrives

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, when we commemorate the remarkable event that kickstarted the early Christian church. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on a gathering of Christians and vividly demonstrated that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was meant for all people, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.

The full account is found in Acts 2:1-31. Here’s the key part of the passage:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” Read the rest of the Pentecost story.

The Pentecost account is one of the core passages upon which the Christian vision for missions and evangelism is built. God was doing something extraordinary in opening his offer of salvation to the entire world.

Take a few minutes this weekend to read the Pentecost story and give thanks that God’s grace isn’t limited by linguistic, geographic, or ethnic boundaries!

Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?

Click to buy your copy of Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? in the Bible Gateway StoreIn recent years the nature of the Genesis narrative has sparked much debate among Christians. The book Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? (Zondervan, 2015), in the Counterpoints book series, introduces three predominant interpretive genres and their implications for biblical understanding. In point/counterpoint arguments, each contributor identifies and defends his position on the genre of Genesis 1-11, addressing why it is appropriate to the text, and contributes examples of its application to a variety of passages.

The contributors and views are:

  • James K. Hoffmeier: Theological History. James HoffmeierDr. Hoffmeier (PhD, University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern archaeology at Trinity International University Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of Ancient Israel in Sinai and Israel in Egypt, and co-author of Faith, Tradition and History.
  • Gordon J. Wenham: Proto-History. Dr. Wenham (PhD, University of London) is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol, England, and professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Story as Torah and commentaries on Genesis, Leviticus, and Numbers.Gordon Wehnham
  • Kenton K. Sparks: Ancient Historiography. Dr. Sparks (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is professor of biblical studies and vice president for enrollment management at Eastern University. He is the author of several books, including Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible, God’s Word in Human Words, and Sacred Word, Broken Word.Kenton Sparks

Charles Halton (PhD, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion) is assistant professor in theology at Houston Baptist University. He has contributed to the The IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets and Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. He is the co-author of The First Female Authors: An Anthology of Women’s Writing in Mesopotamia. He virtually resides at charleshalton.com and his physical residence is in Louisville, Kentucky.

In the reader-friendly Counterpoints format, this book helps you reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed conclusions in this much-debated topic.Charles Halton

In the following book excerpt, general editor and Old Testament scholar Dr. Halton explains the importance of genre. He provides historical insight and helpful summaries of each position:

We are thousands of years removed from the origins of the book of Genesis. We live in a world that has sent people to the moon and back, that uses magnets to map the inside of human bodies; we work and sleep in climate controlled buildings, travel in air-conditioned cars, fly in pressurized planes, and send text messages through pieces of metal and glass small enough to slip into the pockets of our pants. The world of Genesis was dusty and barely literate. The people of its time were preoccupied with satiating hunger and securing physical safety. They consulted shamans for toothaches, thought that the gods spoke through birth defects and markings on sheep livers, and they defecated into ditches. Reading Genesis is like traveling from downtown Dublin to rural Angola. The contexts of author and reader could hardly be more different.

To be sure, we don’t share the cultural context of the authors of Genesis but we do hold in common the experience of being human—joy at childbirth and mourning at death. We relish a good story just as much as they did. We have unfulfilled dreams, we take pride in accomplishment, and we experience interpersonal strife, just like they did. At the same time as there are vast differences between us, we share with the biblical writers some of life’s most fundamental elements. How much of this shared experience translates into our understanding of the literary genres that they used? How big are the gaps in our knowledge?

Is Genesis 1-11 similar to the genres of our culture? If so, what genre is it? Is it factual history, fictional fable, or somewhere in between? And how does its overall genre affect our interpretation of individual passages? After two thousand years of study, these questions remain a matter of debate. This book is intended to reflect this debate as well as to help individuals and congregations have a more informed and focused discussion on the topic. The book itself will not arrive at any particular conclusion, although each author advocates for the position that he believes is most beneficial.

The contributors—James Hoffmeier, Gordon Wenham, and Kenton Sparks—were asked to respond to four elements with their essays:

  1. identify the genre of Genesis 1-11
  2. explain why this is the genre of Genesis 1-11
  3. explore the implications of this genre designation for biblical interpretation
  4. apply their approach to the interpretation of three specific passages: the story of the Nephilim (6:1-4), Noah and the ark (6:9-9:26), and the Tower of Babel (11:1-9).

In his essay, “Genesis 1-11 as History and Theology,” James Hoffmeier argues that the Genesis narrative relates historical facts; real events that happened in space and time. Hoffmeier points to features within Genesis, such as geographical clues and literary elements, that signaled to ancient readers that these stories were to be understood as historical.

Gordon Wenham agrees with this to a point. In his essay, “Genesis 1-11 as Protohistory,” Wenham sees an undercurrent of history beneath the Genesis account but he likens it to viewing an abstract painting; the picture is there but the details are fuzzy. Wenham believes that Genesis is protohistory, a form of writing that has links to the past but interprets history for the sake of the present.

Kenton Sparks explains that the authors of Genesis wrote in typically ancient ways which did not intend to produce history as we know it. In his essay, “Genesis 1-11 as Ancient Historiography,” Sparks argues that many of the events recounted in Genesis did not happen as the narrative states. Each author was also asked to provide a brief response to the other.

While the dialog may get spirited at times, its purpose is to expose the strengths and weaknesses of each position. In the spirit of Galileo, all of the contributors agree that competent interpretation of Scripture requires sensitivity to genre. They disagree, however, over the precise nature of the genre of Genesis 1-11 and its implications.

To a large extent, competent reading involves getting to know ourselves as much as it does understanding an author. Christopher Wall observes, “Though reading is a close collaboration between a reader and text, it can only start when you notice the difference between what you see and what you want to see.” We hope that this conversation helps our readers more deeply understand themselves and the expectations—what you want to see—that they bring as they assume a certain genre for Genesis 1-11. As Calvin said, “Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God,” and so it is with Scripture. Unless we know what we want from the Bible, we cannot begin to understand its authors.

The above excerpt is from Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? Copyright © 2015 by Charles Halton, James K. Hoffmeier, Gordon J. Wenham, Kenton L. Sparks, Zondervan. www.Zondervan.com. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Taken from pp. 19-21.

What Is the Most Natural Way to Read the Bible?

howtounderstandthebible

This is part of Mel Lawrenz’ “How to Understand the Bible” series. This and the following six installments of “How to Understand the Bible” address the all-important subject of how to interpret Scripture. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.


I shudder to think how close I came to giving up on the Bible. Like many people, I tried for years to read Scripture in ways that were doomed to fail. My way of reading made the Bible hard to understand, and it made me think this book was perhaps too inscrutable or too out of date for me to pay attention to it. Yes, it was convenient when other people picked out the good bits and made juicy quotes just perfect for a bumper sticker: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1), “Do not worry about tomorrow” (Matt. 6:34), “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).

And then there is, “God helps those who help themselves.” Oops! That’s not actually in the Bible. But like many biblically illiterate people, I thought it was.

bench

This was dangerous. I was missing the word of God. Worst, I was misinterpreting the word of God because when we quote a verse out of context, we usually twist its true meaning and use it to reinforce our preconceptions. The solution is to read Scripture on its own terms. To read it widely and repeatedly. To accept the fact that these are ancient documents written in a time and place far removed, and so it takes patience and work to understand. But as any gold miner knows, it is worth as much time and effort as it takes to get gold out of the mine.

What is the most natural way to read the Bible?

1. We need to learn the context of the particular biblical book we are reading. We read Jeremiah differently than we read Ephesians or Revelation. These are all the word of God, but given to us through the words of three very different men in different circumstances. If you have a good study Bible, all you need to do is carefully read the introduction at the start of the book, where the biblical scholars will outline the author, circumstances, and content. Look up the biblical book in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia, and you will get much more information—and more yet if you read the introduction in a commentary.

[NOTE: One of the most helpful books on reading Scripture is How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.]

2. Read the translation that you can understand and that motivates you to keep reading. Remember, the best translation for you is the one you’ll actually read. There have been times in my life when reading a thought-by-thought translation was the best thing to do (see chapter 4 on translations), and other times reading a word-for-word translation. It is best to settle into one version you’ll typically read and reread.

3. Read at a reasonable pace and try to ignore the chapter and verse numbers. We would all understand the Bible much better if we read it freely and naturally, rather than like a step-by-step instruction manual. When you get a letter from a friend or relative, you just sit down and read it through because that is the best way to understand his or her message. No one watches movies in five-minute installments, and no one would say that after viewing still photos of a movie, you have seen that movie. Yet reading a “verse of the day” is very popular. If you take 20 minutes instead of 5 to read a biblical book, you will get through Romans in three sittings, Genesis in about six sittings, and many biblical books, like the epistles, in single sittings. Reading for comprehension is all about synthesis—connecting all the small ideas with the large controlling ideas. The payoff is enormous.

[Check out The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People.]

4. Follow a reading plan. No one wants to open the Bible randomly each day and read what is there. There are many excellent reading plans that organize a comprehensive reading of Scripture. Some go from Genesis to Revelation, but many help the reader by moving about the Bible, going back and forth in the Old and New Testaments, for instance. Many offer a way to read the whole Bible in a year. This is not too difficult. It takes only 15 minutes a day.

However, this is the key: Don’t get bogged down when you’re doing that 15 minutes of reading and you are having a hard time understanding it. This is why most people give up. Just keep reading. Read if you understand and read if you’re in a passage you do not understand. If you are reading the word of God as a lifestyle, you’ll come back to that passage again and again. It may be that you’ll understand it the fourth time you read it, or you’ll understand it when you get to the end of the book. If you have doubts you’ll be able to be committed to reading 15 minutes a day, then choose a two-year reading plan, which takes just seven minutes a day.

[Check out Bible Gateway’s Bible reading plans.]

Look at it this way: God is there for you for your whole life. On good days and bad days. And the word of God is there for you for your whole life. Just read. Just read. Just read.


Get the whole book version of How to Understand the Bible here. Not yet signed up to receive “How to Understand the Bible” via email? You can follow along here at the blog, but we recommend signing up for email updates here. “How to Understand the Bible” is available as a print book at WordWay.org.

Mel Lawrenz is Director of The Brook Network and creator of The Influence Project. He’s the author of thirteen books, most recently Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership.

Bible News Roundup – Week of May 17, 2015

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Stornoway Gazette (Scotland) Columnist Tweets the Books of the Bible in Four Words
Stornoway Gazette

Apollo 13 “Lunar Bible” Up for Auction
CBS News
Also see “First Liquid Poured on the Moon

One of the Earliest Known Copies of the Ten Commandments Sees the Light of Day
The Washington Post

Protestant Reformer Martin Luther’s 16th Century Notes Found
BBC News

Cuba Lifts Ban on Bible; 250,000 Delivered
The Joplin Globe

Bibles Were at Ireland Polling Stations. Here’s Why.
YAHOO! News

Students Attempt to Ban Bible from Aberystwyth University Halls in Wales
Christian Concern

Plains Cree Bible Translation Underway in Saskatoon Canada
CBC News

Now the Bible Can be Read in Chhattisgarhi Dialect in India
The Times of India

Italian Man Spends 10 Years Illustrating and Handwriting the Bible
Visual News

A German Bible Museum (Almost) Without Bibles
dpa international

Crumpled Remains of Bible Among Items in Lost Climber’s Pack Discovered 30 Years After an Avalanche
Forward

Jewish Theo Seminary to Auction 1455 Edition of the Book of Esther from Gutenberg Bible
Forward

5th Annual Bible Reading Marathon Recap
Hartford House of Prayer

World’s Largest Bible Weighs Over Half a Ton and Was Printed One Letter at a Time
Against the Grain


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