Have you ever decided to read the Bible? How did you go? Maybe you realized that it is not like reading any other book; It is not easy to read the Bible from beginning to end. Perhaps it has been your experience to take the Bible in hand and start with the first page of Genesis. You go through the book and surprisingly, it reads like a very interesting novel: with temptation, intrigue, fratricide, mystery, quarrels, rivalries, polygamy, rape, massacres, destruction of cities, a pillar of salt, and above all, the fidelity of God.
At the end of the 50 chapters of Genesis, you congratulate yourself and are determined to continue. Exodus, too, remains the same, full of stories like the childhood story of Moses, the ten plagues, the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and the ten Commandments. And if it wasn’t enough, there are wars, the water that comes out of the rock and the golden calf. You are about to finish Exodus and you find a section regarding the construction of the tabernacle. It doesn’t matter, you go to Leviticus and suddenly everything freezes when you find page after page of laws that you can’t even understand. Then Numbers talks about censuses, and being true to the name of the book, a number of numbers are given, which you already leave the experiment on the bedside table.
You don’t like giving up, but you can’t take it anymore! So how can you get close to the Bible? It is important to understand that the Bible is not a single book that you must read from beginning to end. It is true that the first book, Genesis deals with the origin of everything, and that Revelation, the last book, talks about the final things. However, the Bible is a set of many books separated into two parts: the Old Testament, which is also the Holy Scripture of the Jews, and the New Testament, which deals with the life of Jesus (John 21:25), the beginning of the church (Acts 1: 1–5) and letters written to early believers as part of the apostles’ instructions to churches scattered throughout the Roman empire (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
So, the Bible has many books written by a good number of authors, but all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1: 10-12). So we can say with certainty that the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3: 16-17). It is important to understand the unity of the Bible, because everything points to Jesus Christ, God made man, the source of our salvation. You can start reading a Gospel, or a letter from Paul, or an Old Testament book and you can experience the power of God through His Word.
What does the Bible say about itself? Throughout the Holy Scriptures the authors tell us about how the Bible relates to us. Here are some examples:
“The Lord’s teaching is perfect,
because it gives new life.
The Lord’s command is faithful,
because it makes the simple man wise.
They are sweeter than honeycomb!
They are also warnings to this servant of yours,
and it is profitable for him to obey them ”(Psalm 19: 7,10b – 11).
«You study the Scriptures very carefully, because you hope to find eternal life in them; however, even though the Scriptures bear witness to me, you do not want to come to me to have that life ”(John 5: 39–40).
«Because the word of God has life and power. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, and penetrates to the depths of the soul and spirit, down to the innermost part of the person; and put to judgment the thoughts and intentions of the heart ”(Hebrews 4:12).
«“… But the word of the Lord remains forever. ” And this word is the gospel that has been announced to you »(1 Peter 1:25).
In the coming months I hope to be able to explore more of how we can get closer to the Bible. For now, we will start with the following three steps:
- Choose a regular time to read the Bible. It can be 5 to 10 minutes to start, after getting up, during the break you have at noon, or even before going to bed. The key is to do it consistently.
- Start with one of the Gospels. I recommend the Gospel of Saint Mark, which is the shortest; or the Gospel of Saint John, which speaks of Jesus, the Son of God.
- Read at least a few verses and at most one chapter. Before reading, raise a short sentence. It could be the following: «Holy Spirit, illuminate my understanding, so that when reading the Bible, I feel the presence of God the Father who is manifested through your Word. Amen”.
Start today. I wish you a lot of blessing and a lot of success!