by Ben Irwin
That's how many copies of the Bible we've bought over the last 50 years, according to one estimate. As you might have guessed, that makes the Bible the bestselling book of all time. The Bible has sold more copies than Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Twilight. Combined.
But we all know there's a difference between "bestselling" and "most read."
When J.K. Rowling sold 400 million copies of Harry Potter (#3 on the list), there's a good chance most of those copies were actually read.
Can we say the same for the nearly four billion Bibles in circulation? I think we all know the answer to that.
"Not all copies of the Bible are read, and almost none are read cover to cover. If we turned our attention to a modern novel, it would be a bizarre and ludicrous experience to only read a few pages in the middle and ignore the rest."
These are the words of an atheist blogger named Jake Wilson. They are a chilling indictment of our relationship with the Bible. The worst part is, he's absolutely right.
We buy a lot of Bibles. We just don't read them. And if we do, it's usually a verse here or a chapter there. We don't read; we cherry-pick. And cherry-picking is a guaranteed path to a miserable reading experience.
I want you to change two things about the way you engage the Bible. If you do, you might just find yourself reading -- seriously reading -- God's Word.
1. Read Whole Books
When was the last time you read Luke and Acts together? (They just happen to be two volumes of the same work.) When was the last time you read a whole letter of Paul's in one sitting? Or listened to Revelation from start to finish?
When we read a book for pleasure, we tend to read from cover to cover. Why should it be any different when we pick up a Bible? When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, did he really want them to hone in on "I can do all things through Christ" and ignore the rest? Or did he expect his readers to engage the whole letter?
I know a college professor who tells his students how to ensure that the next book they pick up will be the worst book they've ever read: read just one page a day.
Now let's be honest. The format of our modern Bible doesn't exactly lend itself to reading big, does it? The context and genre of each book -- its unique literary style and structure -- are obscured by a cascade of numbers, footnotes, cross references, red lettering, and a host of other devices that interrupt our reading.
But don't let that stop you. Find a way to read big. You gain an entirely new perspective when you engage whole books of the Bible. You'll see the bigger picture -- which, by the way, will help you to make sense of the finer details, like "I can do all things through Christ."
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Q Ideas