Christians value the Bible as a holy book, as inspired by God, and as helpful to us in being the person God wants us to be.
There are many translations available, and you can choose the one that resonates with your own desire and preference. The Bible was written centuries ago in the Hebrew and Greek languages; but scholars have dedicated themselves to providing accurate and appealing translations so that we might be able to read and understand what was written long ago. Bibles are available for purchase in book stores and even department and grocery stores; and there are hundreds to choose from on many web sites.
The Bible is the story of God’s dealing with people throughout history. It is not necessarily an easy book to understand. It is actually a collection of books: of history, and poetry, and story, and prophesy.
- It tells the story of the creation of the world, the history of the Jewish people, the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the activities of the early Christian people.
- Many of the early Christian writings are actually letters written by individuals to other individuals or to congregations of believers, giving advice on how to live or how to navigate certain difficult life situations.
Reading the Bible is a good habit.
- Some people use a guide to read the entire Bible, sometimes in a year. This is a good thing.
- It also helps to read the Bible with others: asking questions, sharing insight, and seeking clarity on what the Bible means and how it can help us live and love like Jesus. Most congregations have Bible reading groups, and many congregations read portions of the Bible in public worship; and this also is a good thing.
One of the memorable episodes described in the Bible, (in a book called The Acts of the Apostles) is about an individual from Africa who traveled to Jerusalem to worship. As he returned home, he was reading from the book of Isaiah, one of the Hebrew prophets. A Christian man heard him reading (aloud) and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” To which the traveler replied, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” And the Christian man climbed into the traveler’s chariot and began to explain to him the meaning of the text he was reading, especially how it described the life of Jesus. This event illustrates the wisdom both of reading in private and reading with others; and God can and does bless both!