I enjoy Bible trivia. I’ve played my fair share of knowledge-based short answer bible quizzes and won a few prizes through the years. I’m not sure this is the wisest way to handle God’s word. Repeatedly, the authors of Scripture call us to much more than “knowledge.”
A pastor I used to work with often asked this riddle – “For a Christian, what is the opposite of ignorance?” In most fields of study, the opposite of ignorance is KNOWLEDGE, but for a Christian, the opposite is OBEDIENCE. In the Great Commission, Christ calls His early followers to teach future followers (after baptizing them) to OBEY EVERYTHING I have commanded you.
I’m about to launch in October a new plan of reading Scripture. “The BOOKS of the BIBLE” is a new edition of the Bible which differs from the most common current format in several significant ways: (My comments are to be found in the brackets)
*Chapter and verse numbers have been removed from the text (They weren’t there in the original books of Scripture)
*The books are presented according to what scholarship has determined is their natural internal divisions. (Many times in our modern translations, the chapter breaks do not occur at the end of a paragraph. One of my Bible school profs stated (in jest) “The man who divided the Bible into chapters and verses must have ridden a rocking horse. When the rocking horse went forward, he carved out a new verse, when the rocking horse went back, another division occured.”)
*Single-column setting presents the text more clearly and naturally (There is definitely a different look to the various books, particularly the books of poetry.)
My goal is not to be a “maverick” but to be refreshed with God’s word. “The entrance of God’s word brings light.” I’m asking God, the Holy Spirit, to shine brightly into my heart and teach me obedience. I’m not just looking for more knowledge but a life transformation at the very core of my being.
I’ll keep you posted….
The opening directive in this new “edition” already seems wise. Under the title “A Guide To The Books of the Bible” are these words – “pause and pray before you read the Scriptures.”