A while back my friend an business partner sent me a video of Francis Chan talking about reading and interpreting the Bible for ourselves. Got me thinking a lot about the Bible, what I know about the Bible, what I can remember, what I learned for myself and what I have been told. I have spent a fair amount of my life listening to others who have really read the Bible, understand and then live life accordingly. Many of these men have had huge impacts on my life but there has always been a real itch to know the Bible and what it says because I read it and the Lord opened up its meaning to me. As my partner said and as Francis Chan says in his video it is not that there are not a lot of capable teachers out there to encourage you and help you learn the Word. The idea is not to diminish what others teach but encourage us to go see if it is true and know that it is true because we have read it ourselves.
My favorite present Bible teach is Steve Gregg and although I don’t agree with everything he has to say I love his approach. He always challenges you to go back to the text. Put two and two together for yourself and don’t take his word for it. He still is teachable and open to any idea that promotes Jesus and promotes his truth. If he is not in the proper understanding about something he wants to know about it and put it against the text of the Word.
That being said my exercise that I will explain here in a minute has one presupposition that you believe and take everything in the Bible for fact and truth. So my question and goal is as follows. As a thirty one year old man I have only read the Bible through one time intentionally cover to cover. It was an awesome time and I made quick work of it back then and read it in 90 days. I would like to think that I have read it collectively a few times over the years but I can only say that I have read it in full once as a fact. Not only do I want to make it through the entire word again I want to really try and approach it with a fresh eyes, ears and heart and see what the Lord has for me there. I really want to try and dismiss any pre set knowledge I have and really see what I can draw from the text. What are my own conclusions? What connections can I make on my own. I have started the process already and have begun taking notes and already I find it hard to not impress my pre existing understanding on my reading and what I deem as important. Also, some of what I read actually sounds a little crazy. I wonder what it is like to read the Bible for the first time without any knowledge of it.
So that is the goal and experiment at hand. It is slow going but I am having a good time thus far and am looking to post maybe per chapter or a few times per chapter. Who knows, eventually I may get into and use this format as a way to really dive in and write down my thoughts as I am reading and then just post. Anyway, I am looking forward to the journey and maybe someone else other than myself will read this and benefit from it someday. Who knows… maybe I can print all this and hand it to my sons some day and explain my time approaching the Bible fresh and new. Here we go…