The Bible is so much more than a book. It is a collection of books with different literary forms from poems and songs to history and laws. It should not be read from cover to cover to get through it. To fully appreciate and understand the Bible one must understand the culture, the context and the audience that the author of that book was speaking to and for what reason. The Bible is not to be read literally but should be interpreted for understanding its varied meanings. One should understand that the Bible is not merely an instruction manual for how to live one’s life. Although there is clear guidance for morality and ethics weaved through out its text. The Bible was written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for a deeper reason than instructions for living a good life. God inspired the writing of the Bible so that we, every day people, not scholars, could hear His voice, listen to His message and forge a more intimate relationship with Him. The Bible is not a book that was written almost 2,000 years ago and is now dead. It is the LIVING WORD OF GOD. If one embarks on this journey in pursuit of God, one will discover God’s voice, guidance, comfort and love as they come to life off of the pages and into one’s soul.
Upon more in depth evaluation of the Old Testament themes begin to emerge that are parallel to our lives today; Creation & Fall, Freedom & Slavery, Covenant and Redemption. Although those themes seem larger than our small lives we constantly fall and ask for forgiveness, we enslave ourselves to possessions, addictions and bad habits and pray for freedom, we make promises, break them and redeem ourselves with the help of our faith. Many lessons can be learned from the Old Testament. All of these major themes were fulfilled in Jesus Christ in the New Testament. We have hope, unconditional love, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness and the possibility of salvation because of the paschal mystery. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, came to set the example of how to live our lives closer to God. He came to bring us in relationship with God, to bear our sins, and forgive our sins so that we may one day know God, the Father, completely in heaven.
Today, consider dusting off your Bible, turning to the table of contents and choosing a book that speaks to you in your life today. Then take the time to read about the author, the culture and the audience. This can be the day that you start to read your Bible in search of a deeper relationship with God.
Copyright 2013 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp