It is understandable why many avoid reading the Bible. It isn’t easy to relate to cultures thousands of years ago vastly different than ours. Some passages seem to suggest God commanded the killing of women and children in times of war even if preventable. Many scholars, who are not chauvinists, interpret certain passages to teach men are the leaders of women. God help women! God may respect the right to choose your own personal beliefs in this life, but does God really after death torture people for such decisions?
Many agree that the Bible is chocked full of wisdom. It is not natural to forgive others of certain sins but many partners are glad they had another voice speaking to them. Who thinks to talk in parables to go through the backdoor of a resistant soul? Parables enable us to continually think on a subject to try to understand and eventually accept positive applications in one’s life. The Bible is not a book you read once. You can read the Bible over and over and come away with fresh insights that help in relationships.
We may forget that the New Testament had not been written during Jesus’ lifetime. Today, most only read the New Testament because the older testament is so confusing. Yet, without the newer testament shortly after Jesus’ death, Jesus’ message exploded and led to billions of followers. The Bible can be a two-edge sword and often the pointed end is use to discourage and divide. My point is Jesus when leaving this earth didn’t promise to leave us with a Bible. He instead left us with His Spirit so we might be able to discern evil from good (Jn. 14:16).
The Bible was never meant to be used as a rule book. We all chuckle at the story when someone was looking for guidance, they opened the Bible and happened upon the verse “then he went and hung himself.” The Bible is not a book to definitely tell others what to do in their circumstances. When Jesus said turn the other cheek, He wouldn’t advise a woman to allow an abusive husband to continue to beat her. Develop a relationship with God, consult people you respect, and God will guide you in making a wise decision in your situation.
Interpretations aren’t infallible as most know. Don’t argue over interpretations. Consider one another’s opinion gracefully, if they don’t violate the freedom of others, to work out your own convictions with as much consistency as possible. The Bible was not written to be divisive to those willing to read it. Much of the Bible is clear that we can agree to disagree on the more difficult passages.
Read the Bible as a story so God can relate to you. The Bible wasn’t initially written as a bunch of chapters and verses but a story about God’s desire for a relationship with those God created. You may be one that likes to read the Bible with a commentary at hand. Just understand interpretations are fallible unless talking about murder. I have some good news. God gave us brains. Enjoy the Bible as a story about your Creator. As you get to know God, God will join and guide you in your journey of life.