Actually, the Bible is composed of primarily Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, but let’s go on. Translations of the original texts have put the Bible into terms that are more understandable for today’s readers, but that doesn’t mean they actually understand it. In fact, many still find it confusing, difficult, and simply hard to get through. Chances are good that no matter what version of the Bible you read, there are places you find a bit tricky to define. For some, it’s so tricky, they close the book and put it on a shelf.

If I think back to the days when I first began to learn French, I would say that learning a few nouns and verbs wasn’t that difficult, but learning how to speak whole paragraphs was a different matter entirely. So, is it possible that what most of us need is an approach to learning to read the Bible, somewhat like that used to learn a new language? Many books exist on this topic, so you can find a lot of opinions on how to get more out of what you read, but the technique is not what really matters. The intent is what matters. If you have the goal of reading the Bible the same way you might read a great novel, you might put it down before you’re through. If you have the goal to get to know God better, than it won’t be long before you discover Him within the pages of the text. The fact is that if you’re looking for Him, you will find Him. He will guide your thoughts and even when you stumble over parts of it, He’ll reveal more and more of Himself to you through its pages. 

Some would say they are just too busy to read the Bible. It doesn’t seem relevant to them. If I keep a copy of L’Etranger on my bookshelf, it’s doubtful that I’ll ever get to understand who Meursault is. I have to open the book to discover his secrets and know who he is. In some ways, the Bible carries that same mystery. We can feel overwhelmed by it, unsure of what we’re reading, miss the ways that God tries to reveal Himself because we simply don’t get it. Bible readers aren’t smarter than others. They aren’t more adept at figuring things out, but they are curious. They want to know more about God and about Jesus and they’re willing to stick with it until it all makes sense to them.

So, today’s Bible readers simply have to know one thing. They have to start with a desire to connect with God, and to understand all they can about Him. Over time, they build a desire to be more of what He called them to be. I think the best place to start then is with the Gospels. You can stumble along with the disciples of Jesus, until like them, you figure out who the Christ really is. When you do, it will change your life and you’ll want to know more of the backstory. You’ll find it fascinating, courageous and uplifting. You’ll be glad you tried again to figure out the meaning of each and every word. You’ll discover that it’s a book you turn to over and over again because you see something new every time you enter into its pages.

Once you get into the Bible, you simply won’t want to quit, even if you have to turn every sentence inside out to understand it. By the way, this is one book that comes with a Guide. You might know Him as the Holy Spirit.

Happy reading!