>Since the days of Christian grade school where I was made to attempt the memorization of whole chapters of the Bible, and the Baptist Jr. High where I wrote Bible verses as a form of punishment, I have struggled to truly enjoy reading or studying the Bible. While I don’t put all the blame on Christian school, it certainly didn’t help.
We grew up with the King James Version and at the earliest ages, the 1611 English didn’t connect. It’s hard to go from “Hey, listen up, dude!” to “Verily, verily I say unto thee” Something gets lost in the translation for a third grader. Beyond that, I never really connected the Bible’s relevance to daily living. Though my parents were good examples of godly living, I connected that with being a part of a local church where mom was a worship leader and dad was heavily involved, more than a direct correlation between the scriptures and life.
It wasn’t until I was 19 that the Bible became relevant to my life and it has taken the last eight years to develop an appreciation for the scriptures. (In the next post, I’ll talk about how that happened) But for now…
Here are a few reasons why I didn’t like the Bible, for a long time, and other Christians might not like it now.
1. Not living for God. Reading/Studying the Bible doesn’t make since if you aren’t aligning your life to God’s agenda anyhow.
2. The King James Version. Many people disconnect with the language of the Bible when the KJV is all they have available. However, this is rarely an issue now because of the wide variety of modern translations.
3. ADHD and ADD. I was one of those kids whose doctor tried to get mom to put me on drugs. Reading anything for young people with hyperactive tendencies can be a daunting task, but with God all things are possible.
4. People don’t like to read. Switchfoot said it best in their first album with, “I don’t want to read the book. I’ll watch the movie. ‘Cause it’s not me. I’m just like everybody else my age.”
5. Overwhelming amounts of other reading options. So, even if you can stand to pick up a piece of literature, you’ve got fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newpapers, blogs, facebook, etc. anything but the Bible to choose from. And who wants to read the scriptures when you’ve got so many other easier reads to choose from?
6. Lack of historical context. It’s more difficult to derive meaning from the Bible in the absence of historical context. It’s not the only important thing, but it sure does help and most Christian’s are ignorant of context, and are missing a key component that makes the Bible interesting and relevant.
7. Approaching the Bible without spiritual hunger. Most Christians approach the Bible outside of the context of prayer, fasting, and desire to meet Jesus in the process. (John 5:39-40)
There are probably more reasons that I have neglected. Can you think of any?
In the next post, I’d like to look at the positive side: How Christians can enjoy the Bible and discover its relevance.