5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Read the Bible
1450 was a pivotal year for Christianity. It was in this year that the printing press was invented in Europe.
Roughly fifty years later, the Reformation would begin, with the translation of the Bible into modern languages being a chief tenet. The Reformation’s most famous figure, Martin Luther, believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible and interpret it for themselves.
Martin Luther certainly had a point. There’s a lot of value to reading the Bible, even if you’re not religious.
We’ll talk about some of the many reasons to read the Bible in the paragraphs below.
1. Connect to Your Faith
We’ve mentioned that anyone can benefit from reading the Bible, but if you’re a Christian, the Bible can be a great way to get more in touch with your faith.
The Bible teaches the word of God, and it never hurts to brush up on His word. Perhaps you’re having a crisis of faith, or feel like you’ve reached a critical juncture in your spiritual life and aren’t sure where to go from here.
The Bible was thought to be the moral bedrock of civilization by some, and whether you believe that or not, it can’t be argued that the Bible doesn’t teach good lessons. There’s a reason it’s cherished by so many people. If you want to do something special with your Bible, you could always look into personalized Bible covers.
2. Historic Context
Religion aside, the Bible also offers a lot of historical insight into the world of the Ancient Israelites. For instance, there’s a theory that Noah’s Biblical flood actually happened.
Various religions and mythologies have some form of flood story, from Jews, Christians, and Muslims to Hindus, Buddhists, and even the Aztecs. The big question is why.
One school of thought suggests that the flood marked a major point in geographic history. It occurred in roughly 11,000 BCE when the last ice age ended. Glaciers began melting, which produced a lot of water, enough to flood over 150,000 square kilometers of land.
To put that in perspective, 150,000 kilometers is about the size of Tunisia. Roughly one or two millennia before that, most of the largest ice-age beasts started going extinct.
To a human, those probably didn’t look like good signs.
We’ve briefly mentioned that the Bible teaches good lessons, but there’s more to it than that. The Bible is the foundation of modern Western philosophy, and you can see that some of the things we believe in and argue about today were also relevant back then.
Given that the Bible is translated from dead languages, and is often written with the strange phrasings of Old English, people have been arguing for centuries about what certain passages mean.
For instance, the calamus plant is mentioned several times in the Bible, often as a part of worship, and other times as a medicine. However, calamus doesn’t completely fit with some of the uses and descriptions in the Bible, which has led some to argue that the Israelites are really talking about cannabis, not calamus. The words are very similar in Hebrew.
However, neither interpretation works perfectly, so the debate goes on.
4. For Anthropology
While not everybody believes in Christianity, many people believe in reading the Bible from a cultural standpoint. In the same way you might read Hamlet, and study Shakespearean England to understand the context, you could also read the Bible while studying Ancient Israel.
Not only will you learn a lot about history, but you’ll also learn about how Israel functioned as a culture. A good example of this is the Book of Leviticus, which mentions that it is a sin to sacrifice babies to foreign gods.
This may seem like a random and deeply disturbing bit of advice out of context, but it makes more sense when you know that the neighboring Canaanites, Egyptians, and other cultures were worshiping a god named Moloch and that religious rites for Moloch involved child sacrifice.
It may also help to know that some of the other things Leviticus forbids were also commonly done as part of various religious rites and festivals.
5. As Literature
Maybe philosophy, history, and anthropology aren’t your thing. You can still read the Bible as literature.
The Bible is a large book filled with stories that span generations, and encompassing it all is the tale of the Israelites, a proud, faithful people struggling for liberty and sometimes even power in the face of hostility and oppression.
There are stories of small men standing up to giants and rising to become king. There are stories of people refusing to abandon their faith when everything around them seems to be crumbling.
The Israelites loved these stories for the same reason we do. They reflect the human experience.
They show that everybody makes mistakes, and falls, and encounters challenges they can’t handle on their own. They tell us that there’s always a way back up, there’s always a tomorrow, and it’s never too late to do better.
Why Everyone Should Read the Bible
There are many different reasons people choose to read the Bible, and all of them are valid. We’ve talked about some of our favorite reasons in this article, but everyone has their own. Feel free to do some self-reflecting and think about your own reasons for reading the Bible.
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