Reflections Upon Reading the Whole Bible
The YouVersion Bible app recently celebrated a major milestone by reaching 250 million downloads. I reached a milestone of my own after completing a Bible-in-a-Year devotional using the Bible app. Sure, it took my wife and I two years to finish the plan, but it was worth it.
During those two years, we learned quite a bit from the scriptures—some expected, some unexpected. Here’s just a few of the observations and feelings I have since finishing.
I love reading, but navigating the Bible took over two years of nearly daily reading. My wife and I would only read for about 20 minutes per evening, but even that can be a challenge given the density of certain Biblical passages.
Taking it slow actually helped to let more of the content sink in. However, it’s still a long journey. No one day was particularly difficult, but it took dedication to preserve and complete the entire scriptures.
There are parts of the Bible that just don’t make sense. For every clear cut, quotable proverb, there’s a prophet rambling on about some vision that can be difficult to comprehend. Now I know how the disciples felt when Jesus spoke in parables.
Not to mention, some of these passages are harder to understand without historical context. The raw text isn’t alway enough for comprehension. This serves as a reminder that going more in-depth on specific books can be more meaningful than consuming the entire Bible.
There are other parts of the Bible that are flat out boring—not going to lie. We still read those parts, but didn’t get much fulfillment from reading entire pages of barely-pronounceable names.
These passages may have some historical and theological significance, but it was lost on me. The challenge was to look past the mundane and incomprehensible to find the deeper meaning.
I’ll admit that I feel a sense of pride having read the entire Bible. Understood it all? No. Enjoyed it all? Not exactly. But we took our time and read cover to cover, despite all of the confusion and boredom.
Everyone likes to quote from favorite passages, but not everyone has taken the time to consume the entire scriptures. I begin to develop a sense of superiority and self-righteousness. Then I remember what God says about pride and I immediately squash that feeling.
We sometimes forget that this book isn’t mythology—it’s history. All of these things actually happened. It’s easy to forget because the events of the Bible happened in a much different time.
But these men and women actually lived and dedicated their lives to following God. That makes me feel much less significant for simply having read a long book. These people lived God’s word, while I merely read about it on an iPad app.
Most importantly, reading the entire Bible made me thankful. I’m thankful to the people behind the Bible app for making the entire scriptures available online. I’m thankful to my wife for taking the time to reading with me for the last two years.
And I’m thankful to God for authoring the Holy Word. I may not understand it all, but I think I have a slightly more appreciation for what it means after having experienced it all for myself.