The Bible: Beyond a Dusty Bookshelf
For most Americans, the Bible has become little more than an obligatory book to own. Though Bible sales are increasing, the numbers actually reading the Bible are declining. In fact, the Los Angeles Times recently reported that more than 90 percent of Americans own an average of three versions of the Bible. Published in an article on July 27, 1999, the story found that “two-thirds of Americans don’t regularly read the Bible or know the names of the four gospels.”
Why is this happening? People acquire Bibles with the intent of knowing God through the understanding of His word. But when initial efforts fail, they become discouraged and stop reading. The following are some of the reasons why the Bible may be difficult to comprehend:
- The translation may be in old English, which is challenging for modern-day readers.
- The Bible is complex and packed with facts, so many that readers often have a difficult time grasping all of them and understanding them as a whole.
- Biblical concepts and the spiritual significance of those concepts and other symbols are very deep.
- The distractions of the world can harden the hearts of readers (Matt. 13:4,19).
- Readers’ minds need to be opened by Christ (Luke 24:44-46) and enlightened by the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18).
- Readers’ motives in reading the Bible need to be aimed at receiving life from Jesus Christ (John 5:39-40) and not only for biblical knowledge.
Matt. 13:4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the way, and the birds came and devoured them.
Matt. 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is the one sown beside the way.
Luke 24:44-46 And He said to them, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms concerning Me must be fulfilled. Then He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures; And He said to them, thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise up from the dead on the third day.
Eph. 1:17-18 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Providing a Roadmap for Understanding
After becoming aware of the dilemma, we have prayed and have received a commission from God to help people understand the Bible and help them enjoy reading so that they may know God. This is the purpose of this Web site.
We have located the best version of the Bible to proceed with our commission: the Recovery Version published byLiving Stream Ministry in Anaheim, California. Not only is the translation in easy-to-read modern English, the text is accompanied by a treasure of explanatory footnotes that provide insights into the spiritual significance of verses. These explanations mostly rely on related verses from other parts of the Bible, thereby using the Bible, rather than human concepts, to explain the Bible. With the related verses referenced, the footnotes also help direct the readers in exploring the Bible. Above all, every book in the Recovery Version Bible has an outline, which helps the readers to have an overview of each book.
Biblereading.com provides guides, which we’ve developed to help readers use the explanations in the Recovery Version and appreciate all the riches that the Bible has to offer. Guides will be available for every chapter in the New Testament, from Matthew through Revelation. These guides are designed to help you read through the Bible and to understand its contents. The guides aren’t necessarily designed to promote study of the Bible. Rather, our mission is to encourage people to read and appreciate the Bible through understanding.