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Christian Life

Bible Study: How Carefully Should We Read Our Bibles?

God has been teaching me something new this year: The importance of reading the Word more carefully. Often when we read the Bible, especially when reading a book or passage we’ve read before, we tend to skim rather than read closely and carefully.

Reading the Bible carefully, however, can reveal details that greatly expand our understanding of God’s Word and the lives of believers who’ve gone before us.

Now I’m going to show you two cool details I’ve noticed while reading my Bible; look at the passage below.

And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them (Mark 1:29-31).

A tiny detail in these three verses gives us a slightly deeper insight into Simon Peter’s personal life. Did you notice it? The passage says that Simon’s mother-in-law was ill. If Simon Peter had a mother-in-law, then he also had a wife! There is no indication whether Simon Peter’s wife was alive or if she had passed away, but it’s still an interesting discovery.

This little detail about Simon Peter’s family life helps us to see him as a person like us, not just as one of Jesus’ disciples. This detail also gives us a deeper understanding of Jesus’ words in Luke 14 (verses 26-35) about the cost of following the Lord. Simon Peter not only gave up his job as a fisherman to follow Christ, he left his family as well.

Another cool discovery I recently noticed is in Genesis 1:3-4:

Then God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:4 tells us that God separated the light and the dark. If dark and light had to be divided into distinct parts – that’s what the Hebrew word for separated means – then at some point between God’s creation of light and the separation, light and darkness must’ve existed together, occupying the same place at the same time!

I pointed this out to my youth group and they told me that if you think about this too hard, it’ll make your brain hurt. If, however, we think about light and dark existing in the same place at the same time, it gives us an amazing glimpse into the awesome power of God. No one else can cause light and dark to coexist in time and space, but if God can do it, then what could be impossible for Him?

It’s so important to pay close attention when we read the Word. Sometimes we think of the people in the Bible as superheroes of the Christian faith when in reality, they were people just like us. The disciples struggled and gave up more than just things to follow Jesus. Prophets in the Old Testament experienced fear and doubt sometimes. Throughout the Bible there are people who, at times, question the decisions of God.

We do the same things–we struggle, experience fear and sometimes we doubt. With the exception of Jesus Christ, the people in the Bible weren’t perfect; when we read carefully, we realize our situations are not much different from theirs, which can provide a great deal of hope and encouragement for us today.

PI girls, what’s the coolest thing you’ve discovered while reading your Bible?

If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:4-6).

Image: Thinkstock | istockphoto


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by adedarko on December 13, 2012 at 02:42

    thanks i had never noticed this before

  2. jinglebells

    Posted by jinglebells on December 12, 2012 at 05:56

    I never really thought about that….. i am gonna try to read the bible closer

  3. mandilinnn

    Posted by mandilinnn on December 5, 2012 at 06:46

    Amazing! I’ve really never thought of those verses in that way. So cool!

  4. Shylittlemouse

    Posted by Shylittlemouse on December 3, 2012 at 18:02

    When James and John went and followed Jesus they left their father in the boat. It gives me a funny mental image of their father hollering after them to come back, and quit following a stranger.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by hugsnkisses0706 on November 30, 2012 at 15:18

    how can u have light and dark in one? idk doesn’t make sense, yet lots o stuff in the bible doesnt’ either

  6. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on November 30, 2012 at 11:26

    I have come to the realization (though not from reading the Bible) that we (Christians) are quite similar to Jesus’ disciples. It’s as if we’re His disciples on this earth. We all have our doubts just as the disciples did (as Jenn mentioned).

  7. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on November 30, 2012 at 01:57

    I love this article! Very good written!

  8. Paris

    Posted by Paris on November 30, 2012 at 00:32

    Fabulous job,Jennifer!!! 😀 I’ve discovered a lot of great things when I read the bible.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by bryantina on November 29, 2012 at 18:34

    Thank you for this article. I sometimes skim over certain passages, but this article has showed me that I should read all of the Bible carefully.

    • Posted by Nicole on November 29, 2012 at 22:55

      I love this article so much!! Thank you Jenn!

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by Lovely Niji on November 29, 2012 at 17:08

    I like this! You’re right; there are a lot of little tidbits we would learn if we paid close attention to these verses. 🙂