When explaining to students about how to read the Bible, I like to explain that there is in fact a right way and a wrong way. The right way includes keeping everything in context with why it was written, the culture of the times, the target audience, what the original language is saying, and taking out of the scripture what’s actually being said (obeying what it says, not what you want it to say). The wrong way is to go into it with an agenda and taking things out of context for it to match your agenda (unfortunately, this is all too common among Pastors, Christians, and non-Christians who have a point to make and want to use the authority of the Bible to back them up.
One way I’ll explain this is through math (taken from an old Abbott and Costello bit). After watching it, is that the correct way to do math? Does 7×13 equal 28? Of course not. But Costello showed Abbott 3 ways that prove it does, and he did it by using the rules of his agenda to make it work. In the same way that that’s the wrong way of doing math, that’s also how people translate and communicate the Bible incorrectly. – It’s a fun way of explaining it with the kids and it makes a point. Below are some links to posts I’ve published on here that can also help you understand what I believe about the Bible and how it should be used:
- Are There Too Many Bible Translations?
- Don’t Just Take My Word for It, Research It
- How Many Hours Should I Read My Bible?
- How Should I Study the Bible?
- Is the Bible Truly Difficult to Understand?
- Out of Context
- Quoting the Bible to Non-Believers
- The Bible is Not Practical for Everyday Life
- The Problem with Not Reading the Bible
- What Bible Would You Recommend for Ministry?
- What’s the Difference Between the Quran and the Bible?
- Why are there Extra Verses at the End of Mark 16?
- Why is it Important to Read and Know the Bible?