January 22

Nehemiah 8:8-10

“So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” vs. 8

The bible isn’t an easy read. Written by scribes in different languages, reflecting the culture and family systems of ancient times, it provides a real challenge to all who struggle to figure it out. In fact, with 66 different books, each the product of multiple authors and editors, it’s more like a library than a single book. In its pages we find oracles from prophets, ancient laws, dynastic histories, psalms and prayers, letters, parables, fables, and even a few ancient Hebrew myths. It was only after an amazingly complex history of redaction and compromise that our current version of scripture was declared authoritative almost 2000 years ago. So it’s no wonder that we struggle to understand its meaning. Even the folks in Ezra’s day needed some solid interpretation. In our time we not only have a multitude of commentaries and guidebooks to help us get a sense of context and meaning, many of us also have pastors who been trained by biblical scholars as part of their seminary education. With them as our guides we can begin to apply biblical truths to the situations of life that we face today. The bible is more than classical literature, it’s a living book that gives wisdom and understanding to the faithful of every time and place. Through it God speaks to our hearts!

Thought for the Day: Who has made the bible come alive for me?

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