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Top reasons why today's THINKING Christians should NOT spend so much time reading their Bibles -

1. The Bible really doesn't give us "chapter and verse" for most of the practical decisions we need to make, day by day (and that's what we REALLY need, so what's the point?)

2. Having a lot of Bible knowledge is no guarantee you'll be a truly godly person, anyway! As a matter of fact, it seems to me it has the OPPOSITE effect! I've seen, or known, or heard of, or read about (or imagined?) so many guys who know tons of Bible verses, and have all their doctrines in order, who are crotchety old unloving hypocrites. So, why should we want to waste time studying the Bible [even though GOD'S WORD says "O, how blessed is the man who meditates on it DAY AND NIGHT!"]?

3.There are so many interpretations out there, by all these super-scholarly spiritual giant-types, who have multiple degrees and run mega-churches and have at least three books on the N.Y. Times bestsellers list, AND THEY ALL DISAGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER! What are the chances little old me, who struggled through high school, is EVER going to figure out the right interpretation [even though Jesus says the Father has "hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes;" Matthew 11:25; Psalm 119:18, 130; Proverbs 2:1-5]?

4. All "theologians" and Bible scholars just want to "put God in a box" and, no matter how they try, He just keeps seeping out the sides [even though HE is the One, after all, Who gave us His Word ( = a "box???") for men to diligently study, that we might KNOW with certainty Who He is; what He IS and ISN'T like! If that means there are "limits" or parameters to the character or nature of God, they are only what He, Himself, has voluntarily placed there (such as, "it is impossible for God to lie" -- Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). If trying to know God by studying the Bible is "putting God in a box," then it's a box of His own design -- Jeremiah 9:23-24; Hosea 6:6; John 5:39, 46: 8:25, 31-32; Revelation 19:10].

5. People who quote the Bible all the time are bowing to a "paper pope;" they make the Bible into kind of an idol [even though God, Himself, says He has "magnified His Word above all His holy Name;" and Job, the most 'perfect and upright' man on the face of the earth, said, "I have esteemed the WORDS of His mouth more than my necessary food," and David says he COULD NOT WAIT to be awakened by the guy who cried out the "night watches" just so he'd have another chance to meditate on God's holy and precious Word!]

6. Because knowing the Bible isn't the same as KNOWING THE 'REAL JESUS!' [True, but it was certainly 'the Real Jesus' who said, " if ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye MY DISCIPLES INDEED," and "if a man LOVE ME, he will KEEP (which means to have, hold, treasure, guard, protect, as well as to obey) MY WORDS," and "man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!" Knowing His Word may not be an exact equivalent to knowing HIM, but it is THE VEHICLE HE HAS PROVIDED THROUGH WHICH HE IS KNOWN. When the Jews asked Jesus, "Who are you?" His response was: "Even that I said unto you from the beginning" (John 8:25). In other words, "the very words I have uttered correspond exactly to Who and what I am;" "what my words represent, such am I absolutely." Apart from His words, how DO we presume to TRULY "know Him?"]

7. There are SO MANY TRANSLATIONS out there (variation on #3)! The one my pastor reads from doesn't sound like the one I like, which sounds different from the one I remember hearing growing up, and on and on! How's an ordinary guy to know which one is "God's True Word?" Or, are ANY of them?

8. Because I can quote all these FAMOUS MEN, who have written great and marvelous books, whose names are widely known, who say that what we certainly DON'T need is more Bible knowledge! [Great! And always VERY impressive! But what if we stop reading and quoting MEN just long enough to actually see what GOD, HIMSELF, says about it?? Psalm 1:1-3; Joshua 1:8; John 6:63; 8:31-32; Colossians 3:16; I Timothy 4:13-16; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-2].

9. Because the Bible says, "knowledge puffeth up." More Bible knowledge only leads to more pride and arrogance. Look at the Pharisees and Sadducees! [Even though in the context of "knowledge puffeth up" (I Cor. 8:1), Paul is not speaking of BIBLE knowledge at all. Actually, while there are MANY scriptures exhorting us to seek to know God's Word as thoroughly and intimately as we possibly can (many of which are cited above), I can't think of one single verse that warns us against studying the Bible too much, or knowing it "too well." And I can't think of a single person that seems to be in any danger of that! The Pharisees and Sadducees did NOT really "know" their Bibles. That's a popular myth. Jesus was constantly questioning their knowledge of scripture, and implying, or stating right out, they did NOT know it as they should -- Matt.12:3, 5, 7; 22:29; John 3:10; 5:39, 46; 7:19). What the Pharisees really "knew" was their own "tradition of men;" the man-made "laws" that they added to the scriptures and venerated IN PLACE OF the true Word of God -- Matthew 15:1-9].

-- To be continued (you can count on that!! As the late, great comedian Jimmy Durante used to say, "I got a million of 'em!") -- Dr. L. Diablo

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