Why Read the Bible?

Would you like to be a better Christian? Then try reading the Bible regularly.

Going to church, taking Communion and praying are all very important but listen to St Paul: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man [or woman] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16).

If that isn’t enough, listen to the Church of England. According to church law, the most important authority under God for what the Church of England believes is the Bible and nothing is to be believed which is clearly contrary to the teaching of Scripture. However the Church takes very seriously the teaching of church leaders in the early centuries, if it is consistent with the Bible. And obviously we have to use our minds to understand Scripture properly.

The actual wording is: “The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures.”

The Prayer Book makes it clear that the Bible contains “all things necessary to salvation.”  So if you want to be a Christian and to mature in your Christian faith you will find the way in the Bible.

I thank God that the churches I attended as a child were rooted and grounded in Scripture and that I went to two theological colleges which, amongst many other things, extensively taught the content of Scripture. Despite what the Church of England says about the Bible, I have even sometimes over the years come across clergy who don’t know their Bibles. They might have been taught about the Bible and about the problems that sometimes arise in interpreting it. But they do not seem to know enough about the content of Scripture and consequently some congregations are not well-taught.

I recommend that, if you don’t already, you start to read a short passage of Scripture each day. It is a great help to get hold of some Bible reading notes to help you. They suggest a passage for each day and give a comment and explanation on it.

© Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction