As we move through the Easter Season, here’s a reflection on reading the Bible we used as a supplement to our class material last fall in our “How We Read the Bible.” This is from Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, England, 1488-1569, from his “A Prologue to the Bible.” I found it in “Nearer to the Heart of God” compiled and edited by Bernard Bangley, Paraclete Press, 2005.
“If you find something when you are reading the Bible that is difficult to understand or seems repugnant, don’t be too hasty to reject it. The problem may be your ignorance and may have nothing to do with the Bible. It will help a lot if you notice not only what is spoken or written, but also of whom, and to whom, it is being said. Consider the circumstances and the intentions. Read what comes before and after. Some things are written with the intent that we should “go and do likewise.” Other things are written to demonstrate what we should avoid, such as when David causes Uriah to be slain because David wanted his wife. Read the Bible wisely and carefully. When you come across strange behaviors and cryptic statements, leave them with God. Let those who are better informed than you worry about them.”
This was written over 450 years ago. I find it very comforting to know that people were discussing how to read the Bible in those days, in a similar fashion to how we discuss it now. Faithfulness takes many forms. How do YOU read the Bible? What forms does your faithfulness take? May the joy of Easter continue to unfold in your heart and life.