Bible Reading Part 1 – Tear It Out

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We are blessed to live in a time and place where the Bible is made available to us through so many different mediums. Bibles are available on our phones, tablets, computers, watches and, my personal favorite, bound in highland goatskin leather. If you prefer to listen to the Bible, you can download a free app and have your phone read the scriptures to you on your drive to work, or while you’re working out at the gym. Not only is the Bible available in many different forms for ingestion, but there are hundreds of English versions as well.  We have versions for intense study, and we have versions conducive for reading to small children.

We are blessed to have God’s word so readily available. We should also be humbled knowing that there are men and women who risk their lives to obtain even a single copy of the New Testament.

Acutely aware of how blessed we are to have copies of the sacred holy scriptures, I want to encourage you to consider doing the unthinkable… I want you to tear a page out of your Bible and throw it in the trash. There is one page in the Bible that has significant theological implications and contains a message that will cause you to stumble as you seek to understand God’s story of redemption.

When driving on a multi-lane highway, the rearview mirror is one of the most vital necessities to operate a vehicle appropriately within the rhythms of the traffic.  Without your rearview mirror you won’t know who is coming up behind you, you will struggle changing lanes, and you won’t know if you are being tailgated by another vehicle. Good drivers check their rearview mirror all the time without a conscious thought – it’s instinctual.

When navigating the many different lanes of the New Testament, it’s important to regularly check your rearview mirror to make sure that where you are going is in keeping with where you have been.

When reading John chapter one, you should instinctively look in your rearview mirror and see Genesis chapter one clearly behind you because John chapter one is written with Genesis chapter one in mind.  Both chapters speak of creation, beginnings, and God as the agent in creation. Likewise, when you read Acts chapter two and the story of Pentecost you should have Genesis 11 clearly in your rearview mirror, as the unifying of tongues in Acts 2 is the great reversal of the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel.

Perhaps one of the more frustrating aspects of nighttime driving is when you are blinded by the big truck behind you with his brights on.  His high beams flood your car through your back window and reflect off your rearview mirror rendering your rearview mirror useless.

The page I want you to tear out of your Bible offers a similar distraction to good Bible reading.  When reading through the New Testament, it’s often difficult to clearly see what lies behind us in the Old Testament because of the high beams of the page that come just before Matthew chapter one, which reads, The New Testament.

This page that separates the Old Testament from the New Testament has caused countless readers to bend the rearview mirror to the side to not get blinded, and thus to not see what’s behind them in the Old Testament.  This page represents an uninspired quagmire in Bible reading.  It keeps many readers from understanding that the Bible is one grand narrative about one glorious King. The whole Bible is about this one glorious King reestablishing his kingdom by redeeming for himself a people. The Old and New Testaments do not tell two different stories, about two different kings who save two different people. The Bible is a unified whole; the book of Matthew picks up where Malachi left off (though 400 years later).

By tearing out this unfortunate page, you will remove a glaring distraction allowing you to read the Bible as it should be read, as a unified whole.