Speaking the Truth in Love

Why Do I Study the Bible?

One day “a lawyer stood up” and asked Jesus an excellent question: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). This fellow was no attorney but rather an expert in the Law of Moses and the religious traditions of the Jewish people. Actually, the man knew a good biblical answer to his own question. When the Lord asked him what was written in the law, the scribe answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (v. 27).

If the lawyer knew the answer to his own question, why did he ask? He had posed it for the sole purpose of entrapping Jesus. What a waste of biblical knowledge!

Unfortunately, this scribe isn’t alone in his misguided study of the scriptures. Some Christians read the Bible with a keen eye only for those passages that support their most cherished beliefs. Others search scriptures diligently when hunting for verses that may thwart the arguments of people holding opposing views. And still others seem to be mainly interested in appearing “smart in the Bible.” Better than most they know the facts of the Bible, but they have never truly encountered the God of the Bible.

So why should I study? The Bible commends the Jews of Beroea as “noble” because “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). Reading with an open mind means changing, growing, reaching conclusions never considered before. But this is more than commendable. Longing to know the truth and the God who revealed it is richly rewarding.

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