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Read it for yourself

The Bible is the most translated, and most widely distributed book in the history of the world. It has been printed in more languages than any other book. It has been distributed to more people groups than any other book. Recent statistics show that 95 percent of the worlds population has at least a portion of the Bible printed in their own language. No other book comes close. Chances are you have a copy lying around your home. The sad news is that it is the least read book of our current generation. But that is not to say that people dont have ideas about the Bible. When you ask someone what the Bible says, most people will quote such passages as: Do not judge and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Some people may even recite God helps them that help themselves [That one is not in the Bible]. But for many people, that is as far as their knowledge goes. What most people know about the Bible is based only on what others tell them. Secondary sources, that is. Friends will pass on tidbits they overheard from strangers; a sign may flash John 3:16 at a ballgame; we pick up pieces of information from the radio or from those little placards adorning homes. Perhaps we hold a Bible in our hands at a funeral. Teachers and professors abound who make it their point to tell you what the book is really all about. But all these secondary sources can do, at best, is tell you about the Bible, they can never experience the Bible for you. What if those sources are wrong? What if they have never read the Bible themselves? Can you really trust that these secondary sources have accurately filled you in on what the Bible truly says? What I am saying is this: in order to find out what the Bible says, you have to take the initiative to read it for yourself. So find that Bible that has been lying around the house all these years, open its cover and begin to find out for your very own what its all about. You can start at the very beginning, with Genesis, and discover how God created the earth and everything in it. Or if you would prefer, open to the book of Matthew or John or one of the other gospels. Read about the life of Jesus; the remarkable way in which he was born, the way he lived and especially the way he died. After all, it is the most important book you will ever read because Christ lived and died for you. In your own reading, you may find that those secondary resources know very little indeed about what the Bible actually says. You can receive first hand knowledge of what the book is really all about. It is such a special book because it has changes so many lives; my prayer is that it will change your life as well. Rev. Nathan Dick is pastor of the Panton Community Bible Church, Panton, Vt.

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