Women, Commit to Biblical Literacy

I recently asked a group of ladies from my church to print a list of the books of the Bible and rate each one 1–5. One, I've never read it, or if I have I can't tell you anything about it. Five, I know most/all of the major characters and themes of the book, and I could give you a general outline/summary. And so on.

The point of the exercise was for us to discuss how well (or not well) we knew the Bible. Not to be discouraged, but rather to accurately assess our current biblical literacy situation so we could move forward accordingly.

I loved something I heard Kay Arthur say in an interview on Revive Our Hearts: "If He gave us sixty-six books, Precious One, how many do you think He wants us to know?"

God did not give us His Word as something we can read from a la carte. He intends for us to know it in full.

We ought to be women who are continually growing in our knowledge of the Word of God, because it is through knowledge of the Word that we learn who our God is and how to interact with Him.

God did not give us His Word as something we can read from a la carte. He intends for us to know it in full.

Information Overload

The amount of information available to us each day is overwhelming. While helpful, the sheer number of books, blogs, articles, and Pinterest ideas often clutter the information that is truly life-giving: God's Word.

It feels like a hard choice to pick up your Bible—old and unchanging as it is—when a world of new and fresh information is being put out as fast as you can hit refresh. Learning to say "no" to "new" for the sake of old, timeless truth is a discipline we need to learn.

With this all this information comes access to more Christian books and resources than ever. But this is problematic when we know more books about the Bible than books of the Bible. We have the capacity to know the Word of God; it is not too much for us. We just choose to know other things because they seem more appealing.

Getting Started

If you're reading this and feeling motivated to bring about some change in your biblical literacy, that's great! There are myriads of Bible-reading methods, suggestions, plans, and ideas out there. And honestly, if you went to search for what plan would work for you, you might spend two hours doing that without ever setting your eye on God's Word.

Plans and methods are good, but at the end of the day you just have to sit down and read it. It's not super spiritual; it's just simple. Read it.

Read it like the book that it is. You wouldn't pick up a novel and start in the middle, flipping around for sentences that seemed the most interesting to you. You would start at the beginning and read cover to cover. While the Bible doesn't necessarily have to be read Genesis through Revelation (though I think doing so has incredible value), at the very least treat each book within the Bible that way. Read books of the Bible, not verses.

Life Changing

Reading the Bible changes you. It is not a one-time read, but a lifelong journey of knowing God through whom He has revealed Himself to be through His Word. No greater goal is worth pursuing: to know God and make Him known. Knowing the Bible is not the end goal but rather the tracks on which the train must travel to reach the destination of knowing God.

Why not print out a list of the books of the Bible and evaluate your biblical literacy? Like getting a physical assessment before starting your exercise regimen, assess your current knowledge of the Word with a view to see that improve year after year after year.

Now close the Internet, and dig into God's Word!

About the Author

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham teaches the Bible at her home church where she co-leads a Women’s Teaching Program, training women to accurately handle the word of truth. She is the author of Friendish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion and … read more …

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