I've read some GREAT books this year--and last year, for that matter--about the Bible! Here are a few of the books I'd recommend:
Taking Back the Good Book: How America Forgot the Bible and Why It Matters To You by Woodrow Kroll, 2007. (Crossway).
A few quotes:
Reading [the Bible] is fundamental, but it isn't enough. You have to read the Bible and then interpret it and apply it to your life. Those are the initial steps in Bible literacy. They are also the first steps toward spiritual maturity. (58)
The Bible is read by people who choose to read it. Bible reading is neglected by people who choose to neglect it. It's just that simple. No excuses. Just honesty. (77)
When you win the battle for Bible literacy in your own life, you not only discover the joy of God, you are the joy of God. He delights in our getting to know him, and the most direct way to make that happen is by reading what he has revealed about himself in his Word (145).
If you don't take the Book in your life and read it consistently, you are saying to its Author, "I don't care enough about you or your Book to read it." That's what Bible literacy means to God. It means you love him, and you show it. It means you worship him, and you show it. It means you thirst for him, and you show it. Isn't it time we did some serious thinking about just how Bible-literate we are? Isn't it time for you to do some thinking? (151)
How to Find God in the Bible: A Personal Plan For the Encounter of Your Life. Woodrow Kroll. 2004. Multnomah. 204 pages.
Don't fail to read the Bible simply because you have difficulty relating to the translation. Find a version you do understand. I'm often asked which version of the Bible I think is the best, and I always respond, "The one you read." It doesn't matter if you are convinced your version is the most accurate there is. If you don't read it, you won't connect with God. Hurdle the language barrier by choosing a Bible that is comfortable for you. Then read it for all it's worth. (61)
I have often said that if Christians blew the dust off their Bibles at the same time, we'd all get killed in the dust storm. If you are to benefit from God's Word, you're going to have to read it. It's how you connect with God. (173)
Read Your Bible One Book At A Time: A Refreshing Way To Read God's Word. Woodrow Kroll. 2002. Gospel Light Publications. 150 pages.
If you wanted to read one book of the Bible--the whole book, beginning to end--which ones could you read during the same time it takes to watch It's a Wonderful Life? Hold on to your hat. You could read any book of the Bible except twelve. Only a dozen books of the Bible take longer to read than watching that classic Christmas movie. Nearly forty books of the Bible can be read in an hour or less. Half the books of the Bible can be read in less than thirty minutes. And twenty-six books can be read in fifteen minutes or less. That's pretty amazing for a book that many people think is too massive to read. When you think about it, time really isn't the problem when it comes to reading the Bible. It's a good excuse, but not good enough. How much we read of the only book God ever wrote depends mostly on how much of it we want to read. Reading God's Word is less dependent on our schedule and more dependent on our desire and discipline. (12-13)
How To Get The Most From God's Word. John MacArthur. 1997. Thomas Nelson. 168 pages.
Everything revealed on the pages of both the Old Testament and New Testament is associated with those five categories. Scripture is always teaching or illustrating: 1) the character and attributes of God; 2) the tragedy of sin and disobedience to God's holy standard; 3) the blessedness of faith and obedience to God's standard; 4) the need for a Savior by whose righteousness and substitution sinners can be forgiven, declared just, and transformed to obey God's standard; 5) the coming glorious end of redemptive history in the Lord Savior's earthly kingdom and the subsequent eternal reign and glory of God and Christ. It is essential as one studies Scripture to grasp these recurring categories like great hooks on which to hang the passages. (147)
There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Only four of them don't involve a fallen world: the first two and the last two--before the fall and after the creation of the new heaven and new earth. The rest is a chronicle of the tragedy of sin. (148)
Knowing Scripture. R.C. Sproul. 1977/2009. IVP. 152 pages.
We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy. (17)
If you have read the whole Bible, you are in a small minority of Christian people. If you have studied the Bible, you are in an even smaller minority. (18)
To be sure knowledge of God's Word does not guarantee that we will do what it says, but at least we will know what we are supposed to be doing in our quest for human fulfillment. The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in. (30)
Dig Deeper: Tools for Understanding God's Word. By Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach. 2010. Crossway. 160 pages.
Someone who isn't a Christian (i.e. the 'natural person') won't be able fully to understand the Bible, no matter how many qualifications or degrees in theology he or she may have. We should be wary of the "expert" on television or the professor who's written the latest controversial book about Christianity. It's easy to bow to what seems to be impressive knowledge, but if they don't have the Spirit of God working within them, then they have no hope of grasping the Bible's message. (21-22)
On the other hand, all Christians can understand the Bible for themselves, since all Christians have the Spirit . . . Yet we need continually to express our dependence on God for a right understanding of him and his ways. He is the one who grants insight. So we must pray. Pray before you open the Bible. Pray when you get stuck and don't understand. Pray again when you do understand it--say thank you! Pray, pray, pray! (22)
How To Study The Bible. R.A. Torrey. 1896. Hendrickson Publishers. 90 pages.
...the Bible contains gold, and almost anyone is willing to dig for gold, especially if it is certain that he will find it. It is certain that one will find gold in the Bible, if he digs."
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible