Reading the Bible for Devotion

Recently I have read the Bible more than I usually do. Now this may come as a surprise to some, since I actually read the Bible more often. What could I mean by this seeming contradiction? When I read, I normally read the Bible as a text to study. Now this is not bad. In fact, it is part of loving God with your mind, which is something we should all strive to do (cf. Matt. 22:37). However, I had not been reading it as a devotional—I had not been reading it as something that can and should penetrate my heart and lead to life change.

It is certainly true that academic study should and often does lead to devotion. Sometimes, as in the case of Anselm and his development of the ontological argument, devotion just is the object of academic study or reflection on God. However—and this is especially true for seminary students—it is far easier to focus on word meanings, theme, immediate context, ancient setting, and theological and philosophical systems.

Reading devotionally has been really refreshing. And I don’t mean to suggest that I turn my brain off while I read. I still try to take note of the overall message and briefly scan the margins to see what alternate translation is. But I try to avoid the full academic side for a moment, gain the basic understanding of the context, and see what applications I can make.


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10 Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

5 Reasons You Desperately Need Your Bible

How To Understand and Apply the New Testament – book review

Commentary On John 14 (Last Supper Discourse)

During the Last Supper, after Jesus tells the disciples that they will abandon him, he then gives hope to this scared and confused group. The first thing Jesus does is to reassure them that they must trust him just as they trust God. In heaven, Jesus will have rooms, or dwelling places, prepared for all his disciples. Jesus’ death and resurrection are what actually prepares heaven for his disciples. When Jesus returns to the earth at the end of the age, he will bring all of his disciples to their places in heaven.

Some of us have seen the verse translated as “In my Father’s house are many mansions” instead of “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” Gerald L. Borchert, in , argues that this is a bad translation.


The Muratorian Fragment, Dated 170 A.D., Affirms 22 Out Of 27 New Testament BooKS