“Yet the Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature,
its meaning grows with them.”

In book 3 of Confessions, v (9), St Augustine is describing his encounter with Sacred Scripture. First, for someone to read the Bible, it takes humility. This is because at first read the text looks simple, and it is deceptively simple.  A deep reading with thought, reflection and faith reveals text that St. Augustine calls “of mountainous difficulty and enveloped in mysteries”. For us today, we must remember that St. Augustine is reading in about the year 400, in a very ancient Latin translation.  Today, we have many resources such as Study Bibles and Bible Commentaries that go a long way to help with the difficulties and shine light on the mysteries.

The basic point that St. Augustine makes is however, still true today.  One should not expect to just pick up a Bible, start reading it and achieve perfect clarity of understanding.  This is where the humility comes into play, because we need to learn how to read the Bible.  An important note: learning is not only possible, it is what God wants us to do, to read and understand His Word. It also helps to have a good teacher, I recommend joining a Bible Study class.  Reading the Bible and learning about the Bible go hand in hand because the individual books of the Bible do have a unity to them, it is one big story about who God is and how much he loves us. So when starting to read the Bible, expect some challenges and expect to grow with the reading and studying.  Think of yourself not as just a reader of the Bible but as a humble student of the Bible.

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