Monday, June 2, 2014

Context and Study

     Before I talk about this subject, I'd just like to mention that starting the 18th of this month, and ending on the 11th of July I am going to be doing a series called, "The Truth About Love", to celebrate my 2 year anniversary for this blog (which is actually on July 20th) and I really hope you all make sure and keep an eye out for it. I enjoy doing series a whole lot, especially this one, and thank you all for reading all my articles, it really means a lot to me.
     If you really wanted to, you could make the Bible say anything. You could justify murder, lying, homosexuality, gossiping, and so much more just by taking things out of context. You can turn to Luke 10:37 any time we want to do something and see, "You go, and do likewise." and think to yourself, "Oh, obviously this wouldn't be in the Bible if it could be so easily taken out of context. This clearly means that I should do whatever I want to." As crazy as that sounds, people do that all the time. We have to be careful about what context we use. This is why it's important to study.

     When you are in school, your primary way of thinking isn't critical thinking. We are told in society to eat what's on our plate and don't ask questions. However, we need to learn how to think critically. Not that I'm saying we should absolutely question everything anyone says. But we also shouldn't rely wholly on the teachings of others. We need to do studies of our own so that when someone does take something out of context, we can know and not be led astray, and help them understand it better. Also we need to study so that we ourselves don't accidentally take things out of context. The best way to have a full understanding of a verse of passage in the Bible is to read that entire chapter. Or even better the entire book. We need to always be reading and studying so that we can come to a verse, and understand exactly the context that it's in.

    Now, I've been doing a lot of algebra lately so I'm going to do some math here so I can finally make some use of all this frustration and hard work. The average life span is around 70-75 years. There are 31,103 verses in the Bible, and 1,189 chapters, averaging to about 26 verses in a chapter. So I went through the Bible and found a chapter that had 26 verses in it and it took about 1 minute, 30 seconds to read. But for convenience sake I'm going to round that up to 2 minutes because of course some chapters take a long time to read, and who knows, maybe I'm a fast reader. Now, there are 60 minutes in an hour, so I'm going to divide that by 2 because that's how many minutes it takes to read a chapter, and that's about 30 chapters you can read in a 60 minute period of time. Since there are 24 hours in a day, that's about 720 chapters in a 24 hour period, but we all need about 8 hours of sleep, and breaks throughout the day for things like eating and such, so I'll take off 10 hours for that. That gives us 420 chapters in a day, 2,940 in a week, and 153,300 chapters in a year. Divide that by how many chapters there are in the bible, and you get about 128 times in the year that you can read through the Bible if that's all you do is eat, sleep, and read the Bible. Which means that if you live about 75 years, counting the fact that most people can't read until they're a bout 5, that gives you about 9,025 times to read the Bible in the average lifespan if all we do is eat, sleep, and read. Obviously this is impractical because we all have to have jobs to put food on the table, and most people have active social lives, but it really makes you think about how much time we really spend reading the Bible.

     How many times have you actually read the Bible? Now, I'm guilty of this too, I'm not completely sure I've ever actually read through the Bible because I'll start a Bible reading plan and then next thing I know I've read Hebrews 11 times and I still haven't even touched Numbers yet because it's quite a difficult read. But I would like to encourage you all to not just read the Bible, but to study it. There are absolutely no excuses for not reading your Bible. Well, if you're in a coma I guess you kinda can't. And if you're a constantly busy person, or have a hard time reading, we live in a wonderful time full of electronics that can read the Bible to us. It's always important to read and study your Bibles every day, because we were born not to die, but to make sure that we live eternally.