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Thread: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

  1. #1

    Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    I can read newspaper articles, instruction manuals, and fiction novels. I have even been reading an English translation of an ancient Greek dialogue. I can read these at a reasonable pace because I do not suffer from dyslexia. I can look at the words and read (and more importantly absorb) the information at a reasonable pace.

    However, when I read the Bible, my reading comprehension slows down. I read it first thing in the morning, but I find that even if I do it later, I am still slow, so it can't be the problem of tiredness (and if I do it any other time than first in the morning, then it won't get done). Reading a single chapter of the Bible can take half an hour. What is my problem? My translation is the NKJV, so it's probably not readability.

  2. #2

    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    I actually found the exact opposite to be true. When I used to read, I always lost focus reading whatever I read. And the first time I read a Bible, which happened to be the KJV, I found it to be super confusing. But when I became a Christian, and started reading the Bible with purpose, I found that it flowed really well. I didn't understand all of it or the depths of it, but it was "easy reading" as they say. For me anyways. I'm sure the Holy Spirit had a hand in this.
    9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. - Galatians 6:9-10 NASB

  3. #3

    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    Ultimately the Bible is written by God, and he knows what words to put in there. I'm just saying that there is much more meaning packed in than whatever a man can write (who is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, of course). Like fiction novels. I mean one way you can break it down is to take it sentence by sentence. Also, the Bible speaks in sometimes more general terms and words, broad themes, that have to be broken down into specifics to get the meaning. Sometimes it is figurative, like Christ's parables, so that you have to understand what they MEAN apart from what you would think they literally say, know what I mean? Stuff like that.
    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

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    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yonathan View Post
    I can read newspaper articles, instruction manuals, and fiction novels. I have even been reading an English translation of an ancient Greek dialogue. I can read these at a reasonable pace because I do not suffer from dyslexia. I can look at the words and read (and more importantly absorb) the information at a reasonable pace.

    However, when I read the Bible, my reading comprehension slows down. I read it first thing in the morning, but I find that even if I do it later, I am still slow, so it can't be the problem of tiredness (and if I do it any other time than first in the morning, then it won't get done). Reading a single chapter of the Bible can take half an hour. What is my problem? My translation is the NKJV, so it's probably not readability.
    One reason we tend to slow down when we read the Bible is that the Biblical authors were highly efficient in the way they expressed ideas. In other words, they said more using fewer words, and they used special words that gave expression to ideas that the original readers might know, but are difficult to understand for others who came much later to faith. And some authors, such as Paul, employed a lot of participles, causing his sentences to be very long, which also slows us down.

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    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yonathan View Post
    I can read newspaper articles, instruction manuals, and fiction novels. I have even been reading an English translation of an ancient Greek dialogue. I can read these at a reasonable pace because I do not suffer from dyslexia. I can look at the words and read (and more importantly absorb) the information at a reasonable pace.

    However, when I read the Bible, my reading comprehension slows down. I read it first thing in the morning, but I find that even if I do it later, I am still slow, so it can't be the problem of tiredness (and if I do it any other time than first in the morning, then it won't get done). Reading a single chapter of the Bible can take half an hour. What is my problem? My translation is the NKJV, so it's probably not readability.
    You are not alone here. Instead of seeing it as a handicap, accept it as proof that the Bible is on its own in comparison with any other text out there. The Bible is not a novel or newspaper you can rush. There's nothing wrong in reading 5 chapters of any given Book in the Bible in a day; repeating every verse you didn't understand until you have a fair grasp of what it's saying. NKJV is good...

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    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    One reason we tend to slow down when we read the Bible is that the Biblical authors were highly efficient in the way they expressed ideas. In other words, they said more using fewer words, and they used special words that gave expression to ideas that the original readers might know, but are difficult to understand for others who came much later to faith. And some authors, such as Paul, employed a lot of participles, causing his sentences to be very long, which also slows us down.
    All the above are true. And when you throw in the rich and perhaps, an excessive use of allegory and symbolism, what you have is the frustrating experience described by Yonathan. But it gets better as one matures and have a better understanding of the scriptures.

    That said, I won't have the Bible any other way.

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    Re: Why is the Bible different from other texts in terms of the way it reads?

    The bible is different than any other book because it is the living word of God..

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


    Jude
    Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


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