Simple Bible Reading Guide
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"The revelation of Your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." —Psalms 119:130
God's word is intended for all people. For thousands of years God has communicated to millions of simple people through His word. In fact, many things are hidden from the learned and clever but revealed to the merest children (Lk 10:21). Of course, God's word is sometimes so difficult to interpret that we need the Church to teach us. Therefore, highly academic Bible study has its place, but it is not the principal approach to God's word. The word is not primarily for an educated elite but for everyday people praying and reading by the power of the Spirit.
Nevertheless, not many books about the Bible are written to help the average person. What most people need is something short, simple, and practical that encourages, motivates and guides. We need something that will help us read the Biblical texts and not just about the text. This is the purpose of this simple Bible reading guide. "We have aimed to please those who prefer simple reading, as well as to make it easy for the studious who wish to commit things to memory, and to be helpful to all (2 Mc 2:25).
Note: The breakdown of the Bible into chapters (although not always adequate) has served God's people for centuries. So in general we will use a chapter-by-chapter structure for our comments.
Be sure to read each chapter of the Bible along with the introductory comments.
P.S. We have prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament about our choice of the verses in this reading guide. We hope the Scriptures will have a prophetic, life-changing power for you.
Jude 0 — HATING THE SIN AND LOVING THE CHURCH
"I was already fully intent on writing you, beloved, about the salvation we share. But now I feel obliged to write and encourage you to fight hard for the faith delivered once for all to the saints." Jude 3
"Certain individuals have recently wormed their way into your midst" (4). "They pervert the gracious gift of our God to sexual excess and deny Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord" (4). "These men are blotches on your Christian banquets. They join your solemn feasts without shame and only look after themselves" (12). "These sensualists, devoid of the Spirit, are causing divisions among you" (19).
If members of your church have fallen into sexual sin, denied Jesus as Lord, gone to Communion while in mortal sin, and caused divisions, should you leave this church? No! "Beloved, grow strong in your holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit" (20). "There is One Who can protect you from a fall and make you stand unblemished and exultant in the presence of His glory" (24).
Prayer: Father, may I love even the most ugly church (see Eph 5:25ff).
Promise: "Glory be to this only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Majesty, too, be His, might and power from ages past, now and for ages to come. Amen." 25
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 25, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 1997
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