The Bible Is Boring?


#1

I’ve been reading the bible for 15 years now. I find it a real challenge to read it now. I lack interest and motivation to read it or the catechism or any other theological book for that matter. I’ve tried reading it from a different angle i.e. spiritual reading for mental prayer to of no avail.

Anybody else have the same challenge?


#2

Do you use a commentary?


#3

Yes, I have been having this problem. I had been so enthusiastic about spiritual reading for a number of years, but I’m going through a major dry spell. Got through the Gospels again recently, and now I’m stuck on one of the Letters, just can’t even get through a few paragraphs. It’s frustrating. I’ve pulled out a spiritual book that I put down months ago and put it out in the open, hoping I’ll soon pick up one day where I left off. Maybe it’s time for a visit to a Catholic store to browse the books until something sparks my interest - sometimes that helps me…


#4

“The Bible” isn’t boring. Some parts are (Leviticus, the early parts of 1st Chronicles). But some other parts are extremely exciting and make great reading, such as Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel through Kings, Tobit, Esther, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, the Gospel according to Mark and the Acts of the Apostles. Heck, even Revelation makes for some great literature too.

As great and inspired as the Word of God is, sometimes, you just need to read it solely for pleasure. Because it’s God’s Word, he can speak to you even if you’re reading it like a novel. Just say a prayer for assistance prior to starting and before and and let 'er rip.


#5

I have found that doing a variety of things adds to each of them. So listening to sermons online might add to my praying of the Rosary, the Rosary might increase my appreciation of a saint’s writings, etc. Additionally, applying all to non-religious action/thinking/reading, adds dimension to my religious activities.

Thus, when I feel as you do about, say, the Rosary, just going round and round the same circle, I know it is time for me to re-read the sections in the Bible pertaining to the mysteries or some other work; or time to consider the mysteries in terms of my life in general, etc.


#6

When I started “The Great Adventure” bible studies I learned so much! Several parishes in my area have it going strong, and I went there to be a part of their weekly two-hour studies that included discussion on the verses we read and answered questions for in our homework workbook, and then watching an excellent DVD, mostly with Jeff Cavins.

The first bible study I went to was 24 weeks, and others were for ten weeks. All excellent! I learned so much about the bible, the culture of those times, and the deeper meanings in the readings.

A great bible study helps a lot!
r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVvxJ4ntXwTEAFc8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNXM5bzY5BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1467765449/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fascensionpress.com%2ft%2fcategory%2fstudy-programs%2fcatholic-bible-study/RK=0/RS=eHdOzIfZongYD5RC3NDugw3ajHk-


#7

The other posters have already made excellent suggestions.

I’d also add: Make sure you’re comfortable with the language and style that the Bible is written in. Some people find it easier to read archaic or “classic” language, such as the King James or Douay-Rheims. Others prefer a more colloquial style. Others swear by whatever is used in the liturgy in their country. I personally like the ones somewhere in between “classic” and “colloquial”, such as the Jerusalem Bible and its successor, the New Jerusalem Bible. Try different translations and see which one works for you. :thumbsup:


#8

I think it’s normal to have dry spells. If you are trying to make yourself do something it’s natural you would start to get apprehensive about it. Familiarity breeds contempt sort of thing. (however we can’t know God entirely, which is why scripture is not really boring, but just that to us it has become as such, for whatever reason in that moment).

Christ says He rather we were cold than lukewarm…should we do what He says?


#9

Yes, it is normal to have dry spells. Feelings come and go and we need to learn to pray while feeling dry. The Lord strengthens us that way, when we pray without consolations. (good feelings).


#10

Ditto, I have a difficult time reading the archaic language, but the version I normally use is RSV-CE 2nd edition, and I find that much easier than say KJV or DR (no offense to those that prefer them)


#11

Hi!
Can’t say that I have… I have had rebellious moments… times when I have refused to read the Scriptures… then I dream about it or wake up quoting something… we can’t hide from God!

I think, like most people, you may have reached that level of understanding (been there, done that) where you may (even if only subconsciously) think you “got that.”

…in reality, we don’t… Scriptures continue to expand even when we have read and reread it many times over…

Here’s one thing that I practice… as I read Sacred Scriptures I make note of things for comparison:

Wisdom 16:

12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaster that healed them, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things. 13 For it is thou, O Lord, that hast power of life and death, and leadest down to the gates of death, and bringest back again: 14 A man indeed killeth through malice, and when the spirit is gone forth, it shall not return, neither shall he call back the soul that is received:

In this passage we find a hint of ancient medical knowledge: herbs and a soothing application; this demonstrates that people from thousands of years back were aware of the healing powers of nature and they had concocted various forms and applications… this passage also reminds me of Jesus’ Crucifixion–right before being nailed to the cross He was offered a mixture which contained myrrh–its properties (myrrh) contains many medicinal benefits; one specifically being an analgesic… which is why Jesus, after tasting the wine concoction, refused it: He had to experience all of the pain! …yeah, no doping for this Olympian!

A second thing found in the passage is that it makes clear that the Hebrews were saved by God’s word; I prefer to think of it as God’s Word–which would mean that this also is a type for Christ (as He Himself would allude to this very episode).

And, thirdly, we have the breakdown of Power… while man can, out of malice and wickedness, take a life only God can restore life; conversely, while some (the Sadducees) in Israel refused to believe in life-after-death (the Resurrection) we have in this very passage the proof that God did Reveal that He has the Power (Omnipotence) to bring us back from death’s grip and restore our souls (spirit)!

I think that Scriptures have so many pearls and treasures hidden in plain sight that it would take thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of study hours to fully get them all…

I hope you give it a try and post your findings!

Maran atha!

Angel


#12

I honestly used to find the Bible boring as well.

If I might make a suggestion, I would say to read a couple good books on particular themes in the Bible. Scott Hahn’s Lord Have Mercy and The Lamb’s Supper are good takes on the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Book of Revelation, respectively. Anglican theologian N.T. Wright’s How God Became King is a wonderful look into the gospels, and emphasizes different parts of Jesus’ biography than we often hear.

If you want to get a little more meaty, even, the widely-respected scholar Fr. Raymond Brown has books and a series of lectures, the latter of which Welcome Recordings has reissued on CD (welcomerecordings.com/cds/). I was lucky to pick these up at a parish rummage sale near me, and WOW, are they really informative. “The Churches Paul Left Behind” and “The Infancy Narratives of the Gospels” were both extremely informative to me.

Those are just some suggestions, but having read those types of books, I have a whole new appreciation for scripture. I really find it interesting to consider how a first-century Jew would have perceived Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the other Christians.


#13

I also had those moments but the learning of foreign languages has helped me to return to the study of Scripture.Since the Bible is a book that I am most familiar with it, therefore the process of language learning is easier:)


#14

I jumped into a sale from the Jewish Publication Society for their Torah series commentaries. There are copious insights that they provide by analyzing the Hebrew texts – sometimes more, sometimes less – on a line-by-line basis.

There’s really a lot of texts whose meaning is uncertain, a fact that you don’t get told very often in English translation. There’s structure to the Hebrew text that also is usually passed over in Christian English translations.

(Here I go again: Is it impressive to learn that the first creation account in Genesis has verses that are seven Hebrew words in length, or a multiple of seven Hebrew words? [so says the JPS commentary editor] and, rather than the customary 50 chapters in length, Genesis seems to have been written or later edited to fall into 12 sections. Does that contain any symbolism that the author(s) may have wanted to convey?)

My path of reading, probably the path less taken, has been very insightful for me. I would offer this personal assessment, that I read through a 500+ page Jewish commentary in about the amount of time that a parish study group would take on the same study only in English.

To be sure, there are doctrinal issues that are raised to the level of anti-Christian polemics, but that gave me something to think about. The Jewish commentaries go into the dietary laws, for example, and they offer a possible explanation of the significance of the red heifer. (It’s in the Bible, so it must be related to something.)

Commentaries are altogether another level of study above “study” Bibles. On the other hand, I have come across issues that no commentary has settled. Outside of the Catholic sphere of commentary, but closer to it than the Jewish commentaries, is a series of volumes entitled The New Interpreter’s “Bible” (or “commentary”). I Co 14 says we should ALL strive for the gift of prophecy, but neither my Catholic study bibles nor the catechism of the Catholic Church makes much of that. (I’d think St. Paul’s admonition would be important in itself, but also highly relevant to the “new evangelization.” But it was only in the original version of the New Interpreter’s Bible that I found a definition and discussion of prophecy by believers.

I am in a dry spell myself, since last September (specifically) and I’m trying to dig my way out of that funk.


#15

The Bible is not boring at all. It is just as interesting as the first time you read it. The Bible hasn’t changed. If anything has changed it is you. I second the Bible studies Great Adventure series. Perhaps you are bored of reading it the same old way. Try something new. Join a bible study.


#16

It is fine to take a break. Thirty-five years ago I read the OT and NT over a three year period. Today I read short stories or paragraphs every other night.


#17

Our faith, itself, is more important than reading. In my case the bible was hugely instrumental in developing that faith. I’ve read it several times. It continues to nurture me during the Mass readings or when looking up individual passages, themes, etc, but I don’t think we can always continue seeking in the same way with the same intensity. We’re meant to change, our faith is meant to stretch and change us in many ways-and at some point we should know enough so that the practicing of it should become more important than learning more. The word of God needs to be heard increasingly in our hearts directly;and that’s the way saints such as Therese of Lisieux and John of the Cross explain it in my understanding even as they placed Scripture way above any other literary works of course. And many believers down through the centuries were illiterate to begin with.


#18

Nobody except the Holy Spirit can make the Bible unboring to you. And you should always pray to the Spirit for knowledge, wisdom, prudence, and, generally, insight.

Answer your own question: What would make the Bible*** not ***boring to you? I’ve already made one reply to your question – that’s the story of my life, I get no reaction to what I say, very infrequently in these forums.

So, this time, I’ll tell you what is making the Bible very unboring to me right now. About two weeks ago, I was listening to EWTN radio, the program “Called to Communion” with Dr. David Anders.

I tuned in for only a few minutes and heard enough to catch Dr. Anders recommendation of a book by Joachim Jeremias
amazon.com/Eucharistic-Words-Jesus-Joachim-Jeremias/dp/0334004144/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1468279680&sr=8-3&keywords=joachim+jeremias

Well, yeah, with shipping it’s over $30. The book is very nit-picky, with attention to a lot of details. And, he’s provided some very interesting insights into the liturgy of the Eucharist. I’m only half-way through, myself, but I have found it very instructive. Jeremias is not a Catholic, but he answers a lot of questions that pop up in this scripture forum.

For example, he spends a lot of time getting to the conclusion that the Last Supper was on a Thursday and that it was a passover meal. Now, that’s a big deal, because there are Catholics who don’t agree with those simple statements. The “bread” which Jesus blessed was unquestionably unleavened bread (which goes along with the meal being a passover meal), and so the practice of some parishes using leavened bread can be addressed, as he does, with scripture.

I’m into a section now where he’s talking about the mysteries in the gospels and some of the other NT writings. There’s a place where Jesus says “let him who can, understand” or something like that. And, Jeremias offers an explanation for this. There’s a lot of the mystery stuff and Jeremias heads straight into it.

There’s the whole subject of whether the gospel of John is different from the other gospels. Well, the answer is really not just ‘yes’ but ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and he tells you why.

This amazon offering is the english translation of the third edition of the book, which was published originally in 1960 or so. this book might solve your insomnia problems, if you have any. It starts off with the quartodecimanian controversy. Now! Aren’t you intrigued, already? How can you rest until you discover the solution to this issue? Skip the 2 day delivery and get the amazon drone in the air. (humor)

Seriously, it’s a tough read, but worth it, if you’re up to it.


#19

In the first post, you stated that you have been reading the Bible for 15 years. Have you been reading the same translation every year?
How much time do you spend reading the Bible?
There are many ways of reading the Bible. One way is to read 3 chapters a day straight through from Genesis through Revelations. I have done this several times using a different translation. The time required to read the Bible in one year using this method is approximately 15 minutes a day.
I have a copy of the Christian Almanac which splits the 3 chapters a day concept between the OT and NT. Our Daily Bread does the same thing.

As Catholics, the Scriptures are part of the Mass with the Bible being cover over a the 3 year daily cycle.
Do you pray the Liturgy of the Hours? There are many ways to incorporate scripture into your daily life.
Monks use lectio divina by which they simply meditate on a single verse throughout the day. My spiritual director had me use lectio divina as the first line of my journal entry.


#20

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