There are some big words when it comes to biblical studies, such as:
Exegesis - a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text. "Biblical exegesis" is used for specificity because there are other areas of critical text.
Hermeneutics - sometimes used interchangeably with exegesis, this is a wider discipline which includes written, verbal and nonverbal communication while exegesis focus on texts.
Homiletics - is art of preaching or writing sermons.What I do here is not defined by any of the above, but incorporates a bit of each. I do look at the text of the Bible and explain to myself (and share here) what it means to me and how I am able to apply it to my life.
All of that to get to a recent reading an article about a new book on the biblical book of John. Among the comments was the above graphic.
The graphic gave me a great deal to think about once I got over the shock of a professed Christian stating that the Bible should be trashed. I've grayed out her church affiliation - though I know some of my readers will be able to identify it immediately. Here are some of the thoughts generated:
She’s been taught that the Bible is not understandable by lay people. It has to be studied at a much higher level. Unfortunately, that concept has been around by half a millennium, and is just as invalid today as it was two millennia ago. Christ is the entire reason the New Testament exists and He first called fishermen, not the highly education theologians, as His followers.
None of those “big words” above are in the Bible. It is a simple book, even the King James Version is readable at a fifth-grade level. Some of the standalone verses are even easier. By “standalone”, I mean verses such as Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:2-17, John 1:1, John 3:16, and I could go on for many more verses. These standalones tell us quite a bit, but they (and thousands others) are combined for a full story of God’s love for us and how to return it.
Not many will read Micah, a “minor” prophet, but I love how he presents our Lord:
Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:6-8 KJV)
Why wouldn’t God want me to read that for myself and know what He requires?
Thank you, but no thank you. I will not trash my Bible. I will continue to read it, enjoy learning from it and do my best to meet my Lord’s requirements. I regret there are people who depend solely on homilies from men who know those big words, but I wonder if they walk humbly with their God.