Do the Scriptures Command Daily Bible Reading?

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by satz, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    When you guys do your daily readings, say you read one chapter, how long, on average do you spend on it? Do you reread it? If so how many times? Or do you meditate upon it?

    Just wanted to know more about your bible reading habits...
  2. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    When I am able to read I read 3-4 chapters/day (using M'Cheyne's plan) but some days go by in which I do not read any.

    I'd like to add that I think the modern conception that one must read the bible every single day to be spiritually healthy is a legalistic, unscriptural and potentially damaging assertion.
  3. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    Interesting comment.
    In your opinion would prayer fall into the same category?
    Also, must one do anything to be spiritually healthy? Would doing anything for spiritual health be considered legalistic?

    I have counseled folks who were not reading their Bibles to read them every day, even if they didn't feel like it.It paid off for them in the end.
  4. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    No, I would not say the same thing about prayer. It is something that all Christians everywhere have always been able to do.

    You see, sometimes people forget that the common man did not have his own bible until the 16th century. This was an issue that never really seemed to concern the apostles. Emphasis was given in the early Church to the teachers with whom God had gifted the church. People focused more on the preached word instead of their own reading and their own interpreting.

    If it is necessary to read the bible everyday in order not to fall into spiritual destruction (or, conversely, just to generally grow in grace), then Christians for a very long time were without much hope. As far as your experience in counseling is concerned, I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with reading the bible every day. Of course that can be beneficial. But that's a very different thing than saying that one must read the bible every day. If you've never come across that sort of teaching then it may just be my background. I used to believe that it was banking on sin to not read the bible everyday and that I would undoubtedly fall into some other kind of heinous sin without it as well. The guilt and condemnation that people can fall into for not reading the bible enough when daily reading is not even required in scripture is terrible.

    Sermons used to be just a nice thing to do but the "real deal" was in my own "personal time" throughout the week. This just doesn't seem to be what the New Testament teaches. These days I put a lot more emphasis on my teaching elder's exposition of the Word on the Lord's Day. I take notes during the sermon and think about it more during the week instead of being so concerned with finishing the next book of the bible. I also have a much more biblical understanding of the Christian's role in the world and don't despise my secular calling like I used to. Whereas before I would skip doing homework and other such things in order to read, I no longer find that a more spiritual thing to do.
  5. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    Unfortunately. There is a reason they were called the Dark Ages.

    I have worries about a Christian who doesn't want to read the Bible every day. How can we train ourselves in righteousness if our days are not soaked in the scriptures?
  6. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The "Dark Ages" did not begin until 500+ years after the Apostles. What did all the Christians do during the first few centuries A.D. when they had no access to their own bibles? Why didn't Paul ever tell the local elders to have his letters copied for everyone?

    Again, I'm not saying that I don't like reading the scripture or that I have a problem with reading it every day. I have problems adding man's commands to God's.

    [bible]Ephesians 4:11-12[/bible]

    The short answer, according to Paul, is that we first and foremost are not our own trainers.

    Again, I'm not saying that I don't like reading the scripture or that I have a problem with reading it every day. I have problems adding man's commands to God's. There's way too much emphasis on personal reading and interpretation today and not enough on the sermon.
  7. InChains620

    InChains620 Puritan Board Freshman

    -Reading The Scriptures-

    I think it is important to read the Scriptures and pray daily. I have been a Christian for less than a year, and fail God often. I have missed days of my daily Bible reading, but I am convicted and set aside time to catch up. I find myself amazed at how easily I can just skip my time with God after all he has done for me. That is why I believe it is important that a child of God prays for a hungry spirit for the Word and for prayer. We should pray remembering Jeremiah 23:29. Pray that God would consume us with the flame of His Word, and that he would use it as a hammer to shatter the hard hearts we so often get. If we rely on God's grace for our salvation, is the same not so with our edification? We should be in constant prayer for God's grace and help with our slothful study habits. May God help us all to delve into the Scriptures and grow in grace!

  8. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    And now, with the advent of the printing press, the scriptures are available to every layman. Would the Christians during the first few centuries AD have preferred to listen to their preachers over owning and reading daily their very own copy of the scriptures? I think not.

    Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
    (Acts 17:11)

    Your argument really doesn't stand.
  9. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Yes, I would rather have a trained pastor than my own bible. Try not to be such a product of your time and place in history. Did you totally skip over my quote from Ephesians 4? Teachers are given to train us. I am not an ordained bible teacher. "Just me and my bible" is not my way of going about growth.

    Perhaps you could tell me just what my argument is that doesn't stand, because I don't think you're understanding it. Does the Word of God entail a command to read the scriptures every day or does it not? Were Christians in the Early Church and up until the printing press lacking? Did God leave them without everything they needed?
  10. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I read daily but not regularly. Often I'm jumping from place to place, and reading for 10 minutes one day and a couple hours another. I might read a whole book in one sitting, or just a few verses.

    I wish I were more disciplined to read the Word regularly - but I find I digest more if I'm not trying to read on a schedule or through a reading plan. I've been working on my reading plan for years now and don't get as much out of it as when I am searching on a topic or comparing different verses and following the cross references in a study bible.
  11. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I apologise for not seeing your Ephesians 4 quote, it wasn't there when I hit reply. I agree, adding man's commands to God's is wrong. However, I believe there is scriptural mandate for the necessity of everyday reading of the word. Just because there are people better trained in it's exposition doesn't mean we are to neglect personal reading.

    If you mean a command as in "thou shalt", then no it does not. However, as I said above, there is scriptural mandate to necessitate daily reading.

    And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
    (Deuteronomy 8:3)

    How can we eat bread daily and live, and then be expected not to eat of God's word daily and live?

    Of course they were. I have several Bibles in my home. Are you suggesting that I am not better off than they were?

    No, but you can bet your life savings that they would give their right arm for the opportunities to read the scriptures that we have.

    We are a blessed people, with Bibles coming out of our ears. Blessing brings responsibility. Daily reading of the word is just as much a necessity to Christians as daily eating of food.
  12. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    The Bible seems to recommend in several places to memorize and meditate on the Scriptures - I have trouble with "through-the-Bible-in-a-year" plans because by the time I've read all that I couldn't tell you what it was about.

    And what about the folks where Bibles are illegal and hard to come by? I think it's wonderful that we can own Bibles and I don't want to go back to strictly relying on the preached Word - that's how we ended up with the Bible in an archaic language no one knew and "preachers" making it up as they went along...
  13. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I can agree to disagree on this because I know it's a pretty popular view since the Reformation.

    Quickly, I just wanted to point out that your scripture references necessitating the ingestion of God's Word do not imply a commanded daily reading of it. For instance, you quoted from Deuteronomy about living on God's Word. How many of those Israelites to whom that quote is addressed do you think had their own bibles? The same thing goes for pretty much every other like passage, whether it be on meditating on the Word, loving the Word, etc. I can take in God's word by listening to it preached and thinking about the sermon and the text upon which the sermon was based. I have Psalms memorized from singing them in public worship and I meditate on God's word by singing to myself through the day (see Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16). I agree that the Word of God is as important for us as you say it is, but I do not believe that this necessitates daily reading. I will agree with you that in some ways it may be "extra helpful" that we have ready access to bibles unlike previous generations of Christians, but that also does not necessitate anything. It's unfair to say "Look at all these bible we have. Christians should be ashamed of themselves!" People harp so much on that but I hardly ever hear anyone chide Christians for not caring enough about public worship and the preached word. *shrug*
  14. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I think we are to be in the Word all the time, just as we are to continually pray for one another. This does not mean one has to have a strict regiment of morning readings, but I think going for a whole day without looking at the Word is too long. Not that I have managed to do this myself, only that I try because I think this is what God demands of me. To always, at any time of the day, be reading or thinking of or meditating on God's Word.

    If your reading the Word once a week, that not enough. If you're reading the Word every hour, than you're retired and living alone. But the Scriptures should be near your heart(|mind), if not your hand, at all times. It would be hard to over emphasis how important the Word is to Christians. If you know the lines from Napoleon Dynamite (or insert some other movie or book) more than you know God's Word, then you know something is wrong. We live by the Word.

    P.S. If nothing else, daily reading of the Word is good practice even if it is not explicitly commanded.
  15. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    All I'm saying is that we can't look back into the scriptures at the verses talking about the Word and read our 21st century context with bibles flowing out of our ears into them. Since believers from the beginning of time until 500 years ago didn't have their own bibles then I think it's fallacious to use those verses to mandate daily bible reading. What would "being in the Word" have meant to a devout Jew in the Old Testament or to a believer in the first century? It would've meant attending public worship, meditating throughout the week on the preaching/reading of the word, singing in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, discussing the greatness of God with fellow believers, prayer, etc.

    I really hate the fact that this has turned into this much of a debate because it makes me look like I don't like reading the bible or something. Of course we should love the word but it's not a sin if we miss a day of reading. I don't want to derail this thread anymore; sorry for even making the comment.
  16. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    You are correct. I think that was part of the point I was trying to make. The Jews would meditate on the Word, and memorize it. They did not need to keep a pocket scroll with them at all times in order to stay in the Word.

    Not a problem. This is part of working out things. Hopefully it leads to more understanding.
  17. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Sorry, guys, I'm attempting a very clumsy thread split.
  18. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Thanks Meg. Sorry again for hijacking the thread. I think we're pretty much done now, though.
  19. Dagmire

    Dagmire Puritan Board Freshman

    I'd say it's much more important to have the word of God in your heart and to live by it than it is to read it every day. :2cents:
  20. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Of course, the best way to get it into your heart is to read it daily. The important thing is to not be legalistic about it. Daily Bible reading is important but, if your circumstances prevent you from reading on a particular day, don't beat yourself up about it, just pick up again on the next available day.

    There is no explicit, positive command in the Bible to read it daily. However, there are lots of passages about meditating on the Scriptures, hiding the Scriptures in your heart, searching for God, etc. So, what better way is there to (a) become familiar with the Bible's contents (especially for new Christians) and, therefore, to become more familiar with God, and (b) to inculcate the discipline of reading than to discipline yourself to read the Bible?
  21. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    The disappearance of Psalm singing is an unfortunate thing in this regard. :( But I'd say that that and expository sermons are great ways to get the Word in your heart, too.
  22. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    David, I think I "get" your point and I am inclined to agree.

    Although having the Bible readily available to read at any time is great and something I should be doing more, it could not have been the idea of "meditating" mentioned in scripture. We always have a tendency to think from "is" to "aught". That is we look at the way things are in our own day and think that this is how they aught to be. Since we have Bibles readily available and they are part of our daily lives we assume that everyone, everywhere, at all times "aught" to do as we do.

    In a day when "true religion and undefiled" is much neglected it is ironic to me that so many christian people worry more about missing their "private time with God" then they do about caring for the widows and orphans. (BTW these catagories are not mutually exclusive.)

    We should remember that christianity is most of all a Public Faith and a Community of Faith, not mostly an Internal and Personal faith.
  23. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    My "trainers" tell the congregation to read their Bibles every day.
  24. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as they're not telling you a) that you are sinning if you don't or b) that you won't grow unless you do. So as long as they aren't shirking their responsibility to be your primary teachers and aren't laying unscriptural burdens on you, I don't really care what they tell you to do. :) This is how it's been since the beginning of the Church in the Old Testament. I'm sorry it seems so strange to you, but as I said earlier, try not to be such a product of your place and time in history. It's a shame that the preaching of the word and the public worship of God seem to be so downplayed in exchange for individual religious experience today, even in Reformed churches.
  25. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor


    It is however difficult to Not be a product of our place and time.
  26. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    And how does one have "the word of God in your heart"? By reading it every day, of course. ;)

    Would you agree that there is no better way for a disciple to "grow" than to consistently be under the preaching of the Word on Lord's Day's AND the daily hiding in the heart of God's Word? Would it not then follow if one were only involved in public worship and NOT reading the Word one would not "grow" as well?

    :agree: The preaching of the Word is paramount.
  27. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Well, removing myself from my time and place in history, the Bereans "received the word with all readiness (from Paul), and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). I don't think the daily searching (which implies reading) of the Scriptures on the part of the Bereans was a discipline that they began under Paul's influence, but it seems rather it was a discipline already in place when they first heard Paul.

    This was a discipline that existed in the early post-apostolic church, and notice how ECFs instructed Christians who could not read to be included in this discipline.

    Origen (c. 185-c. 254): The more one reads the Scriptures daily and the greater one’s understanding is, the more renewed always and every day. I doubt whether a mind which is lazy toward the holy Scriptures and the exercise of spiritual knowledge can be renewed at all. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament VI: Romans (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998), p. 308.

    Theonas of Alexandria (bishop 282-300): Let no day pass by without reading some portion of the Sacred Scriptures, at such convenient hour as offers, and giving some space to meditation. And never cast off the habit of reading in the Holy Scriptures; for nothing feeds the soul and enriches the mind so well as those sacred studies do. ANF: Vol. VI, The Epistle of Theonas, Bishop of Alexandria, To Lucianus, §9.

    Ambrose (c. 339-97): The books of the heavenly Scriptures are good pastures, by which we are fed by daily reading, by which we are renewed and refreshed, when we taste the things that are written, or ruminate frequently upon that which has been tasted. Upon these pastures the flock of the Lord is fattened. See William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice (1853) Vol. 3, p. 261-262.
    Latin text: Bona etiam pascua libri sunt Scripturarum coelestium, in quibus quotidiana lectione pascimur, in quibus recreamur ac reficimur; cum ea quae scripta sunt, degustamus, vel summo ore libata frequentius ruminamus. His pascuis grex Domini saginatur. Psalmus CXXXIV (119), Sermo Quartus Decimus, §2, PL 15:11390-1391.

    Chrysostom (349-407): In what else did this blessed saint excel the rest of the apostles? and how comes it that up and down the world he is so much on every one’s tongue? How comes it that not merely among ourselves, but also among Jews and Greeks, he is the wonder of wonders? Is it not from the power of his epistles? whereby not only to the faithful of today, but from his time to this, yea and up to the end, even the appearing of Christ, he has been and will be profitable, and will continue to be so as long as the human race shall last. For as a wall built of adamant, so his writings fortify all the Churches of the known world, and he as a most noble champion stands in the midst, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, casting down imaginations, and every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and all this he does by those epistles which he has left to us full of wonders and of Divine wisdom. For his writings are not only useful to us, for the overthrow of false doctrine and the confirmation of the true, but they help not a little towards living a good life. For by the use of these, the bishops of the present day fit and fashion the chaste virgin, which St. Paul himself espoused to Christ, and conduct her to the state of spiritual beauty; with these, too, they drive away from her the noisome pestilences which beset her, and preserve the good health thus obtained. Such are the medicines and such their efficacy left us by this so-called unskillful man, and they know them and their power best who constantly use them. From all this it is evident that St. Paul had given himself to the study of which we have been speaking with great diligence and zeal.
    8. Hear also what he says in his charge to his disciple: “Give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching,” and he goes on to show the usefulness of this by adding, “For in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.” And again he says, “The Lord’s servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing;” and he proceeds to say, “But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them, and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation,” and again, “Every Scripture is inspired of God, and also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete.” Hear what he adds further in his directions to Titus about the appointment of bishops. “The bishop,” he says, “must be holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to convict the gain-sayers.” But how shall any one who is unskillful as these men pretend, be able to convict the gainsayers and stop their mouths? or what need is there to give attention to reading and to the Holy Scriptures, if such a state of unskillfulness is to be welcome among us? Such arguments are mere makeshifts and pretexts, the marks of idleness and sloth. But some one will say, “it is to the priests that these charges are given:” — certainly, for they are the subjects of our discourse. But that the apostle gives the same charge to the laity, hear what he says in another epistle to other than the priesthood: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,” and again, “Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one,” and there is a general charge to all that they “be ready to” render an account of their faith, and to the Thessalonians, he gives the following command: “Build each other up, even as also ye do.” But when he speaks of priests he says, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word, and in teaching.” NPNF1: Vol. IX, The Christian Priesthood, Book 4, §7-8.

    Chrysostom (349-407): But what is the answer to these charges? “I am not,” you will say, “one of the monks, but I have both a wife and children, and the care of a household.” Why, this is what hath ruined all, your supposing that the reading of the divine Scriptures appertains to those only, when ye need it much more than they. For they that dwell in the world, and each day receive wounds, these have most need of medicines. So that it is far worse than not reading, to account the thing even “superfluous:” for these are the words of diabolical invention. Hear ye not Paul saying, “that all these things are written for our admonition”? NPNF1: Vol. X, Homilies on Matthew, Homily 2.10.

    Chrysostom (349-407) on the reading of Scripture: And what is yet more grievous is this, that being in such evil case, we have no idea whatever of the deformity of our own soul, nor discern the hideousness thereof. And yet when thou art sitting at a hairdresser’s, and having thine hair cut, thou takest the mirror, and dost examine with care the arrangement of thy locks, and askest them that stand by, and the haircutter himself, if he hath well disposed what is on the forehead; and being old, for so it often happens, art not ashamed of going wild with the fancies of youth: while of our own soul, not only deformed, but transformed into a wild beast, and made a sort of Scylla or Chimaera, according to the heathen fable, we have not even a slight perception. And yet in this case too there is a mirror, spiritual, and far more excellent, and more serviceable than that other one; for it not only shows our own deformity, but transforms it too, if we be willing, into surpassing beauty. This mirror is the memory of good men, and the history of their blessed lives; the reading of the Scriptures; the laws given by God. If thou be willing once only to look upon the portraitures of those holy men, thou will both see the foulness of thine own mind, and having seen this, wilt need nothing else to be set free from that deformity. Because the mirror is useful for this purpose also, and makes the change easy. NPNF1: Vol. X, Homilies on Matthew, Homily 4.16.

    Chrysostom (349-407): How is it not absurd to send children out to trades, and to school, and to do all you can for these objects, and yet, not to “bring them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord”? And for this reason truly we are the first to reap the fruits, because we bring up our children to be insolent and profligate, disobedient, and mere vulgar fellows. Let us not then do this; no, let us listen to this blessed Apostle’s admonition. “Let us bring them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.” Let us give them a pattern. Let us make them from the earliest age apply themselves to the reading of the Scriptures. Alas, that so constantly as I repeat this, I am looked upon as trifling! Still, I shall not cease to do my duty. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, Homily 21.

    Chrysostom (349-407): And what saith he? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”; or rather not this way alone, but another also. For I indeed said that we ought to reckon up those who have suffered things more terrible, and those who have undergone sufferings more grievous than ours, and to give thanks that such have not fallen to our lot; but what saith he? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you”; that is, the teaching, the doctrines, the exhortation, wherein He says, that the present life is nothing, nor yet its good things. If we know this, we shall yield to no hardships whatever. (Matthew 6:25, etc.) “Let it dwell in you,” he saith, “richly,” not simply dwell, but with great abundance. Hearken ye, as many as are worldly, and have the charge of wife and children; how to you too he commits especially the reading of the Scriptures and that not to be done lightly, nor in any sort of way, but with much earnestness. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily 9.

    Chrysostom (349-407): Tarry not, I entreat, for another to teach thee; thou hast the oracles of God. No man teacheth thee as they; for he indeed oft grudgeth much for vainglory’s sake and envy. Hearken, I entreat you, all ye that are careful for this life, and procure books that will be medicines for the soul. If ye will not any other, yet get you at least the New Testament, the Apostolic Epistles, the Acts, the Gospels, for your constant teachers. If grief befall thee, dive into them as into a chest of medicines; take thence comfort of thy trouble, be it loss, or death, or bereavement of relations; or rather dive not into them merely, but take them wholly to thee; keep them in thy mind.
    This is the cause of all evils, the not knowing the Scriptures. We go into battle without arms, and how ought we to come off safe? Well contented should we be if we can be safe with them, let alone without them. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily 9.

    Chrysostom (349-407): Besides, even if any should be so poor, it is in their power, by means of the continual reading of the holy Scriptures which takes place here, to be ignorant of nothing contained in them. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Gospel according to St. John, Homily 11.1.

    Chrysostom (349-407), Taken from section 1 of his 3rd sermon on Lazarus: I also always entreat you, and do not cease entreating you, not only to pay attention here to what I say, but also when you are at home, to persevere continually in reading the divine Scriptures. When I have been with each of you in private, I have not stopped giving you the same advice. Do not let anyone say to me those vain words, worth of a heavy condemnation, “I cannot leave the courthouse, I administer the business of the city, I practice a craft, I have a wife, I am raising children, I am in charge of a household, I am a man of the world; reading the Scriptures is not for me, but for those who have been set apart, who have settled on the mountaintops, who keep this way of life continually.” What are you saying, man? That attending to the Scriptures is not for you, since you are surrounded by a multitude of cares? Rather it is for you more than for them. They do not need the help of the divine Scriptures as much as those who are involved in many occupations. The monks, who are released from the clamor of the marketplace and have fixed their huts in the wilderness, who own nothing in common with anyone, but practice wisdom without fear in the calm of that quiet life, as if resting in a harbor, enjoy great security; but we, as if tossing in the midst of the sea, driven by a multitude of sins, always need the continuous and ceaseless aid of the Scriptures. They rest far from the battle, and so they do not receive many wounds; but you stand continuously in the front rank, and you receive continual blows. So you need more remedies. Your wife provokes you, for example, your son grieves you, your servant angers you, your enemy curses you, your fellow soldier trips you up, often a law suit threatens you, poverty troubles you, loss of your fortune depresses you, and many causes and compulsions to discouragement and grief, to conceit and desperation surround us on all sides, and a multitude of missles falls from everywhere. Therefore we have a continuous need for the full armour of the Scriptures. Catharine P. Roth, trans., St. John Chrysostom On Wealth and Poverty, 3rd Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man, §1 (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984), pp. 58-59.

    Chrysostom (349-407): In the case of the soul, on the other hand, none of these things is necessary, unless, just as you daily spend money to give nourishment to the body, you are likewise determined not to neglect the soul and let it die of hunger but to provide it with proper nourishment from the reading of Scripture and the support of spiritual advice: “Not on bread alone does man live,” Scripture says, remember, “but on every word coming from the mouth of God.” FC, Vol. 82, Homilies on Genesis 18-45, 21.22 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1990), p. 66.

    Augustine (354-430): This, after all, is the reason why a young man corrects his way of life: because he meditates upon the words of God as he ought to meditate upon them, observes them because he meditates upon them, and lives correctly because he observes them. This, then, is the reason for correcting his way of life: because he observes the words of God. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Answer to the Pelagians, II, Answer to Julian, Book VI:76, Part 1, Vol. 24, trans. Roland J. Teske, S.J. (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1998), p. 528.

    Caesarius, bishop of Arles (470-543): I beseech you, beloved brethren, be eager to engage in divine reading whatever hours you can. Moreover, since what a man procures in this life by reading or good works will be food of his soul forever, let no one try to excuse himself by saying he has not learned letters at all. If those who are illiterate love God in truth, they look for learned people who can read the sacred Scriptures to them. FC, Vol. 31, Saint Caesarius of Arles, Sermons (1-80), Sermon 8.1 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1956), p. 49.

    Caesarius, bishop of Arles (470-543): Therefore consider at once, brethren, and carefully notice that the man who frequently reads or listens to sacred Scripture speaks with God. See, then, whether the Devil can overtake him when he perceives him in constant conversation with God. However, if a man neglects to do this, with what boldness or with what feelings does he believe God will grant him an eternal reward, when he refuses to speak with Him in this world through the divine text? FC, Vol. 31, Saint Caesarius of Arles, Sermons (1-80), Sermon 8.3 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1956), p. 52.

    Caesarius, bishop of Arles (470-543): For this reason I beseech you with fatherly solicitude, equally admonishing and exhorting you, as was already said, to endeavor continually to read the sacred lessons yourselves or willingly to listen to others read them. By thus always thinking over in the treasury of your heart what is just and holy, you may prepare for your souls an eternal spiritual food that will bring you endless bliss. FC, Vol. 31, Saint Caesarius of Arles, Sermons (1-80), Sermon 8.4 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1956), p. 54.

    Gregory the Great (Gregory I c. 540-603): But yet know ye that I did not believe the word you sent me. For you are seeking praise from the work of others, seeing that you have perhaps never yet put hand to spindle. Nor yet does this circumstance distress me, since I wish you to love the reading of Holy Scripture, that, so long as Almighty God shall unite you to husbands, you may know how you should live and how you should manage your houses. NPNF2: Vol. XIII, Selected Epistles, Book 11, Epistle 78.

    I think I've tried not to be a product simply of my time and place in history.

  28. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    As to your quotes from Acts, who do you think was reading the scriptures? Perhaps the leaders of the Church at Berea, unless you really think every household had a copy of the scriptures. We're Calvinists and that means we understand that terms implying large amounts (e.g. "all" or "the Bereans") don't have to mean "every single individual."

    As to your other quotes, they say nothing with which I disagree. They discuss the importance of knowing scripture, and I've done nothing but uphold that, so they I don't think they really add anything to the discussion one way or the other.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  29. Dagmire

    Dagmire Puritan Board Freshman

    By the Lord affixing it there. When you say the word of the Lord is put into our hearts by reading every day, it sounds like it's our own doing. I'm sure that's not what you're saying, but I like to be clear.

    There are many people who I'm sure read the Bible every day and have no understanding. They read the Bible with scales over their eyes. Then they walk through their days like a son of the devil.

    I don't guess I'm even much on the subject anymore. My only point is that I don't think anything beyond the holy spirit is required for us to be led into the truth. Is reading the Bible helpful? It certainly is. Is daily reading required? No, I don't think so. There are simple truths in the Bible that we fail to live by every day. Does it really profit us if we read these truths every day if we don't learn to live by it?

    I suppose I'm making a distinction that no one else is. I just think a lot of "Christians" may think and say "Oh, well I read my Bible every day. I'm a faithful Christian!"

    It takes so little to deceive us. [​IMG]
  30. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Interesting discussion... though completely different from what I envisionedwhen I started this thread...
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