Do the Scriptures Command Daily Bible Reading?

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

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  1. Reformingstudent

    Reformingstudent Puritan Board Junior

  2. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    The text says that the Bereans ("these" plural) searched the Scriptures. I see no reason to take the text to mean the "leaders in the church," because there was no church in Berea before Paul arrived. Your presupposition concerning "the leaders of the Church of Berea" just demonstrates how lightly you've dismissed something that differs from your opinion. There were no such "leaders" at that point in time. Paul was in a synagogue of the Jews.

    As for the quotes, you cannot agree with all of them because some of them insist, contrary to yourself, on the need for daily reading of the Scriptures. Moreover, those quotes are relevant because it indicates, per your question, the access of Christians to the Scriptures prior to printing press. Personally, I think you've simply dismissed what I've posted. You asked one person to "try not to be such a product of your time and place in history." I suppose that such advice is not only good for him, but for the adviser as well. :)

    I made the mistake of taking your questions seriously. I promise not to repeat that mistake. :)

  3. Nse007

    Nse007 Puritan Board Freshman


    Are you familiar with the Westminster Directory on Private and Family Worship? I think it may speak to this issue...How do you read it? By the way, I aggree with you that far too often we are "products of our own time". Modernism has firmly planted itself in the Church and it's like an uphill battle when you challenge the status quo.
  4. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Actually, you are the one assuming that every Berean had a bible to read! If every single one of them checked the scriptures, they sure didn't do it at home with their own copy.

    Don't be silly, of course I can agree with them that scripture reading is important. What none of them said, as far as I could tell, is that one must read the scriptures daily. If they did, then I disagree. I do think reading is important and helpful but I refuse to take a legalistic stance. And I really don't understand why this is so problematic of a stance for you. This is the the whole point of everything I've been saying, no matter who had scriptures and who didn't. Even if I concede that to you (that people in Augustine's time, 300 years after Christ, had some scripture.) it doesn't change the fact that scripture itself doesn't command it. I'm not going to have my conscious bound by you or Augustine.

    Aren't you an elder who is supposed to set an example of gracious speech? Why are you talking to me like this? Was I sarcastic and condescending toward you? (just a note: I actually never asked any questions for you to take seriously. I didn't start this thread, it was split-off from another and given an interrogative title by a mod). I think you should take my comments seriously since they're not being given to tear down (like your last statement) but to help out believers who are under the legalistic burden of individualistic teachers who cause them to feel condemned for no reason.
  5. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior


    Yes, I am an elder in the PCA. My remarks were not sarcastic. Your post dismissed my comments. I addressed your questions historically, and I am finished responding to you.

    And for the record, I haven't tried to bind your conscience to anything I've said. That is a presumption on your part.

    It is both my desire and prayer that you may know God's richest blessings.

  6. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Right. You said taking my questions seriously was a mistake and put a smug ltitle smiley face next to your comment that you wouldn't make the mistake again. What tone would you say it does convey?
  7. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    I said I was done, but I will make just a few more comments. My smiley face was not an expression of smugness, but rather a desire to convey the friendly nature of my tone. As best I know my heart, no such thought entered my mind. It is my intention not to respond again, because I think you have "received" an offense where no offense was "given."

    The Scriptures also instruct us in this regard, 1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.

    I meant/mean it when I said and say, is both my desire and prayer that you may know God's richest blessings.

  8. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    I would say that it is most edifying and advantageous for the Christian to read and study his/her Bible every day. Of course, it shouldn't be a legalistic burden. That's why as ministers we should teach our people the importance of falling in love with God's Word. When they fall in love with God's Word then there isn't a question about whether they should be in it every day or not. They want to be.

    We all have time to get on the internet every day. We all have time to watch television every day. We all have time to read our newspapers every day. Why would we put God's Word behind any of those things?

    I don't think it's a sin to not read your Bible every day. (Perhaps some might consider it a sin of omission. I wouldn't argue about it either way.) But I really do believe if we loved it like we should then we would WANT to be in it everyday. I dare say we all struggle with this area, so I'm not pointing out anyone in particular. If anything I'm reminding myself of my own sinfulness that detracts from my love for God's Word.
  9. Dagmire

    Dagmire Puritan Board Freshman

    Mr. King, I must say that your comment about his questions did appear quite sarcastic and rude. That's the way I read it. It was actually a little bit shocking. I say this not to divide the two of you, but in hopes that you will be reconciled.

    And can you say "I won't make the mistake again of taking your questions seriously" in a friendly way? Do you really think that is a Christlike thing to say? Aren't we supposed to be longsuffering?

    Also, on a side note. Should I have sent these concerns in a private message to Mr. King? It was my thinking that since it was a public matter that it was okay to address it publicly. But I'm not really sure. Please let me know.
  10. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    I am sorry that both of you have understood me in a manner that I never intended. I have already said it was not my intention. I simply don't have the desire to interact where I am not given the benefit of the doubt on the part of those with whom I'm interacting, because there is no doubt in my mind. Life this side of eternity is simply too short if exchanges here are often cast in the worst possible light.

  11. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Pastor King, thanks for the citations from the fathers. That was most helpfull.

    What is your view on the universality of the practice (of daily bible reading) at the time(s) they were writing? Would it be fair to extrapolate that the "average" layman would have both access and ability prior to the late medieval, pre-modern period.

    It seems plausible that they were writing for and to the clergy, and thus for a literate audience. I am of course assuming that the average layman at the times in question was illiterate. What do you think?
  12. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    It is my understanding that the early Christians had the scriptures at hand because they copied and recopied each one of the books of the NT scriptures and passed them around. And this is mainly why our modern Scriptures are so reliable, because there are so many copies for them to compare.
  13. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I didn't cast anything in the worst possible light intentionally. It came across as offensive whether you wanted it to or not and that's just the way it is. But I appreciate you explaining your intent and I accept your apology. I understand that, while it is easy to offend (especially on the internet), it is also easy to be offended, and I'll try to be quicker to give the benefit of the doubt in the future.
  14. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    My teachers being fallible and the word of God being infallible, i would much rather have the word of God than a teacher if i had to pick between the two.

    But i thank my God that i don't have to pick!

    Individuals throughout history may not have had their own personal Bibles, but i doubt that Christians who did have access to Bibles would have thought that not reading it was an option. They didn't read their Bibles because in God's providence they didn't have them. If in God's providence we have an abundance of Bibles what is our excuse?
  15. InChains620

    InChains620 Puritan Board Freshman

    :agree: :amen:
  16. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    OK, since I (sort off) started this thread, I would hate to see it degenerate.

    I think what David is saying, if I understand him right, is simpy that the bible never commands that we must perform personally reading though the bible everyday. I think his comments were simply meant to say that if we miss out on our bible reading on day for whatever reason, there is no need to repent before the Lord.

    I do not think he meant to say a christian could go though the day without giving any thought to the Lord without sinning. I think what he meant to say was that if a christian were to take, as his spiritual activity prayer, meditation, psalm singing, listening to an audio sermon or review his sermon notes from sunday, and missed out on bible reading one day, there was no sin involved.

    If that is indeed what he was saying, I would not disagree.

    In any case, let us all consider before we post, especially if it is done in anger.
  17. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    This would have to be considered one of the more bizarre threads on PB. Some have shown the common sense of the thing. Others have provided biblical references to daily meditation on the Word of God. Rev. King quoted Scripture and the fathers to prove the duty.

    The objections brought against it include a lack of time or means; but the exception doesn't negate the rule. Others have said that meditation on the Word of God is not strictly tied to the letter of Scripture. Be careful, friends, liberals have been making the same divide in their attacks on the evangelical doctrines of revelation, inerrancy, and preservation. And the responses to Rev. King do not deserve mentioning.

    Mary chose the better part when she sat at the feet of Jesus. We do not have the physical presence of Christ, but we do have the Bible, which is the undiluted Word of Christ. Reading the Bible every day is the one thing needful! Thomas Watson: "A godly man shows his love to the Word written: (a) By diligently reading it. The noble Bereans "searched the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11). Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:12). The Word is our Magna Carta for heaven; we should be daily reading over this charter. The Word shows what is truth and what is error. It is the field where the pearl of price is hidden. How we should dig for this pearl! A godly man's heart is the library to hold the Word of God; it dwells richly in him (Col. 3:16)."
  18. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    Right on the money!!! :ditto:

    Without the Word there is no sanctification. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy WORD is truth."

    In some form or fashion one needs an intake of the Word every day. I tell my congregation all the time to get in it every day in some way. I don't necessarily think you have to beat yourself up if you don't get 10 chapters a day in. And if someone says something to that extent then that is foolish. But even if it's taking a few verses a day and meditating on the Word I really believe it needs to be done every day.

    Ephesians 5:26, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"

    I still think think it is a matter of having that desire and want to be in God's Word. If Christians fell in love with it like they should then they would want to be in it everyday. I don't know about anyone else but I love my wife and my daughter more than anything else apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the ways that I know I love them so much is that I love to be with them and I love to be around them. It should be the same way with Jesus Christ. He's not going to speak to us in dreams and visions. He's going to do it in His Word. Why would we not want to hear what He has to say every day?

    And we can say that we shouldn't beat ourselves up if we miss some kind of study in God's Word every day, but in reality there's no real excuse not to be is there? If there is then I'd like to hear it.
  19. InChains620

    InChains620 Puritan Board Freshman


    :ditto: :amen: :up: I totally agree Barnpreacher.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  20. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Rev. Winzer's words above brought to my mind some other choice quotes from John Chrysostom...

    Chrysostom (349-407): The mouths of the inspired authors are the mouth of God, after all; such a mouth would say nothing idly — so let us not be idle in our listening, either. You see, if those who dig up metals do not pass over even tiny fragments, but on striking a vein of gold look around carefully for nuggets, much more should we do this in the case of the Scriptures. Admittedly, in the case of metals the search is very difficult for the prospectors: the metals are earth and the gold is nothing but earth, and their natural commonality deceives the eye of the prospectors; yet instead of desisting they give evidence of utter diligence, knowing as they do by sight what is really earth and what is really gold. In the case of Scripture, on the other hand, it is not like this: the gold does not lie mixed up with earth — it is pure gold. “The Lord’s sayings are untainted,” Scripture says, remember, “silver purified by fire, tested by earth” — that is to say, the Scriptures are not metals that require hard labor; rather, they provide a treasure ready for those searching for the wealth coming from them. It is in fact sufficient merely to peep within, and go away filled with every benefit; it is sufficient only to open them, and at once discern the sparkle of the jewels. Robert Charles Hill, trans., St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume Two: Homilies on Isaiah and Jeremiah (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003), Homily Two on Isaiah 6, p. 65.

    Chrysostom (349-407) on the communion of saints: Praise the Lord, my soul. Let us sing this together with David: if he is not present in body, at least he is in spirit. For proof that the righteous are present with us, and sing along with us, listen to what Abraham says to the rich man: when he said, “Send Lazarus so that my brothers may learn what happens in Hades and put their affairs in order,” he replied to him, “They have Moses and the prophets.” Actually, Moses and all the prophets were long dead in the body, but in their writings they had them. After all, if a person sets up a lifeless image of son or dear one and thinks that person, though dead, is present, and through the lifeless image he imagines him, much more do we enjoy the communion of the saints through the divine Scriptures, having in them images not of their bodies but of their souls, the words spoken by them being of their very souls. Robert Charles Hill, trans., St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume Three: Homilies on the Psalms (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003), Homily on Psalm 146.1, p. 116.

  21. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

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