The Best Lens for Scripture Reading

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” John 9:39

I can’t read anymore. For most of my life, I have had excellent vision. For more than ten years now, I have worn glasses. For most things, especially things that are not too close, I can see fine without my glasses. But now, without glasses, I cannot see to read anything in normal print.

Reading is an important part of Christian faith. You do not have to be able to read to know Jesus as your Savior or to live a life of faith. Many have done so. But our faith depends on the revelation God has given us through the Bible. We believe that the Bible is essential to our understanding of all that we know about God.

But the Bible is a big book. There is a lot of material there. Most of us have our favorite parts, the books and verses that we return to over and over for comfort and strength.

The Bible is comprised of 66 books, written by many authors and compiled over 1000 years or so. How do we understand how all of these words apply to our life of faith?

This has been the subject of many long discussions among pastors and Christian teachers ever since the idea of sacred scripture began. I don’t have space here to say all that needs to be said about this important idea. But there is one focus of Bible interpretation that I think Christians should always remember as the foundation of how we read the Bible.

“The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.” That’s how the old hymn puts it. This is the foundation of our understanding of all of the Bible. The words and actions of Jesus as described in the gospels should be central to how we understand all that the Bible has to say.

The life and teachings of Jesus in the gospels are the lens through which we see more clearly what the rest of the Bible teaches us about faith. Through our faith in Jesus, through His words and life, we can also say, “I was blind, but now I see.”

Love in Christ,