Cure for Bible Boredom


Slogging through the Old Testament with your “daily reading program” sure makes you familiar with it, but those Christians brave enough to actually read it often find themselves wondering what on earth is going on. “Just keep reading your Bible” our pastors tell us, but do you ever get the feeling they don’t have a big grip on it either? “Just stick to the basics. The rest doesn’t matter.” It would sure be easier if pastors actually taught the Bible.

The Bible isn’t boring. I’ve posted this quote before, but it’s worth using again:

Preach from the Bible, and from the Bible only. Again, does this need to be said? One thing’s for sure. The Bible is fascinating, disturbing, offensive, sweet, alarming, comforting, stretching, shocking, controversial, caressing, strengthening. No way are you and I that interesting. Let’s put the Bible front and centre and let it be itself and do its thing, whatever the impact. Submerging the Bible for the sake of our cool personas isn’t really cool at all. It’s a way of avoiding risk, chickening out. —Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.

jbjmonoThe Bible isn’t boring. But it’s written so that it can only be understood in community, even if that only means getting help from dead people by reading commentaries. We are all Ethiopian eunuchs when it comes to the Scriptures, and both the quality and quantity of teaching in churches lets us down severely. The academy has failed us. Faithful men go in, and come out defiled with large doses of scholarly unbelief. Either that or they don’t realise that the reason the Bible is so strange to our culture is that it is actually the tool given us to change the culture. [1]

Thankfully, there are some fantastic resources available today. The one that opened up the Bible for me like never before was the lectures of James Jordan. A few years ago, I discovered this not-very-well-known theologian. I didn’t understand everything he said, but I did recognise that this was partly because he spoke just like the Bible: matter-of-fact, flesh-and-blood, and every now and then, outright bizarre. [2] That was a good sign. Jordan never chickens out. He tackles the toughest sections of Scripture and turns them into an intoxicating feast for the spiritual senses.

Jordan does take a bit of getting used to, but there is a reason he has been called the best Bible teacher on the planet. Listen to his lectures and you will never find the Bible a boring slog again. Even when translated into English, the Bible speaks its own, extremely consistent symbolic language. It’s time you learned it.

Complete lectures are available here. The set is worth every penny.


[1] See Tools for Change

[2] Jordan’s hermeneutics are often criticised, but from my experience, those who insist that such-and-such can’t be the meaning of the passage never tell you what it does mean. Over and over again, I have found that Jordan will say something that sounds bizarre, but I will later find that it plays out in the Bible many, many times, and unlocks some of the most apparently impenetrable and mysterious concepts and passages.

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