Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review: Reading the Bible Supernaturally

Reading the Bible Supernaturally. John Piper. 2017. Crossway. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Reading the Bible Supernaturally is a companion book to John Piper's A Peculiar Glory. Don't worry if you haven't read it, though. He tells you just enough about the first book to situate readers for this second book. (What book should come first? It's almost like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and A Magician's Nephew. Almost. I would liken Reading the Bible Supernaturally to be The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and A Peculiar Glory to A Magician's Nephew.)

This is John Piper writing so expect logic and clarity. He does a great job of explaining everything precisely and logically.

The book has three divisions: "The Ultimate Goal of Reading the Bible," "The Supernatural Act of Reading the Bible," and "The Natural Act of Reading the Bible Supernaturally."
"Part 1 poses the all-important question What does the Bible tell us is the ultimate goal of reading the Bible? I propose an answer with six implications and then devote ten chapters to unfolding and testing those implications. Part 2 works out the inference from part 1 that reading the Bible really must be a supernatural act, if God’s goals for our reading the Bible are to be reached. Finally, part 3 treats the practical outworking of such a claim in the seemingly ordinary human act of reading—the natural act of reading the Bible supernaturally."
So what does Piper see as the ultimate goal in reading the Bible?!
"The Bible itself shows that our ultimate goal in reading the Bible is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation. In other words, each time we pick up the Bible to read, we should intend that reading would lead to this end. The way that we as individuals are caught up into this ultimate aim as we read the Bible becomes clear as we spell out six implications that flow from this proposed answer to our question. When we say that the ultimate goal of reading the Bible is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation, we imply that: 1. the infinite worth and beauty of God are the ultimate value and excellence of the universe; 2. that the supremely authentic and intense worship of God’s worth and beauty is the ultimate aim of all his work and word; 3. that we should always read his word in order to see this supreme worth and beauty; 4. that we should aim in all our seeing to savor his excellence above all things; 5. that we should aim to be transformed by this seeing and savoring into the likeness of his beauty, 6. so that more and more people would be drawn into the worshiping family of God until the bride of Christ—across all centuries and cultures—is complete in number and beauty."
Why must the Bible be read supernaturally? What does Piper mean by this phrase?
"What I mean is that the act of reading, in order to be done as God intended, must be done in dependence on God’s supernatural help. The Bible gives two decisive reasons: Satan and sin. That is, we have a blinding enemy outside and a blinding disease inside. Together these two forces make it impossible for human beings to read the Bible, as God intended, without supernatural help. It seems to me that thousands of people approach the Bible with little sense of their own helplessness in reading the way God wants them to."
He continues,
"Bible reading that only collects facts, or relieves a guilty conscience, or gathers doctrinal arguments, or titillates esthetic literary tastes, or feeds historical curiosities—this kind of Bible reading Satan is perfectly happy to leave alone. He has already won the battle. But reading that hopes to see the supreme worth and beauty of God—reading that aims to be satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ, reading that seeks to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8)—this reading Satan will oppose with all his might. And his might is supernatural. Therefore, any reading that hopes to overcome his blinding power will be a supernatural reading."
Ultimately he concludes,
"It is a miracle when God’s word is implanted in us, and it is a miracle when in it we taste the sweetness of God’s goodness. From that moment on, all our reading of God’s word is supposed to be an extension of that miracle in daily life—until we “grow up into salvation."
If the Bible is to be read supernaturally, what is natural about the process?
"God does not see for us. God enables us to see. We do the seeing. And the supernatural act of seeing “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” is by means of the natural act of seeing the story of the gospel written (or spoken) in natural human words." 
"All the human effort and skill that you can muster to construe the meaning of biblical passages will be called for. The glory is seen through the meaning of the text. And the meaning is found by reading and thinking. God is united to the man Jesus. The glory of God is united to the meaning of biblical texts. Therefore, when the miracle of seeing and savoring the glory of God happens, it is in the act of reading and thinking. We read. God reveals. God gives the supernatural miracle. We act the supernatural miracle."
In the final chapters of the book, he addresses this question: "How do you go about living the Christian life in such a way that you are actually doing the living, and yet another—the Holy Spirit—is decisively doing the living in and through your living?" His answers are all in acronyms.

I said Piper was logical, and, I meant it. I did. But also expect passion and enthusiasm. Piper's love of God, love of the Word, is apparent on every page of this book. Piper DELIGHTS in God and DELIGHTS in teaching others to delight in God too.

Here's one of my favorite passages:
"So we open our Bibles with a sweet sense that even though we don’t deserve it, God will lead us and instruct us. Our very reading is the experience of gospel grace. Christ died for sinners so that the promise would come true: God helps sinners understand the Bible. These blood-bought promises are given to us so that we might believe them. Not just hear them. Believe them. Trust them. Because, remember from Galatians 3:5, God “supplies the Spirit to you . . . by hearing with faith.” We stand before the Bible ready to read. We hear a promise. “I will instruct you and teach you.” We put our faith in it. The Spirit moves in the channel of faith, and we “act the miracle.” We read supernaturally. So it is good to gather some of these precious promises and store them up: The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright. (Prov. 2:6–7) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov. 3:5–6) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Ps. 32:8) You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. (Ps. 73:24) Do not be anxious about . . . what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. (Luke 12:11–12) Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5–8)" 
And also this one:
"When we read the Bible, its meaning is not the ideas that come into our head that may be “meaningful” to us. Those ideas may or may not be part of what the author meant. Rather, when we read the Bible we are digging for the gold of what inspired writers wanted to communicate. We are not creating meaning. We are seeking it." 
A good book is worth reading and occasionally quoting. A great book is worth rereading and quoting liberally. This book is one of the best I've read this year. I will definitely want to reread it!!!

Favorite quotes:

  • "No one merely decides to experience the Christian Scriptures as the all-compelling, all-satisfying truth of one’s life. Seeing is a gift." 
  • "The ultimate aim of all Bible reading, I argue, is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in everlasting, white-hot worship. There is nothing higher than the worth and beauty of God."
  • "Lukewarm affection for God gives the impression that he is moderately pleasing. He is not moderately pleasing. He is infinitely pleasing. If we are not intensely pleased, we need forgiveness and healing. Which, of course, we do."
  • "Emotions for God that do not spring from seeing God cannot honor God."
  • "If there is no true seeing of the glory of God, there can be no true savoring of the glory of God. And without savoring—delighting, cherishing, enjoying, treasuring—there will be no true transformation into the image of God. And if the people of God fail to be transformed into the image of Christ—from glory to glory—the ultimate purpose of God will fail. That cannot happen. God cannot fail in his ultimate purpose. Therefore, if we would be part of his Christ-reflecting, Christ-exalting family, we must read the Bible in order to see his glory—and then savor him above all things."
  • "It is also clear from Scripture that God uses not only pleasant emotions in response to seeing his glory, but also painful emotions. These too come from seeing the glory of God in Scripture. And these too are meant to be transforming, in their own way. They are meant to bring about change in a more indirect way, driving us away from destructive sins, in the hope that we will be drawn positively by the superior satisfaction of God’s holiness. God does not cease to be glorious when he disciplines his children. Yet this glory leads us first to sorrow. And then, through sorrow and repentance, to joy. God does not cease to be glorious when he says to those who are entangled in sin, “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:9–10). His aim is that we enjoy the experience of “he will exalt you.” But on the way there, God’s strategy may be rebuke. It is fitting. Together with all God’s ways and purposes, it too is part of his peculiar glory. It may stretch the ordinary meaning of language, but this too we should “savor.” “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). There are foods that blend the sour and the sweet in such a way as to make the sweet all the richer."
  • "Our Bible reading is never just for seeing, never just for learning and doctrine. It is not even just for savoring, if that savoring is thought of in a private way that leaves us unchanged in our relationship with others. No. We read the Bible—we always read the Bible—for the kind of seeing and savoring Christ that transforms us into his likeness."
  • "The ultimate purpose of God—to be worshiped with white-hot affection by a redeemed people, complete in number and beauty—will be accomplished by the one who “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11). There is no doubt about it. He cannot fail. And he will do it by his Spirit through his word. Through the reading of the Scriptures."
  • "If we are going to read the Scriptures about Jesus and see him and savor him and be transformed into his image, it will not be by mere human means. It will be a “blessing” that opens the eyes of our hearts to see his all satisfying glory for what it really is."
  • "Life is war. And the main battles are fought at the level of desires, not deeds."
  • "The great, central, all-pervading message of the Bible is that God is to be loved above all things, and with all that we are" 
  • "The meaning of a biblical text is what the author intended to communicate by his words...To read with the aim of creating your own meaning, instead of finding the author’s meaning, leaves you trapped in the tiny world of self."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Year with Henry #12

This year I will be reading Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary alongside the American Standard Version (1901). I will share quotes a few times a month.

Nehemiah 4

  • God has many ways of bringing to light, and so of bringing to naught, the devices and designs of his church’s enemies. If our enemies cannot frighten us from duty, or deceive us into sin, they cannot hurt us.
  • We must watch always against spiritual enemies, and not expect that our warfare will be over till our work is ended.
  • The word of God is the sword of the Spirit, which we ought to have always at hand, and never to have to seek for it, either in our labors, or in our conflicts, as Christians. Every true Christian is both a laborer and a soldier, working with one hand, and fighting with the other.

Acts 14

  • The apostles spake so plainly, with such evidence and proof of the Spirit, and with such power; so warmly, and with such concern for the souls of men; that those who heard them could not but say, God was with them of a truth. Yet the success was not to be reckoned to the manner of their preaching, but to the Spirit of God who used that means.
  • God has a shelter for his people in a storm; he is, and will be their Hiding-place.
  • The most powerful arguments, the most earnest and affectionate addresses, even with miracles, are scarcely enough to keep men from absurdities and abominations; much less can they, without special grace, turn the hearts of sinners to God and to holiness.
  • So strong is the bent of the corrupt and carnal heart, that as it is with great difficulty that men are kept back from evil on one side, so it is with great ease they are persuaded to evil on the other side. 
  • All who are converted need to be confirmed in the faith; all who are planted need to be rooted.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review: A Stolen Heart

A Stolen Heart. Amanda Cabot. 2017. Revell. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: No matter what anyone said, she wouldn't believe this was a mistake.

Premise/plot: Lydia Crawford is following her heart--following a promise--to Cimarron Creek, Texas. But when this Yankee arrives in town she discovers a couple of things: her "fiancé" is missing, her "fiancé" is is someone's husband, he's soon to be a father in fact! (Also the town's sheriff is REALLY cute, not that she's ready to trust ANY man right now.)

The sheriff, the obvious hero of the tale, is Travis Whitfield. He points her in the direction of his great-aunt Bertha. There isn't a boarding house or hotel for this oh-so-beautiful Yankee girl to stay. But Bertha would make her feel quite welcome, he's sure!

One other thing Lydia learns is that acceptance doesn't come easy. Travis and Bertha and Catherine (a cousin, I believe) welcome her sure. But everyone else in town--including Travis' father--see her as a trouble-maker, a carpetbagger, a devil-in-disguise. That is until she wins them over with her confectionary skills. What Cimarron Creek needs is a candy store. What western town would be complete without a candy store? Peanut brittle and fudge and lemon drops are essentials, you know!

But all is not sweet in the town. Trouble lurks. Well jealousy more like it. Perhaps a touch of insanity as well. Someone in town has a grudge against the sheriff….

My thoughts: I really found this a quick, enjoyable, oh-so-satisfying read. I loved Bertha. I loved Lydia. I loved Opal. I liked Catherine. And Travis? Well, he made for a good hero. I do wish, in a way, that there would be romance books out there where the hero and heroine weren't described as being the most amazingly beautiful people ever to grace the earth. Why can't heroes and heroines ever be average looking? Why the need for perfection? Still, I can't find fault with A Stolen Heart for that. I think 98% of romance books are guilty of that!!!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Year with Owen #12

I will be sharing some John Owen quotes this year. The first book I'll be reading is Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (1656).

Bring your lust to the gospel--not for relief, but for further conviction of its guilt. ~ John Owen
Consider the infinite patience and forbearance of God toward you in particular. ~ John Owen
Get a constant longing, breathing after deliverance from the power of it. Suffer not your heart one moment to be contented with your present frame and condition. ~ John Owen
Longing, breathing, and panting after deliverance is a grace in itself, that has a mighty power to conform the soul into the likeness of the thing longed after. ~ John Owen
Assure yourself, unless you long for deliverance you shall not have it. ~ John Owen
Consider whether the distemper with which you are perplexed be not rooted in your nature, and cherished, fomented, and heightened from your constitution. ~ John Owen
Consider what occasions, what advantages your distemper has taken to exert and put forth itself, and watch against them all. ~ John Owen
Know that he that dares to dally with occasions of sin will dare to sin. He that will venture upon temptations unto wickedness will venture upon wickedness. ~ John Owen
Rise mightily against the first actings of your distemper, its first conceptions; suffer it not to get the least ground. ~ John Owen
If it have allowance for one step, it will take another. It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a channel--if it once breaks out, it will have its course. ~ John Owen

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, March 20, 2017

Check-In With The Cloud

  • What have you been reading? What are you currently reading?
  • Have you finished anything for the challenge?
  • Have you read any new-to-you authors yet?
  • Have you found any new favorites?
  • Are you writing down favorite quotes? Have any to share?
  • Have you learned anything that you'd like to share?
  • Would you be interested in reading a book together? If so, what month would be good for you?
I've read Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Another recent book with plenty of quotes from the 'cloud of witnesses' is NEW CITY CATECHISM DEVOTIONAL. I reviewed it earlier today.

If we, then, are not our own but the Lord’s, it is clear what error we must flee, and whither we must direct all the acts of our life. We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us. . . . We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. O, how much has that man profited who, having been taught that he is not his own, has taken away dominion and rule from his own reason that he may yield it to God! For, as consulting our self-interest is the pestilence that most effectively leads to our destruction, so the sole haven of salvation is to be wise in nothing and to will nothing through ourselves but to follow the leading of the Lord alone. ~ John Calvin

The Creator of the world is doubtless also the Governor of it. He that had power to give being to the world, and set all the parts of it in order, has doubtless power to dispose of the world, to continue the order he has constituted, or to alter it. He that first gave the laws of nature, must have all nature in his hands; so that it is evident God has the world in his hands, to dispose of as he pleases. . . . And it is manifest, in fact, that God is not careless how the affairs and concerns of the world he has made proceed, because he was not careless of this matter in the creation itself; as it is apparent, by the manner and order in which things were created, that God, in creating, took care of the future progress and state of things in the world. ~ Jonathan Edwards

The glory of God is the first thing that God’s children should desire. It is the object of one of our Lord’s own prayers: “Father, glorify thy name” (John 12:28). It is the purpose for which the world was created. It is the end for which the saints are called and converted. It is the chief thing we should seek, that “God in all things may be glorified” (1 Pet. 4:11). . . . Anything whereby we may glorify God is a talent, our gifts, our influence, our money, our knowledge, our health, our strength, our time, our senses, our reason, our intellect, our memory, our affections, our privileges as members of Christ’s Church, our advantages as possessors of the Bible,—all, all are talents. Whence came these things? What hand bestowed them? Why are we what we are? Why are we not the worms that crawl on the earth? There is only one answer to these questions. All that we have is a loan from God. We are God’s stewards. We are God’s debtors. Let this thought sink deeply into our hearts. ~ J.C. Ryle 

God leads men to see that the God revealed in Scripture, and manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus, is the God who made heaven and earth. Man fashions for himself a god after his own liking; he makes to himself if not out of wood or stone, yet out of what he calls his own consciousness, or his cultured thought, a deity to his taste, who will not be too severe with his iniquities or deal out strict justice to the impenitent. He rejects God as he is, and elaborates other gods, such as he thinks the Divine One ought to be, and he says concerning these works of his own imagination, “These be thy gods, O Israel!” The Holy Spirit, however, when he illuminates their minds, leads us to see that Jehovah is God, and beside him there is none else. He teaches his people to know that the God of heaven and earth is the God of the Bible, a God whose attributes are completely balanced, mercy attended by justice, love accompanied by holiness, grace arrayed in truth, and power linked with tenderness. He is not a God who winks at sin, much less is pleased with it, as the gods of the heathen are supposed to be, but a God who cannot look upon iniquity, and will by no means spare the guilty. This is the great quarrel of the present day between the philosopher and the Christian. The philosopher says, “Yes, a god if you will, but he must be of such a character as I now dogmatically set before you”; but the Christian replies, “Our business is not to invent a god, but to obey the one Lord who is revealed in the Scriptures of truth.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: The New City Catechism

The New City Catechism Devotional. Collin Hansen, ed. Introduction by Timothy Keller. 2017. Crossway. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Doctrine matters. Everyone's a theologian. You've probably heard these truths or insights in passing. Perhaps you've even given it a little thought. Perhaps you've made a resolution or two or three. Maybe it's on your one-day-I-will-figure-this-stuff-out list.

Everyone should be able to give an answer for the hope that they have. And catechisms--as out of favor as they are in some denominations--might be the way to go.
"Catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel—not only in order to explain clearly what the gospel is, but also to lay out the building blocks on which the gospel is based, such as the biblical doctrines of God, of human nature, of sin, and so forth. The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counterculture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life." (from the introduction)
The New City Catechism is 52 questions and answers. Questions 1-20 cover "God, Creation and Fall, Law." Questions 21-35 cover "Christ, Redemption, Grace." Questions 21-35 cover "Spirit, Restoration, Growing in Grace."

I loved the way this devotional is arranged: first the question and answer; second, a Bible verse; third, commentary from a 'witness' (theologian now in glory); fourth, commentary from a contemporary theologian; and finally, a closing prayer.

Three sample questions and answers:
  • What is sin? Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.
  • How can we be saved? Only by faith in Jesus Christ and in his substitutionary atoning death on the cross; so even though we are guilty of having disobeyed God and are still inclined to all evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of our own but only by pure grace, imputes to us the perfect righteousness of Christ when we repent and believe in him.
  • What is faith in Jesus Christ? Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of everything that God has revealed in his Word, trusting in him, and also receiving and resting on him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel.
An example of the contemporary commentary:
"It is spectacularly wonderful to talk about God, to think about him. There cannot be any higher subject. But the word God itself is not an empty cipher. Just because somebody uses the word God and then somebody else uses the word God, it does not follow that they mean the same thing. God, for some, is an inexpressible feeling, or it’s the unmoved cause at the beginning of the universe, or it’s a being full of transcendence. But we’re talking about the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is self-defined. He talks about himself as being eternal and righteous. He’s the God of love. He’s the God of transcendence; that is, he’s above space and time and history. Yet he is the immanent God; that is, he is so much with us that we cannot possibly escape from him. He is everywhere. He is unchangeable. He is truthful. He is reliable. He’s personal. What’s really important to see and understand, as God has disclosed himself not only in words but in the whole storyline of the Bible’s narrative, is that we are not permitted to take one attribute of God and make everything of it. We cannot, let’s say, take his sovereignty and forget his goodness. Or take his goodness and forget his holiness (his holiness is what makes him the God of judgment). Or take his judgment, even the severity of his judgment, and forget that he’s the God of love, the God who has so much loved even his rebellious creatures that ultimately he sent his Son to bear their sin in his own body on the tree. In other words, to get to the heart of who God is and to bow before him in some small measure of genuine understanding, it’s important to think through what the Bible says again and again and integrate the whole with the same balance and proportion that Scripture itself gives. That calls us to worship. And if we put anything else in the place of God, that is the very definition of idolatry." ~ D.A. Carson
An example of the 'theologian in glory' commentary:
Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power. ~ Oswald Chambers
Three examples of closing prayer:

  • Merciful Lord, we are corrupt in our very natures. We are sons and daughters of the first Adam who desire what you forbid. Give us a new nature through new birth in Christ, the second Adam, that we might be able to keep your law in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
  • Creator God, forgive us for worshiping the things you have made. No person or thing should be our hope or our trust. You alone are self-existent and all sufficient. May you be our all in all. Amen.
  • Righteous Lord, if we think that we are good, we deceive ourselves. We deserve your wrath. We have broken your commands and we have not loved you with our whole hearts, minds, and strength. We can only plead the righteousness of Christ and ask you to let our punishment fall on him. Amen. Is there any way to escape punishment and be brought back into God’s favor? Yes, to satisfy his justice, God himself, out of mere mercy, reconciles us to himself and delivers us from sin and from the punishment for sin, by a Redeemer. 

I loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED this one. It's so very good. I think everyone should have a copy of this one. I love the catechism. I think the questions are very straightforward and capture the essentials of the faith. I think they're relevant questions too. The how-then-should-I-live questions. I think the organization of this one is excellent. I love the blend of old and new. I'm already excited about rereading this one!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week in Review: March 12-18

NIV Tozer Bible

  • Exodus 1-12
  • 2 Chronicles 
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Psalm 73-150
  • Isaiah 40-66
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Luke 


  • Matthew 10-18


  • Matthew 10-18


  • Matthew 10-18


  • Matthew 10-18

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible