Enjoying the Bible: Literary Approaches to Love the Scriptures – Matthew Mullins

How do you feel about your Bible reading and how you approach God’s Word? Has it grown…stale? Dare I say…boring? Have these thoughts ever crept into your head? Well, you are not alone! And coming across this great little book by Matthew Mullins has given me a fresh take on how to enjoy God’s Word and savor it for what it is and its eternal impact in our lives.

The big idea is that we have swerved in our thinking and practice of reading, especially in regards to the Bible. We often think of the Bible as an instruction manual and we approach our reading and digesting of it accordingly. What do we want from instruction manuals? We want information that will help us solve a problem. Yes, the Bible provides this for us, but we must see that it is SO MUCH MORE!

The Bible is not merely an instruction manual designed to inform our heads but also a work of imagination meant to engage our hearts.

Matthew Mullins, pg. 31

Mullins relates the reading and love for poetry with how we ought to read the Bible. Poetry often sets out to stir and captivate the heart, and the literary approaches in this book show how the Bible does just that (not to mention that A LOT of the Bible is itself poetry). His argument is that if reading the Bible does not bring enjoyment, then we might be reading it wrong. Most of the book takes a look at the Bible as literature, delighting in God’s Word, reading and worship, and different techniques for reading. He takes a specific poem as an example, and walks through how to read for the most heart impact, by looking for the general sense, central emotion, and formal means within a text. Each chapter has an exercise that encourages the reader to read, write, reflect and pray concerning the material discussed one each chapter.

I’ll just say that this book was a breath of fresh air. I’ve learned to REALLY enjoy reading the Bible and to let my emotions be moved and captivated by the words and stories that God has revealed to us. If you need something new in your Bible study or a fresh start with your time in the Word, grab this book as a handy companion to guide you there, learning to appreciate and cherish the Bible, and the reading of it, in a life-giving way.

*This book was provided by Baker Academic in exchange for an honest review.

Read & Repeat

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