Why is it easier to read books about the Bible than to read the Bible itself?

For some reason, this question comes to mind often.

I believe the Bible can change a person. I believe it speaks truth. It’s unlike any other book in existence and I believe there’s so much I can benefit from it. Often times, I recognize my great need for it—a hunger even!

Yet for whatever reason, I find myself more inclined to read a book by some modern author (who merely quotes a few random passages and offers up their own commentary) than I am to open God’s Word itself.

I think it has a lot to do with Hebrews 4:12–13, which says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

The truth of the Bible is piercing! It’s the only book that as you read it, it’s reading you, practically aloud right back to you. As Eugene Peterson phrased the passage from the Sermon on the Mount, “…the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.” At times, God’s word is difficult, uncomfortable or confusing, it can hit a little too close to home, leaving you “naked and exposed” before a Holy God.

The reality is the Bible has everything you will ever need. Hard and challenging as it may be, the truth of His Word is invaluable—you honestly don’t even need to read anything else (though other resources can certainly help shine some light, especially on the difficult or confusing passages).

The irony of this post is not lost on me: here I am, a modern writer quoting a few random passages and offering up my own commentary. While I am grateful you’ve taken the time to read what I have written, I say all this to encourage you not to get so busy reading about stuff in the Bible, but instead put in the hard work of actually reading the Bible itself. You won’t regret it.

Don’t turn away from the piercing truth—engage it, keep digging through it, and over time you will find more and greater treasures hidden within