Every year my wife and I try to read the same current book. It’s usually nonfiction. Sometimes it’s devotional in nature. Sometimes it’s historical, biographical, or addresses something going on in our society. This little habit has given us more to talk about with each other and helps us develop a shared point of view. Through the ages many people called the Bible the Good Book for the same reason. Because they had all read it, they could say to each other, “You know what the Good Book says.” And they could nod in agreement. A sense of community forms around a common text.
The Bible is a text that reveals its own authority and creates its own power. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). That’s a really good book that can do all that.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read the entire Bible. But I’ll be honest; it wasn’t front to back in one big burst of spiritual concentration. I’m too antsy for that. But I’ve studied every part I was privileged to teach. I’ve searched it for new ideas to write about. I’ve turned to favorite portions when I’ve needed to feel more of God’s presence in my life. And I’ve been able to discuss it with other Christians because we have that text in common.