Bible Literacy

Hello and happy Friday to you!

Let’s have a chat about literacy for a minute before I dive into today’s post. The primary definition of the word literate or literacy is the ability to read or write. This literally means our ability to pick up a book, and cognitively decode symbols in order to comprehend the meaning. And then once we understand what we have read, we are capable of pulling out a piece of paper and communicating our thoughts through the inscription of symbols. We are talking the fundamentals that we learn in elementary school, nothing more.

Then we move onto the secondary definition which states competence or knowledge in a specified area. Not as elementary, as the primary. This definition teaches us that even though you or I may be extremely literate at the basic level, we could very well be illiterate in specific areas. For example, you will remember from my previous post, that I am very illiterate when it comes to business, economics, and math. I am capable of reading the text and then writing down what I cognitively have processed; yet, when it comes to speaking it fluently in a conversation with others or retaining what I have read, I struggle.

If I am being completely honest, which is always my goal when writing to you, I am also illiterate when it comes to biblical knowledge and for a really long time, I have been insecure about it. Insecurity which stems from feeling like because I grew up in the church and because I was a PK (pastor’s kid), I am just supposed to naturally be fluent in scriptures. I have, of course been exposed to Bible stories and verses, but when I pull out my bible to read, I get frustrated more often than not. Not frustrated with the truths I am reading, but frustrated with myself for not always grasping the the Lord is saying to me.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. {2 Timothy 3:16-17}

So for the past few months I have been sitting with those thoughts and thinking about how I so easily became literate academically in my classes, yet still feel so illiterate biblically. It hit me like a ton of bricks and what I realized is that I am not putting in the same amount of work that I would in school to become familiar with, fluent in, and able to reteach what I have retained. In college, I was that nerd who (when I wasn’t cramming to get things done on the road trip to our next softball game) I would read, highlight, underline, write in the margins, re-write, make note cards, recite things out loud, and so many more nerdy things that I don’t need to bore you with.

So my challenge for myself, and for you if you choose to join me in this journey, is to study the Bible like I used to study for Biopsychology {the hardest class I ever took}. I am going to read, reread, underline, highlight, write in the margins, rewrite, make note cards and memorize. Just like in school, it takes planning, time commitment, and a willingness to get through the muck and mire and into a place of freedom, security, and confidence in Christ. I am going to read as if I am digging for gold rather than raking the leaves as our pastor said on Sunday.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. {Psalm 40:2}

If you want to join in, I am going to start from the beginning in Genesis 1:1, just like a child becomes literate from learning the basics. I promise you will get frustrated, you will not understand the scriptures, and you will so badly want to throw in the towel. But I also promise that if you stick with it, your eyes will be opened to such light and joy.Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend! Jordan is off to a Bachelor party this afternoon, so I plan to do some relaxing, writing, and spending time with girl friends!

Abby Dawn

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2 thoughts on “Bible Literacy

  1. Hi Abby. I “met” you through the online bible study a few years ago. I loved reading your posts every day and I remember you saying you would start a blog. I’m glad you’re still writing. I will be following along and I’m excited for your M,W,F topic posts.

    I am like you, in feeling insecure, and feel I should be more fluent too. The one thing I really loved about the morning online bible studies was it to SOAK in each verse. At that time I put in a lot of time to really study, dig deep and understand. And that made such a huge difference! But, you’re right, qe nwed to put in that time. use the dictionary to understand the words and use commentaries when needed and having the Holy Spirit guiding us we can learn so much!!

    1. I remember you and that study, Christine! I learned so much from that study method that we did – so rich. I hope you are doing well & thank you so much for reading 🙂

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