In a video for the Christian radio station Christian Broadcasting Network, Rev. Dr. William Barber of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission offered this advice to Christians who are considering whether to read the Bible.
“The first book you should read is the Bible,” Barber said.
“There are thousands of verses in it that tell you what to do, what to believe and what to think.”
He said Christians should start with the Gospel of Mark, which is the most authoritative and most frequently used of the New Testament gospels.
The Bible, Barber said, tells us “to believe whatever you wish, to love whomever you wish.”
Barber said Christians can choose to ignore what’s in the Bible or read it for its “beautiful beauty” instead of its “very difficult, difficult and painful truth.”
“If you’re a Christian who’s just learning the Bible and you’re just beginning to understand it, you should get this book and then you can go read the rest of it,” Barber continued.
“Because I’m telling you, the Bible is not only beautiful, it’s powerful.
It is a work of art.
It’s an incredibly beautiful book.”
Barber is not the first to advise Christians to avoid reading the Bible, however.
In 2015, the New York Times reported that some evangelical leaders were considering changing the way Bible-believing Christians read the book.
The Times reported, “A number of evangelicals have told me that they are reading the verses differently and that it is causing a loss of the Bible’s power. “
Barber said he has heard from Christians who have told him that they have heard the verses “blurry” in the Hebrew and English versions.
The Times reported, “A number of evangelicals have told me that they are reading the verses differently and that it is causing a loss of the Bible’s power.
Others, such as a prominent conservative pastor, have said they are not reading the Hebrew or English version because they feel the passages are too difficult to comprehend.
“The Times also reported that Barber, who is also a former Southern Baptist executive director, said the Bible has been “saved” from the hands of the “Satanist Satanists,” who have “destroyed the kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.””
This book is powerful, but the devil is going to destroy it,” he said.