Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Monday, May 31, 2021

 Opus 2021-190:  Bible Reading:  Phone Book Techniques

Did you ever read the phone book?  I am serious.  I doubt if anyone reading this is young enough to not remember the old, thick, all inclusive phone books we used to get on a regular basis.

Late twentieth century phone books were a gold mine of information.  They had phone numbers , of course, and sometimes they were listed so you could actually find what you wanted, like the phone numbers of your city council all in one place.  They had maps.  In some there were coupons.  To be honest I didn’t spend a lot of time in the white pages but I did look through the yellow.  

Just because a phone number was wrong, did that mean there was no right phone number or that phones don’t really exist?  Did it mean that the person listed was just fooling about having a phone or that someone made a typo?  Common sense supplies the answers.  

If you were looking for a specific number did you start at the beginning and turn page after page until you found the one you wanted or did you use your knowledge of the alphabet to find specifically what you wanted.  I hope you learned your ABC’s.  If not you might be convinced the phone book was useless, inaccurate and out of date.

The same applies to your Bible.  After being a Christian for over 50 years I am finally able to start reading at the beginning and go to the end.  I would not recommend it to everyone and it isn’t how I study or look for answers.  Most Bibles have helps.  The one most often overlooked is the Table of Contents.  Yes, your Bible has one.  No, it wasn’t in the original manuscript.  I still use it once in awhile to find some of the minor prophets.  Most have a concordance.  Keep in mind that the one in the back of the book is very limited.  My complete concordance is at least four times the volume of my Bible and in much smaller print.  A reference Bible will have a lot of other helps too.  

A word about the concordance.  If you are not familiar with this helpful tool you might have missed a lot.  A concordance is a reference tool that lists every time a word is used, gives you a short section of the words around it and the place where you can find that in the Bible.  Keep in mind that a concordance is keyed to the translation so a KJV concordance would have limited use for the NIV or NASB.  The ones I use also give me crutches to find out the Greek or Hebrew word that is in the original.  This tool helps when you want to dig a little deeper.

A word about the helps in your Bible.  Keep in mind that they are not part of the inspired text.  They are the opinions of the editors and range from incredibly helpful to sectarian propaganda.  Even the paragraphs at the beginning of a study Bible giving you the background information such as dates and authorship can border on heresy is the editor is a liberal.  The helps are like the condiment section of the grocery store, basics mixed with the dangerous.  Read those parts with care.

But do read.  It may have your number.

homo unius libri


  1. I recall once being told, "You don't read the Bible - the Bible reads you."

    1. As long as it doesn't read out loud.

      Grace and peace


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.