The Word of God

Hi Fi Vol. 127 (2009) Number 1

Why read the Bible, today? Each of us can answer that differently. For curiosity's sake; for pleasure and beauty; for its variety of literary styles; because it allows us to understand the foundations of Western culture; to pray and to meditate; to connect with God... For all these reasons and many more, the Bible still has something to offer to our world. 

Nevertheless, our contemporary culture influences themanner inwhich we read the Bible. We ask questions. Did this happen "for real"? Did God dictate the Bible? With which book should I start reading the Bible? This issue proposes answers - in a Catholic perspective - to common questions about the Bible.

Just like someonewhose thoughts can be read easily, the Bible offers itself to us "like an open book". In doing so, human frailties, emotions, and even scandalous and violent situations are brought to light. Those who stumble upon these difficult passages may wonder why they are included in the Bible. Because God thereby reveals Himself. In wanting to make a covenant with us (in our imperfection and our greatness), God commits Himself to us. In a sense, He compromises Himself in order to fulfill His solidarity with our humanity.  

We also compromise ourselves when we open the Bible. It does not impose or dictate anything: we are free. But we do risk being questioned. We might recognize ourselves among those people who recount their experiences of God on the Bible's pages. And we might yearn to know that same God. We might wish for Him to meet us and listen to us. 

The good news is God already came towards us. He desired our meeting. To get to know us completely,He compromised Himself by becoming human, by taking on the traits of Jesus ofNazareth. He tasted the pleasures of life. He loved. He got angry. He suffered. He died. His desire to live and love, however, was stronger than death, and because of that, we have been promised to eternal life with him.  

So, why read the Bible? Because God thereby reveals Himself... and reveals to us that we are made to be like Him.  

Sabrina Di Matteo
Editor