Many times when I read scripture, it is hard for me to see through my own clutter. After so many years of using the same Bible there are so many underlines, margin scribbles, and tick marks here and there, that I am easily distracted from the main text.
Recently, I purchased a new Bible, not that I needed one. I have several Bibles and a couple of them would be considered “new”. But this one was on sale and it was “The Reformation Study Bible” in the English Standard Version. A combination I could not pass up. So now I have decided to do much of my Bible reading in this virgin text. I am also trying to keep my hands in my lap and away from pencils and pens so that I avoid making any notes or underlines, at least for now.
It is amazing what I am “seeing” and “hearing” without all that clutter distracting me. There is a real sense of refreshment about this kind of reading. Admittedly, I’ll sneak a peak at the notes from time to time to see what these reformers are thinking about a particular text, but other than that, I am focused strictly on the text itself. It is rather fun.
Often times we are influenced in our reading by what we already think about a given text. Other times it may be by what someone else thinks either by a side note, a “color” or segment marking. That does not make it wrong or improper, it may just make it limited and put blinders on our mind and keep us from seeing something new and exciting.
Anyway, I’m enjoying this virgin text. I’m not certain how long I’ll resist the temptation to keep it unmarked. However, that is not the point, as long as the scripture continues to leave its mark on me.