The Bible tells us that Jesus stayed for 40 days (Acts 1:3). Jesus continued to teach the disciples about the kingdom of God. He also answered their questions. According to Luke 24:45, Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures especially on what was written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. This tells us of the importance of reading the Bible. We have to discover ourselves the prophecies in the Old Testament and relate them to their fulfillment in the life of Jesus Christ.
Do you know how difficult it is to read the scrolls during the period of the Old and New Testaments? In 1947, in one of the greatest archaeological finds in Biblical history, a nearly complete copy of the scroll of Isaiah was found in one of the Qumran caves near the Dead Sea. You may actually see the digital copy at http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah
The scroll of Isaiah that was found gives us a glimpse of how difficult it is to read a certain scroll during their time. Christianitytoday.com describes it as “Written in a beautiful Hebrew hand on 17 sheets of leather sewed together, it consists of 54 columns. It is about a foot in height and 24 feet long. The clearly written text is not divided into chapters as is the case in our English Bibles, but into paragraphs.”
Now, imagine reading a book in the Bible that is 24 feet in length. It might not fit from one corner of your home to the other if you spread it out. And you cannot bring it home, but only read it in the synagogue because there was no printing press yet. The scrolls were all painstakingly handwritten by scribes word for word. You may also add to your imagination how scarce were the ink, the parchment, or the skins of animals for their writing materials. But they were able to do it, and they also made a commitment to read and memorize most of it.
Let us now bring ourselves to the present reality. We can read the Bible in physical books, on websites, and on our smartphones. It is readily available anytime, and anywhere. We cannot really find a reason for not reading it.
As Jesus opened the minds of His disciples about what was written about Him, the Holy Spirit can also open our minds if we just commit to reading the Bible. Let us make that commitment!
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University