Book Highlights: How to Master the English Bible

Here are some highlights from How to Master the English Bible by James Gray.

“One is grateful to have studied Hebrew and Greek, just to be able to tell others who have not that they do not require either to hearken to our Heavenly Father’s voice.”

“and therefore asked him to explain the manner of his reading, when he related the following: He had gone into the country to spend the Sabbath with his family on one occasion, taking with him a pocket copy of Ephesians, and in the afternoon, going out into the woods and lying down under a tree, he began to read it; he read it through at a single reading, and finding his interest aroused, read it through again in the same way, and, his interest increasing, again and again.  I think he added that he read it some twelve or fifteen times, “and when I arose to go into the house,” said he, “I was in possession of Ephesians, or better yet, it was in possession of me, and I had been ‘lifted up to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ in an experimental sense in which that had not been true in me before, and will never cease to be true in me again.”

“read a whole book of the Bible straight through at a sitting.”

“Thus to master book after book is to fill the mind with the great thoughts of God.”

“I read Genesis through in the English at a single reading, and then repeated the process again and again until the book in its great outlines had practically become mine.  Then i took up Exodus in the same way, Leviticus, Numbers, and practically all the other books of the Old and New Testaments to Revelation, with the exception of Proverbs, the Psalms and one or two others which do not lend themselves readily to that plan of reading, and indeed do not require it to their understanding and mastery.”

“The plan was to read and reread each book by itself and in its order, as though there were no other in existence, until it had become a part of the very being.”

“Was the task tedious and long?  No more than was Jacob’s when he served Laban for his daughter Rachel.”

“It is not asked that it be studied in the ordinary sense, or memorised, or even sought to be understood at first; but simply read.”

“It stands for two things – the reading of the book uninfluenced by its divisions into chapters and verses, and reading of the book in this way at a single sitting.”

“Why read the books in a single sitting?  Many of the books of the Bible have a single thread running through the whole – a pivotal idea around which all the subsidiary ones revolve – and to catch this thread, to seize upon this idea, is absolutely necessary to unravel or break up the whole in its essential parts.”

“A book is not to be laid aside for any other succeeding book of the Bible until the mastery is assured.”

“John Chrysostom said that “If any one assiduously attend public worship, even without reading the Bible at home, but carefully hearkening here, he will find a single year sufficient to give him an intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures.”

“Every church should be more or less truly a Bible Training school, and the pastor the head of it.”