Three years ago, a LifeWay Research survey found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week.
More than 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible only occasionally, maybe once or twice a month.
Almost one in five churchgoers say they never read the Bible – essentially the same number who read it every day.
Even among Christians who believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, regular reading and studying is limited.
The author of what is being called a “breakthrough Bible book” thinks he has the answer for Christians who want to read the Bible, know they should, but need some motivation and direction.
“Here are some facts to consider,” says Joseph Farah, author of “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament.” “Most Christians who do engage in regular or semi-regular Bible reading tend to focus their reading and study on the New Testament, which represents only about one-quarter of the content of the Bible. At the same time, all the surveys show Bible illiteracy levels are staggeringly high. What if you knew the Gospel, the message of redemption and restoration and renewal, is found all throughout the Old Testament – that it is not just a bunch of laws for the children of Israel, but that Jesus is there, along with His Good News, in all 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures? Wouldn’t that be like an invitation to re-engage in the three-quarters of the Bible that most believers are ignoring?”
Farah says the research he did for the book rekindled a fire in his faith beyond anything he could have imagined previously.
“There’s something about reading the Bible with purpose that does this,” he says. “And where better to start than in the least familiar books and passages, knowing that the Gospel is all over them. It’s almost like finding lost books of the Bible. And the reason it is so faith-affirming is that it demonstrates the Bible is a miraculous, totally integrated, cohesive book written by so many different authors over a time span of 1,500 years.”
Farah’s study was prompted mainly by something he read in the New Testament, in the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Mark, and specifically in the words of Jesus Himself. Matthew 4:23 and 9:35 both say Jesus went around all the towns and villages of Galilee preaching “the Gospel of the Kingdom.” Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:14 said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
“I’d read those passages countless times, but once, when I was researching my previous book, ‘The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,’ those words just jumped off the page for me,” he recalls. “‘How many Christians,’ I wondered, ‘understood that the Gospel was about more than personal salvation, that it was about a promise of an actual Kingdom on Earth presided over by Jesus?'”
While that is indeed explained in the New Testament, it is often overlooked, Farah says. There are very few Bible studies done on it, very few sermons and even fewer books. There’s much more about this Kingdom in the Old Testament, he explains.
“One of the reasons there’s less information about the Kingdom in the Greek Scriptures is because Jesus’ audience all knew about it,” he says. “He didn’t have to say much about the Kingdom because His audience was Jewish and were steeped in the only Scriptures that existed during His ministry and for decades afterward.”
It was that study that led Farah to start seeing the Gospel everywhere he searched in the original Scriptures – indeed, in every book.
“Believers all know that Jesus is found throughout the Old Testament in foreshadows, in types, in prophecies, yet I don’t think most have any clue as to how frequently the Gospel messages of personal salvation as well as the Good News of His Coming Kingdom are revealed first there,” Farah says. “That’s the journey I want to share with everyone with this book. It’s exciting and spiritually recharging.”
The book has been endorsed by dozens of Christian leaders, scholars and luminaries including Franklin Graham, Mike Huckabee, Greg Laurie, Jack Van Impe, Eric Metaxas, Chuck Norris and Pat Boone – making it one of the most widely acclaimed Bible books of the 21st century.
“The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is now available in e-book form only, while the hardcover release is set for September. The e-book is also available now at the WND Superstore.
If you would like to support the mammoth and costly effort to print massive numbers of copies of the hardcover, please consider a tax-deductible donation to Gospel for All Nations, a missions organization supporting the WND Books release. Individuals, churches, foundations and companies can become “patrons” of the future editions of the hardcover edition by making tax-deductible contributions of $10,000 or more to the project, but donations in any amount are welcome at the Gospel for All Nations website.
You can also support the undertaking at the WND Superstore by making contributions in any amount, although those donations are not tax-deductible. However, those who contribute $100 or more will receive an early VIP Advance Reader Copy signed by the author.