Why is the Bible, though being the greatest book ever written, neglected and looked down upon by many people?
Why does anyone choose to take the time and effort to read a book? Usually, people read a book when they think it would be of interest or benefit to them. Most Christians come to understand the Bible as the story of God’s redeeming love. It is a story that is critically important in their own lives. Most non-Christians hold other and sometimes less favorable opinions on the nature and value of the Bible.
What does the Bible have to say about why people regard it in such different ways?
It makes no sense to them
Perhaps the reason most people look down on the Bible is because it makes little or no sense to them. In 1 Corinthians 1:12-14 Paul explains why someone who isn’t seeking God would have a hard time understanding and accepting what the Bible has to say. Paul points out in that passage (and others) that God’s wisdom is different from the world’s wisdom. It may seem foolish to non-Christians.
Others may be resistant to the idea that God has authority over them. Proverbs 1:7 states: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction“. In context, the term “fear of the Lord” refers specifically to God’s written revelation. A “fool” is one who so values his own opinion that he is not able to learn, even when presented with biblical revelation (or the arguments of the wise). So some people will be disinterested in the Bible, or even look down on it, because they are convinced that their own ideas are the best for living life.
Men’s thoughts about God
Some may believe the Bible is just a collection of men’s thoughts about God. Others may believe that the stories in the Bible were intentionally designed to deceive. Peter explains the source of the Bible in 2 Peter 1:16, where he states that: “we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty“. Revelation did not come from men – it came to men. Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, where he makes it clear that the words he shared were from God, not from men. The Gospel author, Luke, also seemed eager to keep people from this negative view when he chose to write a careful historical account of Jesus’ ministry “that you might know the exact truth about the things … taught” (Luke 1:4).
Christians neglecting the Bible
One might also ask, “Why do Christians sometimes neglect the Bible?” Though the Christian has placed their faith in God, they may not yet realize that God’s words in the Bible are necessary to their growth in faith and to forming their character (2 Timothy 3:16). God provides His written word as a gift to instruct and guide us (Proverbs 32:8). However, this does not always come easily.
The Christian may not always want to receive the discipline that comes from God’s words (Psalm 32:9; 50:17). They must spend the time and effort to learn what God has to say in the Bible. This is how they grow into being the person He wants them to be (Psalm 119:9-11; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:17).