Image credit: Andrew Gloor
Are you open to discovering where your spiritual journey might take you – what the Bible could teach you about yourself, the world around you, or your relationships with others? And how it could shape your understanding of a higher presence – what the divine might look like and what that could mean for your life?
It might surprise you to learn that the Bible is the No. 1 bestselling book of all time. Year on year, it continues to hit the top of the charts. And it’s the most frequently stolen book, too.
Translated into over 2500 languages, it’s read by people from every walk of life, from all around the world, including followers of major world religions and those who simply value it as a source of millennia-old wisdom.
So, is this ancient text worth a closer look? Could it have something to say to you today, thousands of years after its composition?
Join us as we uncover seven potential ways that the Bible could play into your personal spiritual search ...
Have you ever wondered things like:
Despite being written thousands of years ago, the Bible offers a response to some of those deep, difficult questions in life – ones so many of us are still trying to answer all these years later.
In fact, it tackles some of these questions head on, right from page one, offering an interpretation of creation that gets to the heart of the question: why we are we here? (If you thought the Bible’s creation story was meant to be a scientific textbook on how the world came to be, think again. At its heart, it’s really a story about what it means to be human and our place in the world.)
The Bible might raise more questions along the way too, but it does offer an interpretation of life, relationships and loads of other ‘big things’ which readers have found insightful for thousands of years. It shows us how others have found ways to understand and communicate life’s challenges, while inviting you to ask: what might this mean for today?
Let's be honest: a spiritual journey is nothing like your average journey – you can’t just drop your destination into Google and walk (or, more likely, Uber it).
A spiritual search can be challenging. You might feel that pull to find meaning and answers, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you know where to start, or where to go next. Maybe you’ve explored several routes in the past but keep hitting a dead end.
During these moments, it can be helpful to look to those who have gone before.
Lots of different belief systems around the world have ancient documents that detail the spiritual journeys of individuals. And the Bible is one such example.
It’s filled with people who are actively looking for answers, and lots who aren’t; people who are trying to find out which route to go down, and those who never expect to go on a spiritual journey, ending up in places they never imagined.
But which narratives are good to start with? One option is the group of Wise Men found in the book of Matthew; they looked to the skies for answers, which led them to a make an unexpected discovery. Or there’s the experience of Paul, a key figure in the early Christian Church. He’s said to have had a vision from God, an event that turned his faith – and his life – on its head.
But why worry about other people’s stories? For starters, you might find that these ancient narratives help you understand where others have gone as part of their spiritual journey. Then, you can see how this shaped their life and beliefs. And, let’s be honest, it can also be comforting to remember that we’re not the only ones who’ve ever wondered about such things.
Have you ever experienced something you just can’t rationalise? Sometimes, there are things in life that don’t seem possible – shouldn’t be possible – but that doesn’t mean we can dismiss them without a second’s thought, either. Can you think of an experience like that in your own life?
Humanity has found different ways to explain these moments – the universe, the stars, a higher being, fate, luck, or simply a desire to find meaning in the unexplainable.
In the Bible, we get one explanation: a portrayal of a higher being, a God who has a personal relationship with humanity. This God meets with people in strange, unexpected and maybe even ‘miraculous’ ways, and the Bible captures some of these moments on paper.
Featuring the voices of over 40 different authors, the Bible invites you to explore numerous accounts of encounters with the divine, and invites you to ask: how does this make me feel? How would I react in this situation? Have I felt something like this before? Does this relate to my life, in a way I might not have expected?
Lots of spiritual searches lead to one big question, at some point or another: is there a higher being?
And this raises more questions, like: if there is, what might he/she/it/they be like?
Throughout history, different cultures, faiths and belief systems have found different ways to interpret and understand the idea of something bigger than us.
For some, it’s multiple gods. For others, it’s the universe and the stars. For some, it’s found within us. For others, it’s nothing at all. The list goes on ...
In the Bible, you’ll find a complex, multifaceted presentation of God. His role in the world, what he cares about, and his relationship with humanity, which is summed up in the writings of John:
‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.’ (John 3.16–17, GNB).
Ever felt something so intense that you just couldn't communicate it?
Lots of us are quick to form ideas about the people who lived at the time of the Bible’s composition: what they thought about life, how they expressed emotion, and how they came to understand the harsh realities of life – versus the beauty of it. In some ways, it can be easy to picture those in the past as almost emotionless beings; they didn’t feel things the way we do, didn’t have that desire to find meaning or purpose or answers like we do today.
But this ancient text suggests otherwise. Written by over 40 different authors from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds – from scholars to shepherds, fishermen to tax-collectors – this ancient document gives an insight into the emotional and spiritual lives of those before us.
But this text doesn’t just reveal the emotional intelligence of its writers: it also offers the language to express how we’re feeling, even when we can’t find the right words on our own. This is reflected in the fact that the Bible is often quoted at weddings and funerals, occasions when many of us need help articulating the depth, intensity and complexity of our emotions.
Fancying a recommendation? The book of Psalms is a great place to start. Showcasing hundreds of poetic pieces, this text covers every facet of human emotion, drawing together the writings of those in their darkest depths, crying out in desperation, to those giving thanks to God as they celebrate the good times.
Got any practices in place like meditation, manifestation, prayer or exercise? Maybe you started them with the aim of developing your spiritual self, to support your health and wellbeing, or simply because you enjoy them.
In the Bible, you'll find a variety of ancient rituals, practices and traditions. Some of them feel pretty alien to us now, but even these practices help us understand in a little more detail how our ancestors expressed their faith and strengthened their beliefs – and why.
Others are more relatable, like prayer.
Prayer can feel like a natural response in challenging times, or as a way of practising gratitude as you go about your day – even if it’s just muttering a quiet ‘thank you’ under your breath.
But, praying can feel difficult at first; maybe you don’t know what to say, or you’re worried you’ll say the wrong thing. In these moments, the Bible can be a helpful tool to guide you through this process. The Bible has lots of prayerful reflections – sometimes, just reading one in your head can feel enough – but also offers advice on how to pray: how to make a prayerful request, and how to give thanks. Again, the book of Psalms can be a good place to start.
Featuring at least 66 individual ‘books’, the Bible is an important – and sacred – text for many around the globe. It’s central to the Jewish and Christian faiths, and it denotes the family line of Ishmael, too – the father of Islam.
It also gives an account of other ancient belief systems that were prevalent during its composition, although it’s important to note that these depictions challenge many readers today.
Experiencing the Bible, even just a little bit at a time, allows you to gain a greater understanding of the role this ancient text plays in world religions, how it’s shaped the way people lived their lives for thousands of years, and what it continues to mean to people today.
Interested in finding out if the Bible could play a part in your spiritual search? If the answer’s ‘yes’, why not sign up to our newsletter to discover where an ancient text, written by over 40 different authors across a variety of cultures, contexts and professions, could lead you?
Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive a regular programme of content that invites you to experience the Bible as a source of millennia-old wisdom for today. This includes a suite of guided meditations that use ancient words to bring hope, peace, comfort and joy to our lives today.
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