I remember in my high-school years, when I became interested in extra-biblical texts, that I was warned repeatedly and by many church leaders and adults in my life that reading such things could lead to my demise. It was posited that these writings could get in my heart and destroy the work of God that had already been established. So I avoided them for a long time. Here I am almost 40 years old and I have now read a large portion of the ancient texts that are available in English, including the hotly contested extra-biblical texts. My experience after becoming somewhat familiar with them is that the Bible now makes a lot more sense. So many questions have been answered and so much blank space has been filled. I believe that fearing the ancient texts from around the world is basically a product of ignorance and dogmatic close-mindedness. Perhaps some have gone astray from reading them, and I know a lot of people have come to erroneous conclusions based on their very limited knowledge of these texts, but ignoring them is very mentally constricting. First, the Bible is a collection of ancient writings. If you want to understand it, you have to read it like an ancient text. Secondly, how can you read it like an ancient text if you have no background or familiarity with ancient texts in general? Third, reading something does not infer that you believe it.

It is high time for the Church to stop the cycle of fear, get an education, and learn to read the Bible in the context it was written in. Read some ancient texts, listen to them online. Become familiar with how the ancients thought and wrote. Then, read the Bible and watch as the pages come alive.








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