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How to Read the Bible: Charles Spurgeon (Transcript)

Full text of English Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermon titled ‘How to Read the Bible’ which was delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington on Thursday Evening June 21, 1866.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon – English Baptist preacher

‘Haven’t you read? Haven’t you read?… If you had known what these words mean….’ (Matthew 12:3&7)

Now, the Scribes and Pharisees were great at reading the Law. They studied the sacred books continually, poring over each word and letter. They made many insignificant notes, but still very curious observations, such as:

Which was the middle verse of the entire Old Testament? Which verse was halfway through the middle? How many times such a word occurred, and even how many times a letter occurred in its particular position?

They have left us a mass of wonderful notes on the simple words of Holy Scripture. They might have done the same thing on any other book for that matter, and the information would have been just about as important as the facts which they have so diligently collected concerning the words of the Old Testament.

They were, however, intense readers of the Law. One day they picked an argument with the Savior on a matter concerning the Law, for they carried the Law at their fingertips, and were ready to use it like a bird of prey does with its claws to rip into tear.

Our Lord’s disciples had picked some heads of grain and rubbed them in their hands and ate the kernels. According to the interpretation of the Pharisees, to rub heads of grain is very much like threshing, and it is very wrong to thresh on the Jewish Sabbath day. Therefore it must be very wrong to rub out a grain or two of wheat when you are hungry on the Sabbath morning.

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