When I Read the Bible Through

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

As part of my morning routine I’m often reading Unlocking the Bible by David Pawson. If you’re not familiar with David Pawson, one of the things I most admire about his teachings is his insistence that each book of the Bible needs to be read as a book, otherwise we miss a lot of the context.

In the beginning of Unlocking the Bible, there’s a poem similar to the one below. It’s cited as Unknown, and I figured I could find the true author somehow, and I did. This was written by Amos R. Wells. (see link to the original at the end of this post)

I find this poem convicting and encouraging. It makes me want to fall more in love with my Bible. I hope it does the same with you. Enjoy!


I supposed I knew my Bible,
   reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
   Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah,
   Certain Psalms (the twenty-third!),
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs –
   Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
   Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
   When I read the Bible through.

O the massive, mighty volume!
   O the treasures manifold!
O the beauty and the wisdom
   And the grace it proved to hold!
As the story of the Hebrews
   Swept in majesty along,
As it leaped in waves prophetic,
   As it burst to sacred song,
As it gleamed with Christly omens,
   The Old Testament was new,
Strong with cumulative power,
   When I read the Bible through.

Ah, imperial Jeremiah,
   With his keen, coruscant mind;
And the blunt old Nehemiah,
   And Ezekiel refined!
Newly came the Minor Prophets,
   Each with his distinctive robe,
Newly came the Song idyllic,
   And the tragedy of Job;
Deuteronomy the regal
   To a towering mountain grew
With the comrade peaks around it,
   When I read the Bible through.

What a radiant procession,
   As the pages rise and fall:
James the sturdy, John the tender,
   O the myriad-minded Paul!
Vast apocalyptic glories
   Wheel and thunder, flash and flame,
While the church triumphant raises
   One incomparable Name.
Ah, the story of the Saviour
   Never glows supremely true
Till you read it whole and swiftly,
   Till you read the Bible through.

You who like to play at Bible,
   Dip and dabble, here and there,
Just before you kneel, aweary,
   And yawn through a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
   As you treat no other book –
Just a paragraph disjointed,
   Just a crude, impatient look –
Try a worthier procedure,
   Try a broad and study view;
You will kneel in very rapture
   When you read the Bible through!

Amos R. Wells

Reference: The Collected Poems of Amos R. Wells.

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