Reading the Bible Supernaturally eBook

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Author: John Piper


Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture

Does it take a miracle to read the Bible?

God wrote a book, and its pages are full of his glory. But we cannot see his beauty on our own, with mere human eyes.

In Reading the Bible Supernaturally, John Piper aims to show us how God works through his written Word when we pursue the natural act of reading the Bible, so that we experience his sightgiving power—a power that extends beyond the words on the page.

Ultimately, Piper shows us that in the seemingly ordinary act of reading the Bible, something miraculous happens: we are given eyes to behold the glory of the living God.

Table of Contents:


Part 1: The Ultimate Goal of Reading the Bible

Introduction to Part 1: The Proposal

  1. Reading the Bible toward God's Ultimate Goal
  2. Reading the Bible toward White-Hot Worship
  3. Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 1
  4. Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 2
  5. Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 3
  6. Reading to Savor His Excellence, Part 1
  7. Reading to Savor His Excellence, Part 2
  8. Reading to Be Transformed, Part 1
  9. Reading to Be Transformed, Part 2
  10. Reading toward the Consummation

Part 2: The Supernatural Act of Reading the Bible
Introduction to Part 2

  1. The Necessity and Possibility of Reading the Bible Supernaturally
  2. Why the Pharisees Couldn’t Read
  3. New Testament Pictures of Bible Reading as a Supernatural Act

Part 3: The Natural Act of Reading the Bible Supernaturally
Introduction to Part 3

  1. God Forbid That We Despise His Natural Gifts
  2. Humility Throws Open a Thousand Windows
  3. The Indispensable Place of Prayer in Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Wakening Our Desire for the Word
  4. The Indispensable Place of Prayer in Reading the Bible Supernaturally: To See, Savor, and Love with a United Heart
  5. Reading the Bible by Faith in the Promises of God
  6. Reading the Bible by Faith in His Promise to Instruct Us
  7. The Ordinary Aim of Reading: The Meaning of Meaning
  8. The Ordinary Aim of Reading: Five Reasons to Define Meaning as What the Author Intended to Communicate
  9. The Ordinary Aim of Reading: God’s Intention through Man’s Intention
  10. The Power of Patience and Aggressive Attentiveness
  11. Active Reading Means Asking Questions
  12. Asking Questions about Words and Phrases
  13. Propositions: Collections of Nuggets or Links in a Chain?
  14. Querying the Text about Paradoxes, Pleasures, and a Transformed Life

Appendix: Arcing
A Word of Thanks
General Index
Scripture Index
Desiring God Note on Resources


About the author:

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring GodDon’t Waste Your LifeThis Momentary MarriageA Peculiar Glory, and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.


“Not many books should be recommended for both beginning Bible readers and mature Bible readers, but this is one of them. Utilizing brief and pointed expositions of often overlooked Bible verses, John Piper helpfully explains why we should be reading the Bible, the work of the Spirit in our Bible reading, and the fundamental skills and habits of faithful Bible reading. I cannot imagine a serious Christian who would not benefit from a thoughtful reading of this book.”   ~D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; cofounder, The Gospel Coalition

“I have been reading the Bible daily for thirty-five years. Reading the Bible Supernaturally challenged my motives, effort, and enjoyment. I doubt I will read the Scriptures the same way again. I look forward to deeper and more wonderful times alone in the Word in the days ahead. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to take Bible study seriously.”   ~Francis Chan, New York Times best-selling author, Crazy Love and Forgotten God

Reading the Bible Supernaturally is a thorough and compelling wake-up call to lethargic, passive, resistant, mechanical Bible readers (which is all of us at one point or another) to become hungry, eager, inquisitive, aggressively observant miners for the treasure in the text—fully expectant that God will bring us from death to life, from foolishness to wisdom, from damning despair to glorious hope through his Word.”  ~Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher; author, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow