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The Oldest Tricks in the Book

Author Jen Wilkin writes:

I learned to cook with the most basic tools under the tutelage of my step-mother. Bacon was fried in a cast-iron skillet, turned with a fork. Pie crust was formed with a wire pastry cutter in a mixing bowl. Biscuits were cut using an empty can. Simple tools, employed faithfully, yielding all manner of goodness.

But as my interest in cooking grew, I moved on to more complicated tools that promised less work or mess. My kitchen brimmed with single-use utensils and fancy appliances, but the crispy bacon, flaky pie crusts, and warm biscuits of my early years did not improve. In many cases, they degraded, or the task of locating and employing the right implement dulled my interest.

It is possible to overcomplicate simple practices that yield good things. Just as with cooking, so with reading our Bibles. The availability of online commentaries, lexicons, interlinear Bibles, and searchable databases can make us forget basic, tried-and-true tools that serve us well. When it comes to Bible reading, avoid overcomplicating the recipe.

Consider recovering these five simple “utensils” that may have gotten lost in the drawer:

  • Simple repetitive reading of a Book of the Bible without stopping to analyze it.
  • Consult a map in the back of your Bible to draw you into the setting.
  • Keep a Bible timeline to put events into historical perspective.
  • Compare several English translations in hard-to-understand passages.
  • Check an English dictionary for unfamiliar words.

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