How Readest Thou?

How Readest Thou?

An Urgent Appeal to Search the Scriptures

by John Charles Ryle
Saddle-stitched, 62 pages
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The title of this article is the title of a little work produced by the great bishop of Liverpool, J.C. Ryle [1814-1900]. It is, in fact, an open letter to all who want [or ought to want] to know more about the Bible.
For a work of 62 pages it covers a lot of ground. The main part of the text gives nine reasons why the author asks the opening question. Then [in about ten pages] he addresses five classes of people who might have something to do with his letter. The second of these he calls "someone who is willing to begin reading the Bible, but wants advice on the subject." He then gives his advice, in the form of 10 statements.

These were mentioned recently in a Sunday School class and the speaker was asked to reproduce them. He did so, in Ryle's own words:

  • Begin reading your Bible this very day.
  • Read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it.
  • Read the Bible with deep reverence.
  • Read the Bible with earnest prayer for the teaching and help of the Holy Spirit.
  • Read the Bible with childlike faith and humility.
  • Read the Bible in a spirit of obedience and self-application.
  • Read the Bible daily.
  • Read all the Bible, and read it in an orderly way.
  • Read the Bible fairly and honestly.
  • Read the Bible with Christ continually in view.

As helpful as this list of 10 may be, you will gain much more by reading the whole text. Pick up a copy and let Ryle take you through this vital question. Ask it of yourself:

How readest thou?

Table of Contents:

  1. Knowledge of Biblical Truth is Needful for Salvation
  2. No Book is Written in Such a Manner as the Bible
  3. No Book Contains Such Important Matter as the Bible
  4. No Book Has Done So Much for the World as the Bible
  5. No Book Can Do So Much as the Bible
  6. No Book Has Been So Neglected & Misused as the Bible
  7. The Bible is the Only Rule
  8. All True Servants of God Love the Bible
  9. Only the Bible Can Comfort a Dying Man
  10. Conclusion
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