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Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture

, 2017
ISBN: 9781433553493

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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 sight-giving 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.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Challenges readers to expectantly engage with Scripture in light of God’s glory
  • Provides a complete view of the nature of Scripture, a tool that displays God’s majesty and invites us into a relationship
  • Balances the natural and supernatural elements of Bible reading


    Part 1: The Ultimate Goal of Reading the Bible

    • Introduction to Part 1: The Proposal
    • Reading the Bible toward God’s Ultimate Goal
    • Reading the Bible toward White-Hot Worship
    • Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 1
    • Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 2
    • Reading to See Supreme Worth and Beauty, Part 3
    • Reading to Savor His Excellence, Part 1
    • Reading to Savor His Excellence, Part 2
    • Reading to Be Transformed, Part 1
    • Reading to Be Transformed, Part 2
    • Reading toward the Consummation

    Part 2: The Supernatural Act of Reading the Bible

    • Introduction to Part 2
    • The Necessity and Possibility of Reading the Bible Supernaturally
    • Why the Pharisees Couldn’t Read
    • New Testament Pictures of Bible Reading as a Supernatural Act

    Part 3: The Natural Act of Reading the Bible Supernaturally

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

Top Highlights

“The Bible itself shows that our ultimate goal in reading the Bible is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation. In other words, each time we pick up the Bible to read, we should intend that reading would lead to this end.” (Page 39)

“‘One of the greatest tragedies of the fall is that we get tired of familiar glories.’ That simple statement sank deep into my consciousness.” (Page 42)

“clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee” (Page 120)

“The point of that first book, which shapes this one throughout, is that the Bible reveals its complete truthfulness by the shining forth of a self-authenticating, peculiar, divine glory.” (Page 20)

“Why did the prophet not say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his holiness!’? My suggestion is that the glory of God is the holiness of God put on display. When God’s holiness shines into creation, it is called ‘God’s glory.’” (Page 43)

Praise for the Print Edition

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

Stunning. Profound. Powerful. Reading the Bible Supernaturally will move you to captivated and awestruck worship at the Divine’s plan for his Word as an instrument to magnify his unrivaled glory. Seeing and savoring the God of the Scriptures is an extraordinarily high calling every believer must pursue, and no man can move us to that place quite like John Piper. This book, accessibly written and weighty in content, is so much more than a manual or study guide to the Scriptures. Rather, it’s an invitation to the experience God intended we have with his Word—an experience that is Spirit dependent, faith building, and worship inciting.

—Louie Giglio, Pastor, Passion City Church, Atlanta; Founder, Passion Conferences; author, The Comeback

Product Details

  • Title: Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture
  • Author: John Piper
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 432
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Scripture
John Piper

John Piper (b. 1946) is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author who serves as founder and lead teacher at Desiring God and is chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He has authored more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and writing are available free of charge at desiringGod.org. Piper resides in the Minneapolis area with his wife of 51 years, and has five children and 14 grandchildren.

Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under Dr. Daniel Fuller. Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College.

In 1994, Piper founded Desiring God Ministries, which provides Piper’s sermons, articles, and information on titles he has authored. One of his bestsellers, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, prompted the name of the ministry.

Several of Piper’s books have been Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian book award winners including What Jesus Demands from the World, Pierced by the Word, and God’s Passion for His Glory. The Crossway John Piper Collection (39 vols.) includes 39 titles from Piper, including Love Your Enemies and A Hunger for God. His preaching ministry of more than 30 years is available in the John Piper Sermon Archive (1980–2014).

Hear how Piper uses Logos for his Bible Study.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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    Digital list price: $25.99
    Save $5.00 (19%)