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

By John Piper

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

By John Piper

... Show All

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.

Read Chapter 1


John Piper

John Piper is founder and lead teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; and Providence.

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 432
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 29.9 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5349-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5349-3
ISBN-UPC: 9781433553493
Case Quantity: 20
Published: April 30, 2017

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


“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, Theologian-at-Large, 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 bestselling 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

“The seemingly mundane topic of reading the Bible ushers us into a world of supernatural grace for sinners. With constant reference to the Holy Scriptures, John Piper shows us how to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and to read by the light of Christ. Yet Piper commends no passive mysticism, but studious labor over the best of books; he is thorough, practical, and engaging throughout. Take up and read!”
Joel R. Beeke, Chancellor and Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Reading the Bible Supernaturally reminds us why we cannot rest until every person on earth has access to the Bible in their own tongue. Tribes, languages, peoples, and nations are perishing without access to, or opportunity to know, this glorious God through this glorious book. John Piper stokes the urgency of our calling as the church of Jesus Christ to deepen our appreciation for the Word that God uses toward a missional end—his global and eternal glory.”
Michael Oh, CEO, Lausanne Movement

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, Even Better than Eden

“If you disconnect the Bible from God’s glory, you lose your grip on both. What terrible things we hear people say about each of them, taken in isolation. John Piper puts them together, and finds himself preaching an astonishingly high doctrine of Scripture, right alongside an intimately experiential doctrine of God’s glory. Reading the Bible Supernaturally is not just one of the helpful activities that make up the Christian life. Kept in proper context, seen in full perspective, and received in wide-awake recognition of the living voice of the triune God, reading the Bible is the central act of Christian existence. This book, a kind of extended Christian hedonist gloss on Psalm 119, is an invitation to the miracle of Bible reading.”
Fred Sanders, Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors College, Biola University; author, The Deep Things of God

“No book has inspired me to approach Scripture with as much anticipation as Reading the Bible Supernaturally. Read this book at your own risk, for it will ignite your devotional life. You will find yourself actively hunting for treasure in the Bible, looking carefully at each passage, praying and trusting that God himself will open your eyes to see and savor his glory. Don’t let the length of this book fool you; it is clear, accessible, and inspiring. In fact, it is the most practical, passionate, and motivating book on reading the Bible I have ever read. Read it. Apply it. Test it. It will transform your approach to God’s Word.”
Vaneetha Rendall Risner, author, Walking Through Fire: A Memoir of Loss and Redemption

“Having read Reading the Bible Supernaturally, readers will not return to Scripture carelessly or indifferently but with renewed and stimulated appetite to meet with the God of glory who inspired it and can be found and freshly encountered through its pages. John Piper’s own insatiable appetite for fellowship with God communicates inspiringly.”
Terry Virgo, Founder, Newfrontiers