How to Read the Stories of People in the Bible

Hi, friends! Amanda here. It’s Week One of our long-awaited summer study — Women & Men in the Word: Old Testament. I hope you’re following along in your Study Book, on the app, or on Over the next eight weeks, we’ll read the stories of over 45 women and men from the Old Testament. Some of these stories you may know well, while others will likely be less familiar. But each and every story we’ll read is important because God saw fit to include them in His Word — and that means there is something for us to learn about Him in every one.

So, how do we do that? How do we keep our eyes on God when reading stories of imperfect — and sometimes, downright despicable — people in the Bible?

If you joined us for our Instagram Live session on Monday (if you missed it, watch now on IGTV and be sure to join us live next Monday at 8:30am CDT!), I shared six principles to keep in mind as we read these stories of women and men in the Old Testament together. Here they are again, as found in the beautiful Women & Men in the Word Study Book, still available in the shop

6 Things To Remember As You Read the Stories of People in the Bible

  1. Biblical narrative is often descriptive rather than prescriptive. Examples are not always positive or meant to be followed.
  2. God spoke into culture as it existed. Our social norms are different than those we encounter in the Bible. It is important to remember that just because a practice is found in Scripture doesn’t mean it was part of God’s design for His creation.
  3. God’s revelation is gradual. Since we have the complete Old and New Testaments, we have knowledge about certain aspects of God’s plan that the women and men we read about in the Old Testament did not.
  4. The Bible was written by people living in the middle of redemption history. What they wrote was often selected to explain the circumstances God’s people were experiencing in their own day.
  5. Women and men in the Bible are complex and rarely fall into neat categories of “good” and “bad.” Jesus is the only one who is truly good.
  6. In the Bible, God worked through broken, sinful people. (He still does!)

It’s going to be a good summer, Shes! Thank you for being women who dare to open your Bibles every day and meet God there. We are praying with and for you as you read.

Amanda Bible Williams, She Reads Truth Co-founder & CCO