“I’m going to cut him open.”
Historians aren’t sure who the first physician was who followed through on this thought, but the practice revolutionized medicine. The willingness to cut into a corpse, peel back the skin, pull a scalp off a skull, cut through the bone, and actually remove, examine, and chart the organs that lay within was a crucial first step in finding out how the human body really works.
For thousands of years physicians had speculated on what went on inside the human body, but there was a reluctance and even an abhorrence to actually dissect a cadaver… While an occasional brave soul ventured inside a dead body, it wasn’t until the Renaissance period (roughly the fourteenth to the sixteenth century) that European doctors routinely started to cut people open.
And when they did, former misconceptions collapsed. In the sixteenth century, Andrea Vesalius was granted a ready supply of criminals’ corpses, allowing him to definitively contradict assumptions about the human anatomy that had been unquestioned for a thousand years or more. Vesalius’s anatomical charts became invaluable, but he couldn’t have drawn the charts unless he was first willing to make the cut.
Sometimes, we approach the Bible in the same way. We think we understand it; we think we know it. But, if we’re honest with ourselves we’re a bit reluctant to really open it up and dive in. Recently, it seems study after study has revealed that American Christians increasingly do not read their Bibles. In fact, a 2012 Pew Research study revealed that less than 20 percent of American Christians read their Bibles daily. LifeWay Research added that only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week and 18 percent never read their Bible. And, it’s not because we don’t have access. After all, nine in ten American homes own a Bible. Among those homes, the average home has three Bibles. This year alone, various Bible societies will distribute over 400 million copies. So, we have the Bible, but we’re not reading it.