Judging people that use the table of contents in their Bible.

Stop, just stop, it’s too late. I saw you. We were just told to turn to Nahum 2:4 by our pastor and out of the corner of my eye I saw you flip to the table of contents in your Bible.

Don’t, don’t try to explain yourself. I thought you loved God. I thought that when we weren’t at church together you were off somewhere reading your Bible, but clearly that was a mistake on my part. How long has this been going on, this, ugh, I don’t even like how the words feel in my mouth, this “using the table of contents to find books of the Bible?”

I felt like we had made so much progress. When we first met you had a Bible with those indents, those “dumb thumbs.” As in, “I’m dumb, I can’t find Titus, here is where I place my thumb.” But we got through that, we pushed through that and got you a grown up Bible without indents marking the different books.

And then today, today I catch you using the table of contents?

Who are you?

I don’t even know you any more.

Sure, you can find Psalms. Congratulations, you know where Psalms is. Everyone can find that book. It’s 60 pages long and in the middle. Yeah, that’s right, in addition to the location of the books of the Bible I know the length of each book.

Do you know what I did with my table of contents? I ripped it out and rolled it into a homemade shofar horn that I blow when it’s time for my family to come down and read our nightly Bible studies.

Go on, look up Nahum. It’s too late to save face now. You’ll find it on page 1466 and it’s only seven pages long. But what am I telling you for? You’ve probably confused Nahum with the Marvel comics anti-hero, Namor the Sub-Mariner, prince of Atlantis, grandson of the Atlantean Emperor Thakorr.

I’m so embarrassed for you.

(This is a Throwback Thursday post from deep within the archives of Stuff Christians Like!)


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  1. says

    Just blogged about judging yesterday, but forgot all about Christians who use Thy Table of Contents (**raising hand**) If I can’t sing the Vacation Bible School Old and New Testament song out loud, and my head is too noisy, I sheepishly crack it open. Thanks for the laugh!

  2. says

    As a kid in church, we got up and recited the books of the Bible in front of the whole congregation. I never knew it then, but they were making sure we knew where each book was so we would never have to look in the Table of Contents!

    How glad am I they made us do that!

  3. Cindy says

    Haha – I just showed my brand-new Christian 12-yo nephew the table of contents last Sunday during service! You would have thought he found the Promised Land and the lost site of Noah’s Ark!!

  4. Kelly says

    I just read this to my husband, who said “1466 is too far in the bible for Nahum.” Then silently face palmed.

  5. Spirit mom says

    When I taught Sunday school I insisted my students turn to table of contents before I’d give them the reference to what we were studying that day. They had to point to the book with their finger, them turn to it. I hoped that would impress in them for life not to be embarrassed to use it. And I’ve gone to church with waaaaaay too many people who are so condescending about using the toc!!

  6. Aaron says

    Shared your post because I found it hysterical. Then a friend totally “Jesus Juked” me in the comments. Thought you’d enjoy!

    “Contrary to the blog, no matter how someone finds things in the Bible, I am just glad they are reading it.”

  7. says

    This is literally why I don’t even take my bible to bible study anymore. lol I exclusively use YouVersion on my iPhone and then when it freezes up I’m like “hey can I look at your bible?” hahahahahahahhahah

  8. Rosemary says

    I find this competitive sort of ego game so annoying, I won’t look up the verse when someone drops one into a conversation without any context. When they say something like, “But yes, I do agree with 1 Ephesians 6:4” (or Psalm 137: 9, Song of Solomon 4:5, or whatever) — when the verse has not been specifically mentioned in the conversation, and mostly, without providing the text of the verse themselves. If they really had intended to communicate something, they would have included the text.

    It’s like a game of Bible Whiz Kid. The implication is, “Of course you should know this verse without having to look it up.”

  9. says

    In college out bible professor asked us to turn to Jonah Ch. 2 and I looked at all the books I bought for that class and couldnt find that one. Raised my hand and asked why it wasnt on the list of books to buy. He informed me that it was in the bible. Instead of being smart and just looking I argued with him about it. He asked me if I heard of the big fish story. I also mentioned i knew about moses but there wasnt a Moses book. As we were arguing he came and showed me where in the bible it was. THen he tells the class that my father was a pastor and on the board of trustees at the university.
    Yeah im that guy…

  10. says

    It’s funny – I recently realized that electronic Bible versions make knowing the order a lot less necessary. You basically have to look at the table of contents to tell it what book you want – or you just type it in. Knowing where to flip to will become a lost art.

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