By Jennifer Mauro | Managing Editor

Like any good book, lose the narrative and the reader goes with it.

That, says Jeff Cavins, internationally acclaimed evangelist, author and biblical scholar, is why knowing how to read the Good Book is one of the most important lessons in a faithful person’s life.

“Most people, when asked, ‘Have you read the Bible,’ answer, ‘I tried,’” said Cavins, who will be visiting the Diocese in November. 

“The reason they gave up is that they tried to read it as a book – like a great epic story. What happens, they start reading in January, and in March they quit,” he said, adding that people typically stop at the Book of Leviticus, which focuses on instructions and law. 

“Leviticus is not a history book. They lose the narrative thread and give up. That’s typical to life. If you lose the plot, you put it down,” he said.

To prevent that from happening, Cavins will present “The Bible Timeline Seminar” Nov. 18 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral Parish, Freehold. The daylong seminar, which is being sponsored by the diocesan adult faith formation ministry in the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, will show attendees how to read the Bible as a narrative, he said, explaining that means which books to read first as the Bible is not put together in chronological order. The night before, he will give a talk on “God’s Amazing Plan for You!”

Regardless of where one may be on his/her faith journey, Cavins said the seminar aims to help everyone learn how the Bible’s key people, places and events relate to each other in God’s overall plan for humanity.

“Knowing Scripture and the story of Salvation History is key to knowing God and his plan for your life,” Cavins said.

In addition, the seminar will also aim to explain how events in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament.

“If you really want to know Jesus, you have to know the Old Testament because it’s about fulfillment,” Cavins said. “That’s what really makes the story of Jesus come alive.”

Calling the seminar a key to opening the treasure chest that is the Bible, Cavins said the event will not be just about teaching, but equipping all in attendance for a lifetime of reading and devotion to God.

“The book [Bible] is unlike any other,” he said. “The author is God, and the author actually enters the story and interacts with us.”

Cavins said he hopes those who attend will be renewed or begin a relationship with God – one where they can meet with him in Scripture.

“I am introducing them to a relationship that goes years beyond the seminar,” he said. “The Bible is a revelation to how we came to be, why we sin and what the solution to that is. Everything we struggle with in life is covered in the Bible, and we see God’s solution to these.”