“We should be reading the Bible every day! It’s a lifestyle, not a profession! This is for everybody. This is not just for people who want to become ministers; this is for every Christian.”
In case you missed it, Katie Haldane is passionate about God’s word. And about everyone flourishing in their relationship with Jesus and God, though a deeper grasp of the Bible.
“We set our sights on those who may be a bit nervous about studying the Bible.” – Katie Haldane
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A New Testament lecturer at C3 College in Sydney (a creative arts and Bible college), Katie is founder and director of Trash Your Bible – an intriguingly-titled service aimed at helping everyone get into the Holy Scriptures. Repeat: everyone.
When she first started studying at C3 College, Katie was struck by the “benefit of historical context and studying the Bible, book by book”. How knowing more details about biblical times, or the structure of a particular book, increased her overall grip upon – and joy found in – the Bible.
But Katie also knew how many of her family and friends were time poor, or not inclined towards something that looks like university lecture notes. She wondered: “How can I get this kind of Bible College content to them, but in a very short and succinct way?” Trash Your Bible was her answer – an online resource of 5-10 minute “snapshot” videos, blog posts and other encouragements to people to really get stuck into God’s word.
In a world where many similar study materials compete for attention, Katie always knew what could set TYB apart. “Our point of difference is our language and we set our sights on those who may be a bit nervous about studying the Bible,” explains Katie, ahead of this month’s launch of a special “Trash Your Bible” Bible. An actual, printed Bible. Old school.
“This is more than a textbook for Christianity. It’s your life source.” – Katie Haldane
“It’s made for ‘trashing’,” says Katie. “It’s got thicker pages, so the highlighter doesn’t go through. It’s got more journaling space, as well as QR codes and links to the website.” In essence, TYB’s “use-it-so-much-you-trash-it” Bible aims to do what TYB online has been endorsing for the past three years.
“Heartbroken” by people who didn’t see God’s word as “daily bread”, Katie’s TYB mission is to offer similar insights and knowledge to commentaries or academic texts – without the off-putting language, layout and overly-long sentences.
Katie’s joined by a team who are also keen to “get the word of God out there”. Together, they use conversational language and relaxed styling as they strives to summarise biblical books. Video overviews are light but packed with detail, making them digestible-yet-filling explanations of various parts of God’s word, how the parts work together, and what they can mean for you.
“The Bible is not just an instruction manual that tells you the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. It’s funny … It’s more relatable and active than what I feel people today understand it to be,” Katie says.
“This is more than a textbook for Christianity. It’s your life source.”
Katie recognises it can be a daunting task to work out how to read the Bible, particularly if you are new to faith in Jesus. But she hopes you can grab a TYB Bible, set aside the distractions of your digital device, and discover the same truth, hope and love she has found there.
“Everything in my head was telling me that God wasn’t good …” – Katie Haldane
“I have always loved the Bible. I grew up in the Uniting Church and I had grandparents who were very beautiful and was aware that the Bible is something you read daily.”
“But the point where I really got a revelation about the word of God was 14 years ago, was when I had a faith crisis. Something happened in my life that I absolutely did not understand and it broke my heart.
“Everything in my head was telling me that God wasn’t good and things weren’t going well. Every lie that I could possibly think of was filling my brain and I ended up in depression.
“That’s why I am so passionate about the word of God… because I started reading the Bible, not as something of a discipline – but as something as a discipleship moment with God.
“Every time I read it, even just reading chapter after chapter – like reading the book of Ephesians over and over again – it changed my thinking. Like it says, my mind was it transformed by the renewing of the word [Romans 12:2].
“Every lie that I had told myself got [confronted by] the truth in the Bible.”