Watch: Glenn Paauw’s Interview With Phil Vischer

If you have an appetite for ukuleles, lighthearted singing, and good discussion on the Bible, well, you’ve come to the right place. Institute Director Glenn Paauw was a guest on the Phil Vischer podcast recently, recording an extended interview about his new book, Saving the Bible From Ourselves. Phil and Glenn are joined by Christian Taylor and Skye Jethani.

Phil is the Founder of Big Idea Productions, Jellyfish Labs, and the creator and storyteller behind VeggieTales and What’s in Bible. If his voice sounds a little familiar, that’s because he is the voice behind several VeggieTales characters including Bob the Tomato. You can see more of what he’s doing at

Check out the interview and leave your comments below!

Episode 213: Saving the Bible with Glenn Paauw


Listen: Glenn Paauw Interview with Desiring God

Interview segment included above; the full interview and transcript is available at

Yesterday, the website affiliated with pastor and author John Piper, posted an interview with Glenn Paauw, one of our Directors and author of Saving the Bible From Ourselves. The interview, titled A Short History of Bible Clutter, focused primarily on the modernization of the Bible and the consequences of engaging with a Bible that has so much extra-biblical information packed into its pages.

“I think what happened over time is we just started inserting more things into Bible design, all with the interest of providing help, of course,” said Paauw, “There were practical reasons for these things. But by the time you get to the end of the history of the Bible in our time, these helps, these additions have pretty much overwhelmed the text.”

Saving the Bible From OurselvesThe interview was conducted by Tony Reinke, a staff writer at Desiring God and host of the Ask Pastor John podcast. Reinke asked Paauw about the implications of the “data smog” that comes with using a modernistic Bible, specifically the column of cross-reference texts that are present in many study Bibles.

“I think cross-references down the middle column of a Bible are kind of an early version of a built-in distraction system. They tell us to jump around the Bible looking at this verse and that verse, not necessarily stopping to take the time to read each of those references in its own context.” Paauw explained, “The danger is I think I am really getting significant Bible study, topical study, these sorts of things, but there is a clearer danger and, again, I say: The first and the primary and the most natural thing to do with the Bible is to read individual books at length in their own terms.”

Saving the Bible From Ourselves is available from InterVarsity Press and Amazon.


Scot McKnight Blogs About Saving The Bible From Ourselves

Scott McKnightScot McKnight is a Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary near Chicago, IL as well as a renowned speaker, theologian, author, and blogger. Today he published a blog post featuring Glenn Paauw’s book Saving the Bible From Ourselves and pointed his followers to the Institute for Bible Reading to continue pondering his questions about good Bible reading!

We are thankful for Scot’s perspective and his concern for seeing the Bible flourish in the hands of scholars and laypeople alike. Click the link below to go to his blog post and click here to order a copy of Saving the Bible From Ourselves.

Patheos — Jesus Creed: Questions About Bible Reading