Thursday, February 21, 2013

Slow Bible - Part 2 of 3

I’m advocating ‘slow’ bible reading. Rather than a Bible-in-a-year plan I’m for a slower reading of the biblical narrative. Reading the Bible can be a daunting task and, to their credit, Bible-in-a-year plans attempt to make it less daunting. Slow reading however, is intended not only to make the Bible less daunting, but to also aid with the comprehension and application of God’s Word in the day to day of life’s journey. What might ‘slowreading’ that leads to ‘Bible living’ look like then?

Firstly, it is helpful to remember that the Bible was always intended to be read in ‘conversation’. Most of the books of the Bible are addressed to a community of people who would have engaged with the content in a discussion with each other, both the young and the old, the immature and the wise. Reading it in a ‘community’, with the benefit of the input of others, makes it much easier to make sense of. But to do this you need to slow down. Trying to read with a friend (or a group of friends)as well as inviting an expert into the discussion means 3.2 chapters every day for 365 days will simply be impossible. Don’t even worry about this. Aim instead to tackle a couple of books of the bible in a year, perhaps between 2 and 4. Relax with this as a goal, read and converse. 


Secondly, you might be wondering where can you find an expert to join your discussion? They’re not that hard to find, the experts write books!  N.T. Wright, one of the world’s leading Bible scholars, has a series of books called For Everyone in which he explains in simple terms what’s going on in the various books of the New Testament. Just Google John for Everyone or Romans for Everyone. Get a couple of friends working through a For Everyone book and meet up to discuss from time to time. Your comprehension and of course with it, the challenge to apply the Bible to your daily life will go through the roof. You’ll also be able to encourage, provoke and challenge each other along the way. As well as enjoying each other’s company.

Make a start – it’ll be worth the effort.

No comments: