Four Benefits Of Communal Reading
Communal reading was not only popular in Jesuss day it was essential. With no printing and no smartphones, men and women across the Roman Empire, of all ages, races, and social classes, gathered to hear recitations from many different kinds of literature. Orators would show off their abilities before their admiring fans.
Jesus, Paul, and the earliest Christian communities all read communally . Indeed, the New Testament documents were written with the intention of being read in community. Paul explicitly instructed some of his letters to be read aloud , along with other Scripture .
Contemporary Christians might benefit greatly from resuming this practice. Here are four ways that communal reading can edify individual believers and churches, and even help reach into non-Christian communities today.
Is Standing While Reading The Bible In Scripture
There are two passages in the Bible that talk about a scenario wherein someone stands while reading the Bible and then the people also stand up. One of these is in the Old Testament, specifically in Nehemiah 8:5. The passage says,
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God and all the people lifted their hands and responded, Amen! Amen! Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Another example is in the New Testament in Luke 4:16-17, as stated,
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written
The passage in Luke is an example of Jesus reading a passage from Isaiah while standing up, but it is not mentioned here that the people also stood, rather, it was only Jesus that did.
Both scriptures have similarities. One is that both Ezra and the Lord Jesus Christ stood up on their own. The second similarity is that both did not command the crowd to stand up, rather, possibly, the people stood up out of respect for the reader.
Why Is It A Sign Of Respect
Because the act of standing up while reading the Bible is a sign of respect, there is nothing wrong with doing it if the congregation or denomination decides to. When something is done with respect to God and His Word, it always pleases God.
So, if standing while the Bible is being read is done out of respect to the Word, then there is nothing wrong with it.
It is written in Titus 2:7 that In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.
Relating it to standing while the Bible is read, setting an example through this act shows that we are serious in listening and reading the Bible.
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other .
It is comparable to when we stand when the flag of our country is being risen. It is a sign of respect towards the flag and country. When we sing the national anthem, we also stand up and some even put their hands on their chest. This is the same as standing while the Bible is read to show the utmost respect for the Word.
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Listening To God And Loving Others Well
This revelation about those who I thought knew the bible, was shocking to me. To make things more challenging, the one who clearly didnt know what they were talking about, was actually the one in charge of the study.
I didnt even know what to say.
What the leader was saying wasnt in line with what I was reading or studying. But I didnt feel confident enough to question what they were saying.
The leader noticed a difference in me after about 3 weeks and she called me out in front of everybody,
Sonya, youre really quiet, what is on your mind?
All I could say was,
Im just taking more time to listen lately.
Later, I was actually able to ask more questions, not to directly question the leader, but in a respectful way to discuss what was in the Bible and what was not. Still revealing another one of the benefits to reading the Bible dailylearning to love those around me well.
In addition, I started to really listen more in all conversations to not what was being said, but listening to the hearts of people as they spoke.
Why Are We Reading
We are reading the Bible because God wants his people to prioritize the reading of Scripture when his people gather together . When the Bible is read, God is speaking. This is actually the only perfect portion of our worship service! We are reading Gods perfect Word. And in so doing, we are loving God and loving others. The unfolding of Gods Word brings light . There is a simple reason why we are reading: to prepare for the preaching of the Word. But, there is a deeper, underlying reason: because God is glorified by us reading it in our assembly.
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How To Please God Despite Having Same
The Bible says: Dont be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. To kill wrong desires, which lead to wrong actions, you need to control your thinking. If you regularly fill your mind with wholesome thoughts, you can more readily dismiss wrong desires. While you may struggle greatly at first, it can become easier. God promises to help you to be made new in the force actuating your mind.Ephesians 4:22-24.
The same struggle is faced by millions with heterosexual desires who wish to conform to the Bibles standards. For example, those who are single with little prospect of marriage or who are married to a partner who is unable to function sexually choose to control their sexual urges despite any temptations they might face. They are able to live happily, and those with same-sex urges can do so as well if they truly want to please God.Deuteronomy 30:19.
What Is The Author Trying To Do What Literary Forms And Conventions Are They Using
When we interpret a passage, first we have to identify what an author is trying to do. Sometimes authors want to tell what happened or will happen sometimes they want to explain or describe something sometimes they want to give instructions about how to do something and sometimes they want to give an exhortation or command.
All languages and cultures have ways of communicating these kinds of intentions. However, languages and cultures embed these intentions in different literary forms. These literary forms have certain conventions or rules that people within a certain culture and time recognize and easily interpret. But moving from one culture to another, from one time to another, or from one language to another, we may find that both the literary forms and the conventions within the forms are different than what we expect or easily recognize.
The literary forms and conventions associated with the ancient Hebrew psalms, a fifteenth-century Japanese haiku, an eighteenth-century English sonnet, and a twenty-first-century American rap song are very different, even though all could be classified as poetry.
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Bible Study By Verses
In studying the historical passages of the Bible, such as most of the Old Testament or parts of the Gospels, each verse may have only one simple meaning.
But many verses in both the Old and New Testaments are rich with many great Bible truths that will demand more detailed study. There are many ways for you to study a single Bible verse.
What Does The Bible Say About Poverty
The Bible is the authoritative source for knowing Gods heart, his will, and our purpose as Christians. This is true also for how God calls us to serve the poor and those in poverty. At Food for the Hungry, our first value is We follow Jesus. We are ambassadors of Jesus in our thoughts, words, and deeds. So what does the Bible say about poverty? How are Christians instructed to care for the poor? There are over 2000 references in the Bible to the poor. Here is a SparkNotes version or list of Bible verses that inform our work, and tell us what the Bible says about poverty. We pray they help you discover Gods heart for our global brothers and sisters living in poverty.
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What Is The Rosary
Different forms of the Rosary are prayed in Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, the Baháí Faith, and Islam. It may surprise some that Hinduism also practices celibacy of the clergy, separation from the world, worship of saints, fasting, processions, litanies, and use of holy water. In each of these religions, the Rosary is made of beads on a string or knotted cord. Islam uses 99 beads and the Hindus and Buddhists use ones with 100 as well as 66 beads. Prayers are repeated as the beads are counted.
The Rosary was not used by Jesus, by His apostles, or by the early church fathers. The Roman Catholic Church started using the Rosary around A.D. 1350. Protestants do not use a Rosary. Within the Roman Catholic Church, the Rosary has five sets of ten beads. Each set of ten beads is called a decade. Each decade is separated by one large bead. Different prayers are recited for different beads. The Our Father or Lords Prayer is recited on the large bead while the Hail Mary is prayed on each of the small beads.
Bible Teaches Us To Worship Only God
Additionally, the Bible encourages us to pray to God and not to men or women. Jesus encouraged us to pray to the Father in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus never encouraged us to pray to Mary. To pray to anyone other than God is a violation of the second of the Ten Commandments. We are not to worship anyone other than God. For example, in Acts 10:24-26 we read that a Gentile called Cornelius had bowed and worshipped Peter. Notice Peters reply.
On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, Stand up I too am just a man. Acts 10:2426
Peter said, Stand up I too am just a man. Mary was just a woman. Another example is Acts 14:1315. Here a group of pagans fell down and worshipped the apostle Paul. Notice how Paul responded.
The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out and saying, Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM. Acts 14:13-15
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Bible Study By Chapters
In the Bible there are 1,189 chapters in the Old and New Testaments. In a little over three years, a person could make an intensive study of the whole Bible, taking a chapter a day. It is usually a good practice to start your Bible study in the New Testament.
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Study the Bible by Chapters
Seek to find its main subject or subjects.
If you are reading the Gospel of John, for example, you might give each chapter titles like this: ch. 1 Jesus Christ, the Word of God ch. 2 The Wedding at Cana ch. 3 The New Birth ch. 4 The Woman at the Well ch. 5 The Healing of the Man at the Pool of Bethesda ch. 6 The Feeding of the 5,000
Including its main thoughts. For example, for John 1, you might make an outline like this:Jesus Christ, the Word of God:a. Jesus Christ was the eternal Word of God, 19b. Jesus Christ came into the world, 1018c. John witnesses that Christ is to come, 1928d. John says that Jesus is the Lamb of God, 2937e. Jesus Christ calls His first disciples, 3851
Another Method Of Book Study Is Called The Synthetic Method
For example, the Book of Exodus tells the history of the children of Israel from the death of Joseph in Egypt until the erecting of the tabernacle in the wilderness in the time of Moses. This covers approximately 400 years.
The principles of Bible book study, whether inductive or synthetic, are very similar. Such study will require more time than the previous methods mentioned, but it will be amply rewarding.
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Why You Should Read The Bible Regularly
What you read impacts you. Think about how you feel when you read your news feed. Reading the Bible on a regular and consistent basis has several benefits. First, the Bible shows us Gods character and provides us Gods revelation of himself to his people. In each section of the Bible, we see Gods holy, unchanging, faithful, gracious and loving character.
Second, 2 Timothy 3:1617 when discussing the topic of Scripture says that it is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. The next verse goes on to say that this leads to the completeness and equipping for every good work .
Third, regularly reading Gods word reorients our thinking so that we can grow in maturity, which is part of the Christian calling . Have you ever met a mature Christian who did not regularly read the Bible? These three things are really just the beginning, this list could include dozens of reasons why you should read the Bible on a regular basis.
Bible Verses About Reading The Bible
Reading the Bible each day shouldnt be a chore we dread doing. Nor should it be something we do just to mark it off of our To Do List. The Bible is Gods Word. It is alive and active. The Bible is inerrant and it is completely sufficient for all aspects of life in godliness.
The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God. James Merritt
Nobody ever outgrows Scripture the book widens and deepens with our years. Charles Spurgeon
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. Theodore Roosevelt
Reading the Bible is not where your engagement with the Bible ends. Its where it begins.
The very practice of reading will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise. Billy Graham
God speaks to those who take time to listen, and He listens to those who take time to pray.
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This Is What Gods Word Can Do:
Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:21
Help you grow in wisdom.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise Him forever! Psalm 111:10
Teach you how to live.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Protect you from being deceived.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Develop your faith.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
Keep you from sin.
I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11
Fill you with hope.
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Bring you joy.
How I delight in Your commands! How I love them! Psalm 119:47
Give you peace.
Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165
Prosper your life.
The Bible Is Full Of Errors
This common misconception has been propagated by non-scholars who want to deny the Bible’s authority. The Bible’s margin of error is less than 1 percent, and in that small percentage the inaccuracies are a difference in minor prepositions. None of the 1 percent gives any confusion to the meaning of the text. An example would be like re-reading my previous sentence as, “None in the 1 percent gives any confusion to the meaning of the text.” In fact, the more that has been discovered in history and archaeology, the more continues to prove the accuracy of the Bible, which scripture actually says of itself, “Every word of God proves true.” Proverbs 30:5
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