Here’s a “crazy” idea that will change your life:
1. Find an easy-to-read Bible translation such as the New Living Translation, Common English Bible, or Holman Christian Standard Version (I’d avoid The Message for this).
2. Set aside a half hour and sit down with someone else.
3. Starting in the New Testament, read the Bible out loud with that other person for a half hour every day.
And do it right by getting into your best acting voice, so that when pompous people are speaking in the text, give them a nicely pompous voice. When someone is yelling, then yell. (Really, this is heady stuff and demands some effort.)
We tend to relegate the Scriptures to quiet, personal reading, but for most of Christian history, they were verbalized for others to hear—”he who has ears to hear, let him hear,” right?
8 thoughts on “Here’s a Crazy Idea–And It Will Change Your Life!”
This is a great idea. My wife and I have been doing our Bible reading out loud together since we were courting, and we love it.
Great idea …
If you do it in a cafe, does that answer to 1Tim 4:13, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture”? If you do it with the book of Revelation, does that invoke the blessing of Revelations 1:3, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy”?
I’m not certain that I can recall ever hearing someone speaking the Scriptures out loud in a public place where the occasion was impromptu and meant more for the people reading and less for whoever their audience might be. In other words, I haven’t been in a coffee shop and heard one man reading the Bible out to his tablemate(s).
I tried it with a couple of friends and Psalm 119 a couple of years back. I’m not sure we were overheard a great deal by the other patrons in the coffee shop, but it was a very positive experience for us (the readers) and I felt it really had potential.
At the time I was keen to experiment with a group who could just meet for half an hour on a lunch break or something and read out loud in a public space … see what happened. I’ve never really followed through on this although I felt at the time that there was some “spiritual prompting” behind the idea. I am still hungry to uncover the Scriptures as an oral/aural tradition and to just listen to the Word for itself without the need to expound it.
I think there is something truer in the public reading. You’re right: the oral/aural tradition contains a reality we often neglect. I would also add that while we do get some public reading of the Scriptures in our churches, we don’t get enough, and we don’t get it in the context we should. The readings end up as disjointed fragments that lose most of their important meaning. Years ago, I suggested a Bible reading program that sought to read the Bible in full books and to do so repeatedly. I am only further convinced as time has passed that this is the best way to understand the Bible. And reading it out loud is icing on that spiritual cake.
Dear Sir, I have just started exploring this and bought a big print bible. May I know if I were to hear from Audio bible reading (many MP3 available from internet), does it work just as good as compared to hearing my own voice reading it. Thanks for sharing.
Read it in your own voice. It does matter.