I’m all for personal Bible reading; times of private devotion, study, and reflection establish a spiritual discipline that bears much fruit. But I am most fed when I read Scripture in community.
David J. Lose, in Making Sense of Scripture (Augsburg Fortress 2009), reminds us that the Bible was generally written with a community in mind. “When you read it with others you come closer… to realizing its intention – to build a community of faith around its confession of the God who is out to be in relationship with a community, the community we call ‘humanity’” (p. 113).
Reading the Bible is never a one-and-done thing; there is no one, fixed reading for all time. There is always something more to learn. If you are part of a Bible study group that includes people of different ages, life situations, personal and family history, and faith journeys, your understanding of a particular passage can be deeply enriched by what you share with one another.
This message is excerpted from “Studying Scripture” by Karen G. Bockelman in the January/February 2018 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate William Tyndale, translator, martyr, 1536.
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