Bible Reading

Read, Reflect, Remember, Respond
Author: Lawson Murray
Published by: Scripture Union Canada (2017)

About the book (from the Bible Engagement Basics web page):

Do Christians really know what the Bible is and the difference it can make in their lives?
Are Christians being equipped to dynamically connect with God’s Word? Is the Bible being read as God intended? According to Bible engagement advocate, Dr. Lawson Murray, the answer is no. He says, “Most Christians are unsure about how they should interact with the Bible. They’re confused about what it is, how to read it, and how to apply it to their lives.”

Vision for Bible Engagement Basics
“The vision for this book is not to help more people read the Bible,” says Murray. “The fact that only 2 out of 10 Christians will read the Bible from cover to cover isn’t really the problem. The real problem is relational - people aren’t connecting with Jesus. That’s why this book’s about learning how to engage with the Bible in order to meet with Jesus and live in harmony with His Story.”

Contents
Each chapter looks at a different aspect of Bible engagement and provides tips to help a reader read, reflect, remember and respond to God's Word.

The book is divided into 3 sections: Principles (Theme, Authority, Story, and more), Practices (Interpreting, Reflecting, Spoken Word, Journaling and more) and Paradigms (Children, Millenials, Small Groups and more).  [more...]

30 days of readings for Scripture Engagement
Published by: FOBAI (2014)

Scripture engagement is about meeting God. It is a relational process. When you come to Scriptures, are you meditating on them, letting them be on your heart, talking about them, letting them be planted in your life, looking at them intently, and retaining them?

This 30-day Bible Reading Plan has been prepared for those participating in the FOBAI Annual Meeting: "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - the South Asian Experience".

The plan focuses on what the Bible says about God’s Word and is full of relevant Scripture passages and quotes for SE practitioners around the world.

Day 1: What do we mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God?
Days 2-3: How do we come to the Word of God?
Day 4: What is the Word of God like?
Days 5-7: Qualities of God's Word
Day 8: The Persons of the Trinity are distinguished from
one another in Scripture according to their role in the divine speech
Day 9: In the Bible, Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God and God is spoken of as if he were the Scriptures.
Day 10: The God who speaks.
Day 11: God's Word is about Jesus
Day 12: Where God's Word is, there is God's Spirit
Day 13: Hearing God's Word
Day 14: Speaking God's Word
Day 15: Singing God's Word
Day 16: Memorizing God's Word
Day 17: God's Word is clear...  [more...]

Author: Lawson Murray
Published by: Scripture Union Canada, 2013

In the Jump Into the Word blog, Lawson Murray asks how the digital age will influence Bible engagement.

He makes a list of possible effects:

  • "the Bible will be read in multiple formats in an ever emerging variety of forms on a growing range of devices
  • availability and access to different Bible versions and translations will continue to increase
  • greater access to audio Bibles and podcasts may help us become better “hearers” of the Word
  • sharing thoughts and insights about the Bible may increase due to social networks like facebook and Linkedin
  • interactive software programs/systems, hypertext, blogs, posts and webinars uniquely facilitate biblical study and reflection
  • sharing favourite or meaningful verses will increase due to texting and tweeting
  • the individual’s opportunity and capacity to understand and interpret the Scriptures will increase
  • missions could prosper because nations closed to the Gospel will find it more difficult to restrict the availability of biblical texts
  • the Scriptures are readily available in any language or translation to anyone on earth with a smart phone
  • Scripture memorization may decline because Google, Bible Gateway, You Version and such make it easy to look up a passage or text
  • people will become significantly less likely to buy printed copies of the Bible
  • reading Scripture within a contemplative framework may decline
  • sequential reading will decline due to the fact that reading on the web develops inclinations to skip around, dip and dabble, browse or scan information
  • tendencies to read the Bible in short fast bursts will increase
  • concentration and meditation on the Scriptures will suffer because of what Cory Doctorow has called “an ecosystem of interruption technologies” (animations, hyperlinks, live feeds, pop-ups and so on)
  • qualitative depth of reading will be sacrificed for reading geared to a quantitative scope
  • e-books may augment a predisposition to uncouple content from form which may lead to tendencies to view the Scriptures as something detached from their incarnational form – the textual equivalent of Cartesian dualism
  • the role of the local church in the transmission and interpretation of the Scriptures will decline"

What do you think? Read the full article over at the Jump Into The Word blog and leave your comments.  [more...]

Author: Daniel Hames
Published by: UCCF Theology Network

"In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children."

Daniel Hames writes this article to encourage Christian students to read the Scriptures. We are presented with three reasons why we might give up on reading the Bible: (1) You don't have time; (2) You think the Bible is about you; (3) You think your Bible reading is for God’s benefit.

The author doesn't want us to see Bible reading as a burden, but to recognise that the Bible "has been given to us to help us know and love Christ", that our Father "is generous and loving, and loves to communicate with us" and that "the Spirit has inspired the scriptures so that they bring life, joy, and fullness to the Christian walk."  [more...]

Read the Story. Experience the Bible.
Published by: Zondervan / Hodder & Stoughton (2011)

What is 'The Story'? It is both a book and a campaign.

The book is an abridged version of the NIV Bible, arranging the Biblical narrative in chronological order in 31 chapters. Bridging paragraphs with some explanation are included between the selections of Bible text. There are no verse numbers. A few psalms appear in the chapter on David's life, and Proverbs in the chapter on Solomon. Extracts from Paul's letters appear in the chapter of stories from the book of Acts.

As well as the main version of the book designed for adults, there are also versions for teens and for different ages of children (2-5s, 4-8s, 9-12s).

The campaign is a call for churches to take up 'The Story' as a journey through the Bible for all ages - to encourage people to grasp the Bible narrative and how the different parts of the Bible fit together. There are teaching notes for pastors and group leaders as well as video clips. This could be a 31-week series to go through the whole Story, or churches could adapt parts of it according to their needs.

One of the challenges of producing an abridged Bible is to know which passages to include and which to leave out. Not everyone will agree on the choices made. For example, The Story misses out the Tower of Babel. It would be interesting to compare different panoramic/abridged Bible products as to the decisions they have made.  [more...]

How To Get Your Entire Church Reading and Enjoying God's Word
Author: Whitney T. Kuniholm
Published by: Scripture Union USA (2012)

"So a bigger vision of Bible engagement is not just that more individual Christians will form a Bible reading habit. That’s a critical first step. A bigger vision is that more groups of Christians, of all denominations, will begin reading and living God’s Word together, and as a result, the Church will be renewed and relevant for a new generation."

Reflecting on what he's learned from the E100 programme, SU President Whitney Kuniholm, asks "How can you get 'average Christians' to start and maintain a regular Bible reading habit?"

He suggests seven key elements, 'the essential architecture', to pastors and church leaders:

  1. Take Spiritual Leadership
  2. Make it a community experience
  3. Use habit-formation principles
  4. Affirm a variety of devotional methods
  5. Have a flexible format
  6. Follow a unifying theme
  7. Offer a follow-up plan…from the beginning

In conclusion, the author observes that: "When people begin reading and applying God’s Word together, a spiritual power is unleashed that can dramatically transform individual lives and entire churches."  [more...]