Reading the Bible without Snoring

Reading the Bible without Snoring

Written by: Larry Elliott

It has been suggested that we give some thought to reading the Bible out loud as we have opportunity – family, small groups, Sunday school, before supper, after supper, before bed, when you can’t sleep, when your child can’t sleep…

Let’s consider why this would be a good practice:
 
  • “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” Deuteronomy 6:5,6
  • “…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2
  • “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29
  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16
  • “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16,17
  • “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12,13

This is only a sampling of perhaps hundreds of places in scripture where God notes the power and importance of his word. Let’s just agree that the practice of reading, studying, and meditating on God’s word is not an optional discipline for those who desire to grow in faith and be transformed by the Spirit of God.

I suppose the read aloud concept changes depending on the type of literature read. The nation of Israel sang many of the Psalms and some as they walked toward the temple. If your family is musical this might be a joy.

Husband and wife or members of a small group could take turns reading a passage or book. Read for as long as you want and then the next person picks up. Read one sentence and then the other person picks up. Read alternating paragraphs. Have one person read odd verses and the other read even verses.

There are many parts of scripture that are narrative and lend themselves to divided “performances.” Proverbs 7, a narrator, and the adulteress. Portions of Job, a narrator, Job’s friends, and Job himself. Many of the prophets and patriarchs have discussions with God and/or the people of God that could be read in parts.
 
So, for our purposes we will consider I Peter as we try to be creative about reading the Word of God. I Peter has 5 chapters – one for each of the five days of the week. If you are doing this individually, get alone, read continually, engage your cognitive function, enjoy the beauty of the words, perhaps read standing up, refresh your soul with truth, stop at natural breaks and pray concepts/truth back to God, ask yourself what you learned/heard. Use a Bible that has no chapter or verse markings if possible. For I Peter, find a time to do this starting with chapter 1 on Monday and conclude with chapter 5 on Friday.
 
For a family, ask children who read to join in. Maybe divide a book like I Peter into paragraphs and let everyone draw a specific part out of a hat and then read their part – keeps everyone paying attention as they await their turn. 😅 Read quietly, read loudly, read directly to mom or dad, sister, or brother. Parents could ask kids to listen for a specific word. Listen for faith, or hope, or precious, or perishable and/or imperishable – give a Hershey Kiss if they raise their hand when the word is spoken and then define for children from the context.
 
I just read chapter 1 out loud – 4 minutes. Maybe it takes you and the kids 15, OK it just prolongs the fun!

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