“How to Read the Bible with All Your Mind, Heart and Soul”
There is no one way to read the Bible, and it is best to read it several different ways. When I preach, I often use four different ways of reading scriptures to open different levels of meaning. We will explore together the follow four ways for a week each:
Reading the Bible as literature helps us remember that there is a story behind the story. Jesus doesn’t just show up from nowhere and start preaching. The Gospels come from a rich matrix of tradition, including Moses and the Exodus, the prophets, and exile and conquest of Israel and Judah. Reading a text out of context limits the possibilities.
Knowing some historical context and basic timeline helps in this process. The Bible is not just full of spiritual sayings, it is full of community conflicts, politics and questions about the nature and will of God set in a time and place.
Word studies can help reveal richer understandings. What do words like love, grace or faith really mean? How are these words used in different places in the Bible?
Reading the Bible devotionally is also important. We are not reading scriptures just for information, but to experience transformation. Reading the Psalms, reading and praying as Lectio Divina, and integrating scriptures into a prayer life, and sharing together in a group about how it speaks to us are meaningful parts to letting scripture speak to us.