Bible Reading Outline

Reading Studying Meditating – what is the difference between the three

            Reading, studying and meditating are very important with regard to understanding the Bible. The mere reading of the Bible is not enough to understand the Bible because the understanding of the historical background and revelation of the key messages and implications of Biblical texts from the religious and philosophic perspective. Reading, studying and meditating are closely intertwined because they help to understand the Bible better and reveal new horizons due to meditating on what one may read and study in the Bible. At the same time, there are substantial differences between reading, studying and meditating on the Bible.

            Even though reading, studying and meditating involve reading and thinking activities, they are still quite different. Reading is the first and probably the major step toward studying and meditating biblical texts. Reading is essential to “Let the word of [a]Christ richly dwell within you, [b]with all wisdom teaching and admonishing [c]one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing [d]with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Exhortation, 16). Reading involves the perception of biblical texts for informative purposes just to get insight into what biblical texts are about. Reading is the first and basic step toward understanding the Bible. At the same time, it is reading that helps to “Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you” (Timothy 2:1).

            However, the true understanding of biblical texts is impossible without studying them. In contrast to reading, studying of biblical texts involves reading of biblical  texts and their analysis to understand the style, structure, themes, key ideas and messages they convey to the audience. Moreover, studying the Bible involves not only reading the Bible proper but also reading other primary and secondary sources related to the Bible and events and people described in the Bible. In such a way, readers will obtain plenty of information to reflect upon to study the Bible, historical context, cultural background and conduct the literary analysis of biblical texts. In this regard, reading is much more superficial than studying biblical texts because reading involves reading proper just to learn the content of biblical texts and obtain some key ideas about them. Studying the Bible is deeper than reading and involves critical analysis of biblical texts as well as related materials including both primary and secondary sources.

            Meditating is the next step in the perception and understanding the Bible. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Matthew 4:4). Meditating makes biblical texts living and active because reading and studying help to understand biblical texts, their messages and intention of the authors, which they wanted to convey to the audience. Instead, meditating is rather the personal evaluation of biblical texts, which involves the understanding of the key messages and their personal evaluation since readers try to understand why the Bible teaches readers certain ideas. Readers evaluate whether those ideas are good or bad, right or wrong. They meditate and accept or reject biblical teaching, shape their opinion about it. The deep meditation on biblical texts may influence the worldview of the individual because biblical texts raise eternal themes, ethical issues and worldview items which are always relevant and universal to all people, regardless of their religious or cultural background. The wisdom of many generations of people in the past is generated and communicated to the contemporary audience via biblical texts and meditation helps to understand that wisdom better and generate the new one based on the experience of past generations and new experience of the modern civilization.

Listening to you bible (audible) and reading in groups – Pros/cons

            Listening and reading the Bible are similar activities which though involve different senses in the perception of biblical texts. Listening involves hearing whereas reading involves vision. Both these approaches to learning the Bible are effective but they have both pros and contrast. Even though “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [a]of Christ” (Romans 15:18), this is also true that some people perceive better reading than listening. To put it more precisely, depending on the development of one’s senses and psychological traits of character, one can better perceive the text one reads than one hears.

            However, reading and listening the Bible is not just the matter of the individual perception or learning skills. Each method has its pros and contras. Both reading and listening deals with the perception of the Bible and its understanding since it is “the one whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Luke 11:28). The major advantage of reading is the ability of the careful evaluation of biblical texts since the reader can read and re-read the text over and over again. The reader can stop any time and consider carefully what he/she has just read. The audio listening of biblical texts introduces the tone, mood and sets the overall rhythm to the perception of biblical texts. The tone and mood are very imrpotant for the perception of any text because audio presentation of biblical texts may differ consistently if they are conveyed in a steady and calm tone or if they care conveyed in a gay and entertaining tone.

Endurance – having endurance to complete your reading and be disciplined

            Reading and understanding the Bible may be and often is challenging for unskilled and unprepared reader because biblical texts were written thousands of years ago and unabridged edition of the Bible makes it simply difficult to read and almost impossible to understand for the unprepared reader. Even trained readers and readers, who have extensive literary analysis skills, may find it difficult to read and understand the Bible. This is why they need endurance to read biblical texts carefully. In this regard, they should learn from the Bible: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had “ (Romans 10:17). Endurance is essential for reading and understanding of the Bible. One cannot understand the Bible without efforts because biblical texts raise cosmic questions, questions that can shatter one’s worldview to the ground. These questions are fundamental not only for the Western philosophy but they are fundamental for the mankind because they are universal for many cultures. Even though biblical texts were created in the distant past, they are still relevant and valid. This is why readers need endurance to be capable to read and understand the Bible. In this regard, the knowledge, education and skills of readers do not necessarily facilitate reading and understanding the Bible because the more the reader knows and understand the more questions biblical are likely to raise in face of such a reader. Hence, both inexperienced and experienced readers do need endurance to read and understand the Bible.

References:

New American Standard Bible. (2016). New York: The Lockman Foundation.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]
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