Daily Bible Reading for Monday, December 11th:



Biblepalooza – Group Bible Reading

1. Read 2. Study 3. Repeat

 

That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work. –  2 Timothy 3:17

Biblepalooza

As I write this, I am still fresh from a Bible reading experience I wanted to share with you.

At my church, we have been experimenting with extended Bible reading sessions. We call it Biblepalooza because we totally go for it and read through large portions of the Bible in one sitting. So far we have met twice and read large portions of Scripture as a group. Several of the men take turns reading aloud while the rest of the group follows along. Since the main goal of this site is to develop Bible reading skills and habits, I have given a lot of thought to the impact this has had on the participants and some tweaks I would recommend to another group that wants to try it.

Length of Session

By extended session, I mean we read for hours at a time. The first time we started around 6 on a Friday evening and read until after 1 am. The reading included Luke, Acts, Hebrews and selections from Daniel, Psalm 119 and Isaiah 53. The second time (today) we read through the Minor Prophets (Hosea – Malachi) and it took a little less than four hours.

I know you think I’m going to say that the shorter session was better. It was easier for sure, but in all the important ways, the longer session was the better one.

There is something about God’s word that just doesn’t happen with short, bite sized daily devotional readings. When complete books of the Bible are read at a time, without comment, without stopping, in context – it moves you! I want to think that the followers of this site are veracious Bible readers, but when was the last time you sat and read an entire book in one sitting? When comparing the shorter session today with the previous one – I was left wanting more. Once we got going, I was entirely focused and hearing each and every word. I wasn’t ready to stop so soon once I reached that state of mind.

It only makes sense – most people who read novels for fun, read for hours at a time. It would be difficult to follow a murder mystery in 10 minute sessions.

Bible Version

I know everyone has a favorite version, but it is very important to choose one version and everyone use it for this exercise. That state of mind I was just talking about above is very fragile and disappears when the reader’s text doesn’t agree with yours. We had this happen in both of our sessions and I noticed the restlessness of the group almost immediately. I was lucky enough to have a matching version loaded in my Kindle both times, but not so for everyone. We used the NKJV and had very good results from it in terms of the ability of the readers to read aloud smoothly and crisply.

Comments and Section Headings

Be sure to make this a pure reading session of God’s word. The NKJV and others have introductions to each book, section headings, and other such distractions, but they are not part of the Bible. When doing a Bible study these tools are fine. When doing a straight reading these things are intrusions on the Spirit’s communication to us.

Commentary by the readers is tempting, especially among the experienced Bible teachers. It is in our nature to make sure your students are getting what they are being taught. I promise you there is no need for it in a session like this. When totally immersed in the purity of God’s word, comments from outside of it are nothing short of abrasive. Once again, it is definitely a distraction to that special state of mind.

As we do more sessions, I’ll add to this write-up any new thoughts or ideas I have, but don’t wait on that. Get started and plan your own reading soon!

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About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention to the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2015 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according their wishes.

View all posts by Butch Adams

8 Responses to “Biblepalooza – Group Bible Reading”

  1. Jason Says:

    Good word!

    I connected with this statement:
    “When totally immersed in the purity of God’s word, comments from outside of it are nothing short of abrasive.”

    I could not have said it better. Such an intrusion feels almost vulgar.

  2. wayne Says:

    Well said…when we were finished with our session on Saturday, I had the same feeling, wanting more. It was a very moving experience. I’m ready for the next one.

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