Chapter 167

Reading Scripture in Public

There still is tremendous power in a person publicly reading the Bible well.

" Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, " (1 Timothy 4:13).

As a long-time church planter, Paul knew the essentials for the growth of the body, and he urged young Timothy to concentrate on those things. Public reading of Scripture is one of the essentials. In the first-century, public reading was indispensable to the Christian life because few people had Bibles. Texts were rare, so God's Word had to be transmitted orally. Today, of course, we have plenty of Bibles (I have seven in my office), but I believe the command is still essential because most people do not read their Bibles. This includes believers.

Just as we preach and teach expositionally, so should be read expositionally. We should " lead out " the ideas and emotions God has put into the text. We do so by matching our nonverbal communication with the verbal message — the words of the text. (The term nonverbal literally means " not dealing with words. " How we say words [tone ...

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