Bible Reading Tip: A Road Map for Readers

Dr. James Boyce offered the following notes in his Lay School of Theology class in Spring 2012, “How the Bible Came to Us: Its Writing, Use, and Authority.” 


Read the Bible as a Living Word

  • Read with the expectation that understanding is new each day
  • Read watching for the surprises or the “speed bumps”
  • Read with expectation of complexity and diversity
  • Read in light of judgment and promise (law and gospel)
  • Read in light of the good news of God’s promise in Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 8: 1, 28-31)

Boyce adds these instructions, what he calls “Some Fruitful Approaches” to approaching Scripture:

  • Read devotionally: attend to what you understand, not to what you don’t understand
  • Read with others
  • Read repeatedly, in different ways, in different translations
  • Pay attention to feelings, images, questions evoked by the reading
  • Pay attention to experience and memories both personal and communal

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