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Luther Seminary's Bible Q & A

Bible Reading Tip

Bible Reading Tip #29: A Road Map for Readers

"Lake Wood, Uckfield - Sandstone Steps, Tunnel and Moss" by Dominic Alves via Flickr. Licensed under CC-BY 2.0.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." 

A Road Map for Readers

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

Download a PDF of Dr. Boyce's PowerPoint presentation.

Image credit: "Lake Wood, Uckfield - Sandstone Steps, Tunnel and Moss" by Dominic Alves via Flickr; licensed under CC-BY 2.0.

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