I have read through the Scriptures many times from Genesis to Revelation. Over the years, I have enjoyed the tactile nature of a genuine leather-bound Bible. For the last few months, I have not held a Bible. In fact, I am not reading the Scriptures, I am listening to them.
Each morning for the last few months, I have listened as a recorded voice read Scripture to me through my computer speaker. I had a purpose for making this change, at least through the end of the year. I wanted to hear what it was like to have these letters read to me without any of the modern helps we have available. The letters written by Paul and other New Testament writers were received and read in homes to small groups of gathered followers. Listening was the intended mode of reception for these early letters. No one had a Bible.
I can imagine as these letters were read aloud and the Spirit highlighted something to a listener there might have been an occasional interruption sounding something like, “I never thought of that before!”, “Read that again”, or “What?” In our current model of presenting God’s Word, maybe we lost something of the original intent. I am not sure these original letters were meant to be overly parsed, dissected and reinterpreted as we do today.
Currently, I am on a journey to rediscover the simplest understanding of God’s Word and His Church. Simplicity is powerful, refreshing and it can be revolutionary. Simplicity will not encumber our lives with the excess baggage that can come with too much theory, an overly surgical inquiry of a text and in some cases, the division that comes when I think my opinion about a God-letter outweighs yours.