Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bible Reading

When I read my bible, I have always paid close attention to the subtitiles of each section along with the way the chapters are seperated, lately though it has been called to my attention that these can be very hindering to the fullness of scripture. Really? Really! I tried it, I read right past the subs and the chapter numbers ignoring their presence completely and it made a huge difference for me. I didn't disconnect the passage because of the chapter # and I didn't assume what the message was from the subtitle, I was able to allow the word speak directly and unfluentially to me. The reality of each book is that it is a letter, imagine how you would read a letter written to you and how it would be formatted, that is how I think the bible should be read. Man has come in and seperated each book in the way he imagines it should be and has added his little titles to help us commoners navigate the text, but for me I think that these are not advancements but actually quite possibly hinderances in understanding the complete context of the written word. I guess I don't fully understand why these are needed. I would love to see a bible in my favorite version (ESV) written in the format of a letter.

I am not saying that they are not in some ways of use maybe for some advancements or helpers with making the process of reading the written word a little lighter, easier. I do think that there is a point when we should read it how it was actually written without all of the preservatives and additives! Look at the difference in reading this text:

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be
to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do
evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing
good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people
who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as
servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect,
not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious
thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For
what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if
when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the
sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for
you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He
committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was
reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but
continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our
sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to
righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like
sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some
do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their
wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your
adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or
the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight
is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn
themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear
anything that is frightening.

This text in 1 Peter 2:13-3:6 is usually seperated and for years I never saw the connected between these 2 chapters because in my mind the Chapter seperation disconnected them. Now when i read it as connected I can see that I am called to be submissive to my husband as Christ was submissive, that is my example. Maybe you connected these texts but I didn't and I just wonder how many others I have missed in my reading of the word.

It was just a thought.

JOYfully in Him,
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Julie said...

This is good insight, Kelli! Thanks!

Becoming Me said...

Excellent post Kelly with good thoughts to ponder

crystal said...

Wonderful thoughts to think on.