Integrating the Various Strands of a Comprehensive Bible Reading Strategy
Thank you for joining us here on the Carroll Blog over the past few weeks as we have discussed different ways to read the Bible. This week, I want us to talk briefly about how the three reading strategies that I have laid out can work together to produce an effective and enjoyable experience with Scripture.
Indeed, I think that they must work together if we are to access the rich resources that God has provided to us in Scripture. I like to think of the relationship between the three reading strategies that I have described in terms of a pyramid.
The reading that we do in order to familiarize ourselves with the content of Scripture forms the basis for our Bible study. It not only directs us to texts that we need to study more closely but also provides the literary, historical, and theological context for interpreting those texts. Likewise, our doctrinal Bible reading forms the foundation for our devotional Bible reading. By teaching us important facts about who God is and how He acts, our doctrinal Bible reading gives us criteria by which we can evaluate what we think we hear God say during our devotional Bible reading. There are some things that God just will not say, and we learn what those are by studying the Bible.
Perhaps, however, the image of a pyramid is not entirely sufficient to describe the relationships between the different ways of reading the Bible. Maybe we need to think of it more in terms of a cycle, where information flows freely from one type of Bible reading to another. Or, perhaps, there are other ways to image the relationship between the ways we read the Bible. I invite you to engage this and other topics in the “Comments” section below.
- Are there other ways to read the Bible that we have not discussed up to this point?
- How would you image the way that various Bible reading strategies relate to one another?
- What role should Bible memorization play in our overall strategy for reading the Bible?