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Reading and teaching the Bible as more than soundbites

This video shows why N.T. Wright is such an influential theologian at the moment. In just seven minutes he explains how you should read the Bible: as a whole, not as a collection of soundbites. His analogy of listening to only a part of a symphony instead of the whole thing is as brilliant as it is understandable. I also love that he especially wants to challenge students to read the whole Bible, whole books and not just verses and soundbites.


N.T. Wright on How to read the Bible

(embedding was disable for this video, so you’ll have to watch it on YouTube)

After watching this video I had a few thoughts:

  • his thought about reading the whole Bible or thinking about the whole Bible through the lens of the verses you’re reading or preaching on is something I could be much more deliberate in. I agree with him on the importance of placing things in the bigger picture.
  • how often do we challenge students to really dig in to the Bible, not just have them read one of two verses, do a five minute thing, but actually read a whole book? How can we challenge our students to see the Bible as a whole, more than just soundbites? Could it be that if we do challenge them, they might actually take us up on that challenge?
  • how often do we, do I read whole Bible books or even the whole Bible? I’ve been reading through a chronological Bible this year, which is a fascinating experience and it has really helped me to see the whole narrative of the Bible. But I too am guilty of just reading and studying the parts I need.
  • could it be that because we don’t read the bigger context that often, we misinterpret things, keep rehashing the same versers or themes or miss out on Biblical patterns?


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