I wrote yesterday about how one word can make a difference in meaning. Every word we use in our writing is important and every word is important in our reading. I fear that I have allowed the internet to plant some bad habits in me. I find that more and more I scan instead of read. Scanning is not speed reading as I understand it. (I’m not sure what speed reading is.) I skim the surface of a paragraph or an article to see it catches my interest. Skimming is not reading. You can get a completely wrong sense of the writer’s point when you skim. Or you might miss a valuable insight that could have an impact on your life.
There is one place where reading instead of skimming is vitally important and that’s in reading the Bible. I’m afraid I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking my Bible to Church because, after all, they have the text right up there on the screen. Why do I need my Bible? Because there’s more there than the preacher’s text. Preaching is important but that’s not all there is. Context is important. What was done or said before the text and what was done or said after? You can take one verse and turn it into dogma when it was really meant as an illustration of a greater concept. People have done that. People have justified slavery on the basis of scripture. How can you do that?
When something somebody says doesn’t sound right to you then it’s time to dig in. Look at the context. Look at a variety of translations. Consider in the light of the whole of scripture, the entire Bible. Consider in the light of the nature of God.
Now I’ve done it. I think I’m about to talk myself into the reading the Bible through again. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. That would make a great blogging adventure, wouldn’t it?