Every morning after tending to the dogs and getting my coffee, I sit down for some time alone with God and the Bible. I’ve done this more years than I can count. However, I’m finding the room increasingly crowded as the years go by.
That’s how Dan Bouchelle begins an excellent reflection on the many voices that shape how we read our Bibles. Some of those voices are helpful, others less so. But all of them form an inescapable part of who we are and how we read the text.
Part of the posts focuses on how distracting those voices can be and how it seems like they just distract us from the task of hearing the simple voice of God in Scripture. But Bouchelle strikes a more encouraging note at the end. Make sure you read the whole post, but here’s another quote from the conclusion:
My Bible is crowded and if I’ve learned anything through the years it is that I can never read the Bible alone. Even when I am alone, I read my Bible in community. My Bible was preserved by others, translated by others, printed by others, interpreted and taught to me by others, and incarnated in the lives of still others. The attempt to have an exclusive encounter with God’s words is more than naïve, it is downright arrogant. Can I still hear God in all these other voices? Yes I think I can.
Check it out and spend some time reflecting on how crowded your room is when you read the Bible, and why that’s a good thing.