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Public Reading of Scripture

Dr. Carissa Quinn
In this week’s Bible Study, we explore how the public reading of Scripture can help to shape our perspectives and beliefs.

Listening to the Bible read out loud in community can be a life-changing experience. In this week’s Bible Study, we are exploring how vital this ancient practice is for shaping our perspectives and beliefs. Listen to the message, watch the video, and interact with the ideas and discussion questions below to learn more about the public reading of Scripture.


Listen to a short message from Carissa on the public reading of Scripture. You can listen to this on your own or with a group. If you are leading a small group or family, feel free to listen to the message and contextualize it for your needs.
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Carissa's Message on the Public Reading of Scripture
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Read and Discuss

Reflection 1:

Share one idea that taught, challenged, or encouraged you as you listened to Carissa’s message.


There are many benefits to reading the Bible aloud with your community. When we read a whole section of Scripture at once, we can better understand the overarching message. Another benefit is that hearing engages our thoughts, memory, and attention in a different way than reading does. As modern Christians, we tend to focus on individual reflection, but reading the Bible in community gives us the opportunity to observe and apply the truth of Scripture more than we could on our own. It can also provide motivation for deeper study, insight, and structure. So this week, we hope you will enjoy the benefits of reading the Bible aloud with others. Let’s practice with this exercise today.

Choose one selection below to read out loud.

Psalm 24, 47, and 103. (1-2 minutes for each psalm)

Ephesians (20-25 minutes)

Ruth (15-20 minutes)

John 14-17 (15-20 minutes)

James (15-20 minutes)

Here are some ideas for how you can read in community today.

Schedule a virtual or in-person gathering with a few people and read aloud together.

Record a voice memo of yourself reading the passage aloud and listen back to it, or send it to a friend and ask if they can do the same for you.

Listen to a free audio Bible online. Invite a family member, neighbor, or friend to join you.

Feel free to simply listen to the reading of the Scripture. But if it helps, here are some ideas for how you can focus your attention as you listen.

Pray before you listen. Ask for God’s Spirit to help you understand and respond. 

Listen for repeated words and patterns to help you discover the main idea.

Doodle images that symbolize the message you hear. 

Listen to the same passage more than once in the same sitting.

Close your eyes and visualize the message as if it were a movie.

Follow along in your Bible to underline or highlight passages that especially capture your attention. 

Debrief your experience.

What idea did you choose to help you focus your attention?

What was enjoyable? What was difficult? What surprised you?

What did you learn or notice as you listened to the passage?

What’s another way you can practice reading aloud in community this week?

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