Reading the Bible with the Global ChurchOn 30 March Eddie Arthur (UK Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators) will be giving the 2011 Annual Lecture in Bible and Mission here at Redcliffe on the subject of Reading the Bible with the Global Church.

It seems to me that the act of Bible reading is itself a cross-cultural experience. Within the pages of the Bible we have the Spirit-inspired thoughts, songs, stories, instructions, visions and poems of a remarkably diverse group of people. As I read the text I am constantly engaged in a process of understanding the language and ideas of people unlike myself. I am constantly crossing borders and boundaries. This is one of the many reasons why it is essential to recognise the worth in reading alongside others, and especially others from different cultures. The wonderful diversity of the global church parallels and broadens the cultural diversity of the biblical writers and figures themselves.

In anticipation of the event and as part of an ongoing discussion we would love to hear your views and your stories:

  • Why do you think it is important to read the Bible alongside brothers and sisters from around the globe?
  • Do you have stories of how you’ve experienced this?
  • How can this be encouraged practically?

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below, or posting something on Twitter or Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Why read the Bible with the global church?

  1. My global church is in my classroom where I study “The Greening of Mission” with students from three Africa nations and the U.K. The themes are so fresh and the debate so good that sometimes the lecturer can hardly get a word in! — Eco-justice; Creation Theology; Green Economics. We back up our work with the NRSV Green Bible. From Genesis to Revelations, the message is clear: love, protect and sustain the earth in the image of the Father. — And be inspired by Psalm 104.

  2. I would like to share a story about how reading the Bible together with Cameroonians left me with a greater appreciation of the power of the Living Word. I was training two native coworkers for their task of supervising literacy classes in the area. While planing the three day course, I wondered whether to include a daily morning meditation. I am so glad I did not leave it out. Although I do not remember the exact texts we read, they were centered around the theme of sacrificial service. The impact of these texts were so strong that one of the two men almost broke into tears. He began to share how for a number of years he had served as a teacher in the village without receiving his pay and how he had continued for the sake of the children. It was a clear relief to him to express the pain he felt as he could not provide for his family the way he wanted. I learned that simply reading God’s Word has a more powerful effect than any human words or acts. How much more important than is it to read the Bible together with our brothers and sisters from another culture! As foreign missionaries we will never fully understand what people need and how to respond to it.

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