Equipped to read the Bible
We’re entering our third month of EQUIP classes and for these two weeks, this series will focus on how to read the Bible. Titled “How to read the Bible” and “How to read the Bible with someone”, these sessions will focus on simple Bible reading skills for personal devotions, and also with another person or even in a small group. Col 3:16 exhorts us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”, a reminder that God’s Word is central in our lives individually, but also in a community.
We’ve spoken to Nehemiah Chong and Sidney Loo, who will be helping to teach these sessions, to find out more about this series.
1. Is it important for every Christian to learn to read the Bible? Why?
Yes, it is and I think most of us will agree. But why? Often we don’t pause and give it enough thought, or we forget why. The Bible is God's word and revelation and Christians are called to obey it. Sometimes we also wonder if God speaks, but the Bible we hold in our hands are actually the words of God! How can we obey if we don't know what it says? How can we discern false teaching? False teaching can only be spotted if we know the real thing and that’s what we want to do here – to learn the real thing.
2. Is it really possible for a normal lay person to learn how to read the Bible? Don't you have to go to seminary to do that? How did you guys learn to do this and teach others?
But we also know that it is hard work. It's especially discouraging as a Christian to be told to read the Bible, when we don't quite know how to. Many of us have the impression that the Bible needs to be explained to us by a pastor, and that left to ourselves we cannot even begin to understand what the Bible is about.
For both Sidney and myself, we were taught by someone else how to read. For me (Sidney), my experience was like this — I did not have the privilege of going to Sunday school from childhood, but learnt it in NS and in university. For me (Nehemiah), I was raised in church but I only learnt how to read it for myself later on too.
Did we go to seminary? No we did not. But did we need some help? We most definitely did. However it didn’t always take the form of a formal class or study. Sometimes it took the form of an informal session over coffee or a meal. So we’d like to provide this same help that we’ve received at EQUIP. It is also our hope that all who come for these sessions will also bring what they’ve learnt to help others read their bibles.
3. What can we expect from these classes?
In the first week (“How to read the Bible”), we will focus on personal Bible reading and in the next week, we will look into how to read the Bible with another (“How to read the Bible with someone”). We’ve also intentionally structured these sessions to be less of a 1.5 hour talk, but also filled with hands-on activities for us to practise what we’ve learnt. So we’d like to encourage anyone and everyone to come down and learn to read the Bible, and also to meet other people in the church with the same desire!
Join us for these 2 EQUIP classes on 4th and 11th March, from 11am to 12.30pm at Rooms 310A-D.