BR 12:05, Oct 1996
Reading an Ancient Book in a Modern World
Approaching the Bible as an ancient book may explain aspects of the story that trouble us today, but this method fails to deal with the Bible as the bearer of Gods revelation.
Jews and Christians have read aloud from the Bible in public for centuries. The liturgical practice of systematically reading through the biblical textsusually in three-year cyclesdates back at least to post-exilic Jewish worship (Nehemiah 8:18), and perhaps earlier to services of covenant renewal (Deuteronomy 31:1013). The story of Jesus reading from the Book of Isaiah in a synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:1621) indicates that the custom influenced the early Christian community. Later the Christian church developed its own system of scripture readings.