FOR READING OUT LOUD

Some people who think the Bible has nothing to say to them, do so not because they've read it, but because they've only heard it read. An unprepared or careless reading of God's Book meant to them blurring of meaning and boredom.
These are days of trained news readers on television and radio. Why should we not have skilful Bible readers in church?
For the reader, learning, using and mastering the few rules set out in this book will make the Scriptures live in a new way.
For those who listen it can mean a new understanding of the Bible and a desire to read it for themselves.

THE HEART OF THE MATTER IN READING ALOUD
IS
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU READ
TO SOUND NATURAL and
TO MAKE THE MEANING CLEAR.

When words are spoken, the meaning is not in the words alone, but in

THE EMPHASIS
THE PHRASING and
THE EXPRESSION given to those words.

 

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU READ

Read the portion of scripture you have been given, carefully.  Make sure you understand and grasp all the ideas behind the words, then mark for emphasis the words that bring out those ideas.

IN PREPARATION A HASTY READ-THROUGH IS NOT ENOUGH. IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE HANDLING OF GOD'S OWN BOOK.


MEANING MATTERS MOST

Why do some readers emphasise wrong words, pause in wrong places and use the wrong expression?

Because THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND FULLY WHAT THEY READ.

If you wish to read aloud, sound natural and make the meaning clear. See it, understand it and say it correctly.
OTHERWISE
What you see as you read is the word of God. But what you read aloud, what you say, is not necessarily the word of God.
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU READ

"Will you please read the New Testament tonight?" is a common enough request.  This can merely mean a rapid read-through to make sure there are no unpronounceable names and a book mark in your Bible to find the place later.

ACTUALLY IN BEING ASKED TO READ YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A SPLENDID CHANCE TO VOICE GOD'S WORD TO PEOPLE; OF PASSING ON HIS WORDS THAT CAN CHANGE LIVES AND INFLUENCE THE CONDUCT OF THOSE WHO HEAR.

Listeners will either lose interest as your voice drones on, or THEY WILL SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE AS GOD'S WORD COMES TO THEM CLEARLY, EXPRESSIVELY AND UNDERSTANDABLY. This can and will happen when you understand what you are reading and grasp the simple technique of making printed words ring in the ear and glow in the mind. But doing this takes know-how and time. You must give the time. The know-how is in the pages that follow.

IT IS THE MEANING THAT MATTERS

TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE. Choose the one which best fits the age of the audience, their grip on the language, and their spiritual understanding.  The Amplified Bible gives alternate meaning of words and is often helpful when you need to consult another version during preparation.

A Commentary and a Bible Dictionary are important. It is essential to understand technical words such as repentance, justification and righteousness. The New Bible Dictionary (IVP) and the New Bible Commentary (IVP), are excellent for the purpose.

BEFORE YOU READ HAVE CLEARLY IN YOUR MIND:

  • WHERE A panoramic picture of where events are happening and a close up of immediate detail. The Photo Guides to the Old and New Testament (ANZEA and LION) are recommended.
  • WHEN do the events take place?
  • WHO are the people involved?
  • HOW do they act and react?
  • WHY do they act and react as they do?

 

ABOVE ALL ELSE IT IS MEANING THAT MATTERS

Sentence by sentence needs to be examined closely for meaning. Preparation is essential; you cannot make up your mind in the split second when your eye takes in the line you are reading. For instance - What did Paul mean when he wrote, "We preach Christ to all men?"
Six words and you have four possibilities.

  1. We preach Christ to all men - Contrasting himself with others.
  2. We preach Christ to all men - Was Paul telling about the subject?
  3. Did he say, We preach Christ to all men? - Like John Wesley saying "The whole world is my parish".
  4. Or did he say: We preach Christ to all men? - We're the Men's Society and we don't talk to women and children!
Unless you understand the idea in the passage to be read, you can't emphasise the right words.
Make yourself familiar with the text both before and after the portion you are to read. This gives you a much wider view.

You will be wise to have on your shelf the Bible in several translations. Paraphrases are useful. They can give the additional information which is not always seen in the text. This may help you to understand the meaning in order to make it clear to others.

Don't read aloud to others until you yourself understand the page before you. Incomplete understanding of what you read, no matter how warm your voice, polished your accent, or skilled your diction, takes most of the value out of your communication.

 

This is so important that WE SAY IT AGAIN.

IT IS THE MEANING THAT MATTERS.
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU READ.
KNOW ALL THE IDEAS IN THE TEXT.


THEN EMPHASISE THE WORDS THAT BRING OUT THESE IDEAS. FOR THE MEANING OF SPOKEN WORDS IS MADE CLEAR WHEN YOU EMPHASISE THE WORDS WHICH BRING OUT THE TRUE MEANING OF THE TEXT.

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