Scripture Engagement/ Public Reading of Scripture Resources

Public Reading of Scripture Resources


Unleashing the Word by Max McLean and Warren Bird
Author and pastor Max McLean is passionate about the art and ministry of public Scripture reading. In Unleashing the Word and its accompanying DVD, he advocates for churches developing a talented and trained Bible reading team that is focused on sharing their gifts with others through the public reading of Scripture. McLean emphasizes seeking out and developing gifts in readers, the importance of personal devotion and study in readers, and the act of service done when reading the Bible aloud. The DVD contains great demonstrations and analyses of engaging Scripture readings and many practical tips for preparation and delivery.

Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture by Jeffry Arthurs
The Bible was meant to be heard, not just read. Even when the words of Scripture were first being penned, the common practice was to read aloud even when just reading to oneself. Jeffrey Arthurs strongly promotes bringing back the historic tradition of taking public reading of Scripture seriously. Through his book and accompanying DVD, readers can learn this rich history, develop some practical reading and public speaking skills, and discover creative methods for integrating public reading into church services. The DVD contains example presentations, including group readings which provide a unique experience of Scripture. While this book contains many similarities to Max McLean’s Unleashing the Word, Arthur’s historical discussion, group readings, and collection of innovative public reading ideas set his book apart.

Public Reading of Scripture: A Handbook by Clayton J. Schmit
Anyone looking for an accessible resource free of technical or ministry jargon that can be passed on to new Scripture readers will deeply appreciate Public Reading of Scripture: A Handbook. Author Clayton J. Schmit desires to equip talented church members with the skills they need to add powerful oral interpretation to their Scripture readings, and does so effectively through this brief, well-organized, easy-to-read handbook. A special feature at the end of each chapter is a discussion guide and list of suggested activities to be used by an individual or group. This feature lends the book well to use by a group working together to develop their skills in public Scripture reading.


Devoted to the Public Reading of Scripture
Scott Newling’s essay is a brief but compelling argument for the necessity of public Scripture reading as a regular portion of weekly church services. Most importantly, Newling not only presents the problem but offers potential solutions without setting specific mandates and applying them to all congregations. There is room for adaptation, but he is unmoving in his main message: God speaks to us as individuals and corporately through his Word, and it is vital that we give him the platform for more of our times of worship than is currently customary. This article is highly recommended for anyone seeking to learn more about the importance of this Scripture engagement practice.

Helps for Reading Scripture in Worship
While a book on the topic of the public reading of Scripture, such as Unleashing the Word by Max McLean, might provide more detailed information, this site is a simplified guide to public Scripture reading that is easily accessible to anyone. While this author supports some methods that others discourage, such as listening to a professional recording of a passage before preparation, a reader who is prepared to evaluate the suggested approaches of this and other authors should find this site very helpful.

Reading Scripture Aloud
This detailed article contains a wealth of information on the history of public Scripture reading and an in depth-look at how readers might explore the background and concepts of a text as they prepare for a public reading. A somewhat more scholarly article, it contains good historical, theological, and practical insights into this Scripture engagement practice.

Virginia Youth Group Reads the Entire Bible in Public
In an unconventional take on the public reading of Scripture, a Virginia youth group decides to host a three day Bible read-aloud marathon, directing passersby to a website explaining the project. For a time lapse video of the event, click here.


Bible Name Pronunciation
Anyone who has ever tripped over a name like “Mephibosheth” while reading a Bible passage aloud in any setting knows that Bible names and places can be tricky to pronounce! This site contains recordings and written phonetic pronunciation guides for hundreds of Bible names. All the names are searchable and alphabetized, making this a valuable tool for preparation for public readings of Scripture.

Bible Audio Pronunciation Lite
Similar to websites with audio pronunciation helps, this app contains audio clips pronouncing tricky Bible names and other terms. A search feature is included, and each word can directly link to a Google search or Wikipedia article so the user can easily discover additional information and important biblical background. A free version of Bible Audio Pronunciation Lite contains 470 words and their pronunciations. A version with 4,500 words is available for download for $2.99.

The Revised Common Lectionary, A Project of Vanderbilt Divinity Library
The Revised Common Lectionary (book editions) is already used by many Protestant churches around the world. Each week’s reading contains passages from the Old Testament, the Epistles or Revelation, Psalms, and a Gospel, allowing members of a congregation to actually hear the majority of Scripture read aloud over a period of three years. Appropriate readings are selected for the various seasons of the church calendar, including Advent, Lent, and Easter. The lectionary cycle has the potential to become an invaluable ministry tool in many churches. The Revised Common Lectionary is also available as a Bible Gateway Reading Plan.

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© Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014. This material was created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement.