Home > Kregel, Reviews > Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture by Jeffrey D. Arthurs

Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture by Jeffrey D. Arthurs

How would your church be transformed if reading Scripture was a highlight of your services? Increasing the quantity and quality of Scripture-reading in your communal worship is a powerful way to reach the hearts of your congregation.
Grounded in both solid theology and communication theory, Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture will teach readers how to present Scripture in a compelling way. The book’s comprehensive approach includes everything from simple delivery skills to the history of public reading, how to build a culture that values public reading, group reading, and how to prepare yourself spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for public reading.
The included DVD offers instruction, demonstration of the concepts and sample readings by Dr. Arthurs. (from the publisher’s website)

“The Word of God is bread for our souls, and we are fed when we hear the Word well read. Unfortunately, when it is not read well, listeners do not ingest it.” (from the introduction)

“When the Bible is read well, it can minister as deeply as a Spirit-empowered sermon. Hearing the Word read without commentary reminds us that God inspired the Word and now illumines those who hear it.” (from chapter 1)

Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs has written a timely book on the importance of the public reading of the scriptures. I say, timely because many churches have chosen to neglect the public reading of God’s Word in favor of drama or gimmicks. In some churches, scripture is read but not read well. This book gives both reasons for public reading and methods for doing it well.

The book begins by giving a defense for this important ministry of the church. I found that this portion of the book deepened my understanding of the power and efficacy of such a God-honored tradition. Dr. Arthurs shows, in a gracious manner, the biblical mandate for such activity. He also shows the relevance of public reading to the church through historical references. The next section deals with preparing the reader for the task. Dr. Arthurs here gives practical and pastoral advice for those who would read God’s Word to the congregation. We then move to the tools the reader will need to read the scripture well. Here Dr. Arthurs gives a short but immensely helpful guide to delivering the Word. The last section shows ways of varying up the reading to enhance the listener’s experience. There are also some sample scripts at the end of the book. This book also features a 35 minute dvd to help instruct the reader on the finer points of presentation.

I was excited to see this book advertised. Now after having read it, I am even more excited to recommend it to those who minister to congregations. But let us not limit this book to the church. I would like to see this book in every Christian home so that family devotion time could bring glory to God through the lively reading of God’s precious words to us. May we have ears to hear and mouths to speak God’s Word.

What Others Have Said:
Review By: Greg Scharf,   Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – December 1, 2012
“Jeffrey Arthurs builds a compelling case for a biblically mandated but embarrassingly neglected ministry–public Scripture reading. This book is not only biblical, reminding the reader of commonly overlooked texts that bear on the subject, but is is also up-to date, informative, well documented, clearly illustrated, unfailingly wise, and eminently helpful. I found excellence on every turn of the page. I can’t recommend it too highly.”
Review By: J. Edwards,   Talbot School of Theology – December 1, 2012
“God created the universe with the power of his spoken word and continues to refashion lives where his Word is heard today. Jeffrey Arthurs serves the Church well by showing us why and how to read God’s powerful words.”
Review By: Tony Merida,   Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – December 1, 2012
“I rejoice to see this new work. I pray that it will influence a new generation of leaders to restore the historic practice of public Scripture reading in corporate worship.”
(from the publisher’s website)

Book Details:

  • Author: Jeffrey D. Arthurs
  • Publisher: Kregel
  • Format: Paperback
  • Page Count: 144
  • ISBN#: 978-0825442193
  • List Price: $19.99

About the Author:
Jeffrey D. Arthurs (Ph.D., Purdue University) is associate professor of preaching and communication and dean of the chapel at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, S. Hamilton, Mass. He is an active scholar, regularly presenting papers at conferences and writing articles for several leading periodicals.
(from the publisher’s website)

Where to Buy:

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: Kregel, Reviews
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