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MILESTONE 8: READ IMAGINATIVELY

CHAPTER REFERENCE: CHAPTER 13: READ IMAGINATIVELY

Why do people don’t read the Bible as often as they need to? Why do people prefer reading
commentaries written by Christian authors instead of going to the Scriptures themselves?

One reason may be this: because they think reading the Bible is boring.

One way to counter that is to learn to read it imaginatively. How? Try the following suggestions and
more likely you’ll find yourselves reading it more often than you used to (because it is no longer
dreadfully boring) 

USE DIFFERENT TRANSLATIONS AND PARAPHRASES

Remember how this step aids us in practicing the strategy of reading repeatedly? Reading the Bible in
different translations spares us from being too familiar with the text (if we are using only one
translation). And more often than not, being too familiar with verses would tend to be boring, hindering
us from being more creative with the words and seeing it in a different light.

REWRITE THE TEXT IN YOUR OWN PARAPHRASE

Translators of the Bible from its original wordings had to be creative to render these works into English.
Likewise, trying to rewrite the Bible into your own words would require you to be more imaginative. For
instance, in Ecclesiastes 4:1. It says, “Again, I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place
under the sun…” One can paraphrase it as “Having discovered a lot of things already, our teacher
continued to discover more stuffs under the sun.”

Interesting huh? And fun too. Try it with the listed projects at end of this milestone 

READ SCRIPTURE IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE

This is more or less like the first step of reading different translations and paraphrases. Try reading it on
another language that you know of and identify insights that God may reveal to you in another
language.

HAVE SOMEONE READ THE TEXT OUT LOUD

This is like listening to a bedtime story from either your mom or your dad back when you were just a kid.
Remember how they animate the dialogues in the story book? Even if they don’t… them reading it in
their own way enables them to emphasize on certain statements that they want you to remember.

Having others read the text out loud may prove to be helpful to hear His words in a new way. Accents
and expressions from readers may help you out to see it in a new perspective.

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VARY YOUR SETTING

Try reading the Scriptures in different settings. Read it on your bed and then plan to read it in a coffee
shop or in a beautiful garden. What this action does is to provide you a different atmosphere as you
read the Bible… making it less of a bore and it would more likely spark your imagination as well. A very
nice example can be seen at our reference book:

“For example, many of Jesus’ parables were given by the Sea of Galilee. So, if you live near a lake or
the seashore, consider taking your Bible there to read and reflect on the Lord’s teaching. Likewise,
many of the psalms were composed by David when he was a shepherd, out in the fields. You might
drive out to the country to spend some time studying those passages.” (Living by the Book by Howard
G. and William D. Hendricks)

If we continue to read the Bible at a particular time and place, it is likely that we would develop a
routine. And once we do that, it is possible that this routine would lessen our interest and excitement
whenever we approach the Scriptures.

***

The Bible is written by a great and imaginative Author. Approaching His words at a less than creative
way would definitely make it a bore. Learn to read imaginatively and for sure, you’ll be amazed as to
how the Bible turns out to be one great storybook anyone could ever have.

REFLECT!

Are you ready to ignite your creative side? Try the following projects using the steps suggested above:

Acts 16:16-40
Psalm 19
1 Samuel 17
Acts 15:22-29

Have fun reading 

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