Reading the New Testament Letters: Q & A

The Bible Project


How to read the New Testament Letters. Let's start with a question from Damian in Minnesota Hey. Tim and John. My name is Damian. Leverett and I live. Live in Saint Paul. Minnesota I'm a classically trained theater actor and performer, and listening to these episodes has made me wonder if it could be a fruitful practice for churches to have people like me. Trained in speaking complex texts in an active embodied way, read the letters in their entirety in live gatherings. What do you think about this idea is? It's stupid. Are there any pitfalls or problems that you'd foresee? I'd love your advice. Thanks for all you do all right. I'll respond first Damian your idea is the opposite of stupid. It's actually brilliant and so important, and yes, you should do it. No questions asked. All Right? That's my first response. was here's John for sure? Yeah, you. We talked about how these letters were originally heard. Read Aloud. Yeah, that's right and that there is something about. Hearing it all in one sitting that helps you Kinda feel the shape of it in a different way. I noticed when I read. I get really stuck like what did that sentence mean? I don't keep moving. But, if you're in a situation, where just being read aloud in listening to an audio version of the Bible, that's really powerful, so so if you have a vision for using your experience in theater. That's awesome. Yes, John and I. Both knew a guy named Jason Nightingale. Who had just ministry nonprofit, he called word sewer ministries, but essentially he memorized all the books of the New Testament. Did he do all of them well? I don't know that for certain, but the sampling that I. Know that I've heard him. Recite before makes me think he's for sure got. From the gospel of Mark to the book of revelation Romans, Hebrews. Fijian's so we back when we were in our twenties, heard him. Yeah back in the nineties. Nineties Nightingale. But Man. This guy traveled all over the US and the world reciting books of the New Testament and then sometimes he would give short little homily. Reflection afterwards, but his main thing was to recite whole books the New Testament in one go for groups of people with such a booming. Yes, wonderful destroy had a uniquely amazing voice yeah. So yes Damien I. It's a wonderful idea. It should be normal I. Think this kind of ministry should be normal in the life of a local church. Yeah, having somebody who's like the memorizer and reciter of books of the New Testament. So guts be Damian. Go forth and memorize and recite his question from Lauren in Indiana Hi John and Tim. This is Lauren and Fort Wayne Indiana I'm listening to your conversation on the New Testament letters with my usual rapt attention, and in episode three is John expressed some frustration that the theology. The New Testament isn't more thoroughly connected and expurgated. It made me wonder. Wonder whether Paul as a Hebrew scripture scholar, who understood that it was as you call it. He Meditation Literature. Do you think it's possible that he crafted his epistles in that same way so that people would need to hear them and read them over and over to really get the depth of meaning just curious. Thanks for all you do God bless. It's great question. I thought that was really insightful. Question. It is true especially Paul the his letters are hard to understand. There are or you could say there are many parts that are difficult to follow. And you remember at some point in the series. I mentioned passage in Second Peter where Peter felt the same way That's right. Yeah, yeah, he says there are some things of Paul's letters that are hard to understand. However the question is. Is that intentional? He could. Is it a bug? My hunch is that for Paul's letters that it was expensive to write. Letters can talk about this future episodes. How how letters were actually produced and how expensive it was and the process involved, but I think part of it was just the way he communicated through these letters and the way his mind work. was like a beautiful mind. In terms of. Is this guy crazy or is this guy brilliant? I think it seems you can just feel bursting out of sentences in Galicians that there's whole volumes. He could riot on what's underneath just a couple of sentences and so? I think you actually could. You. Do need to read them over and over at least I have for years, but I'm not sure it's necessarily because he crafted the way. The Hebrew literature is crafted I. Think it's he was raised on that literature, and so he certainly is shaped by it and talks things by, but I think it's also just the nature of him his unique personality, and then the letter medium. How would you think I hear what you're saying there? Yeah, he not designed with the same maybe. Maybe intention analogy that scroll in the Tanakh would have been designed potentially, but he had internalized that design, and that tradition, and that tradition so much that it undergirds everything. He sang by Medicare, eating on Hebrew Bible, and then meditating on what Paul's writing. Yes, as cool chemistry that happens totally which I've noticed. Yeah, yeah, working on this project with you so many things come pop a lot more when when I start to see the things that that Paul was seeing And which are things that you've been pointing out these patterns and themes inside?

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