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The Bible Out Loud

Is one of your resolutions for the new year to spend more time in the Bible? In Old Testament times, the Word had to be read in public because most people couldn't read and the sacred scrolls were scarce. How well do you know the details of these occasions when the Scriptures were read aloud?

1. Ezra the priest stood on a high wooden platform and read the Word of the Lord aloud from daybreak until noon. What was the response of the returning exiles from Babylon who had assembled to listen?

A. they bowed down
B. they made idols
C. they wept

2. When Jesus stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth one Sabbath, from which Old Testament book did he read aloud?

A. Isaiah
B. Leviticus
C. Psalms

3. Who did Paul instruct to "devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching"?

A. the church elders
B. the Corinthians
C. Timothy

4. Which book of the Bible offers this promise: "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it"?

A. Revelation
B. Zechariah
C. Daniel

5. When Philip met the Ethiopian eunuch in his chariot on the road to Gaza, he asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" From which book of the Bible was the eunuch reading?

A. Deuteronomy
B. Isaiah
C. Jeremiah

6. At which event was the Book of the Law to be regularly read aloud to all the people "so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord"?

A. the Sabbath
B. Passover
C. the Feast of Tabernacles


  1. C. they wept (Nehemiah 8:1-12). The people stood as the Law was being read and listened attentively as Ezra explained its meaning. They responded with tears of repentance, but Nehemiah said, "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
  2. A. Isaiah (Luke 4:16). The words from Isaiah 61:1, 2, appropriately announced the Messiah's anointing and mission: "to preach good news to the poor ? to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners"?all characteristics of Jesus' ministry. He didn't finish the verse because the "day of vengeance" wouldn't be fulfilled until his second coming.
  3. C. Timothy (1 Tim. 4:13). The Scripture in Paul's day consisted of the first five books of the Bible and the Prophets, but he also quotes the Psalms and told the churches to read his letters aloud (Col. 4:16). It's still customary in many worship services to read from the Old Testament, Psalms, Paul's Epistles, and the Gospels.
  4. A. Revelation (1:3). The word "prophecy" as John used it here, not only refers to predictions of the future, but also to God's instructions and commands. The blessings aren't for those who only hear the Word, but for those who also obey it.
  5. B. Isaiah (Acts 8:28-32; Isaiah 53:7-8). Although written more than 700 years earlier, the passage accurately described Christ's suffering and death. When Philip used Isaiah's words to explain how Jesus "was numbered with the transgressors," and "bore the sin of many," the God-fearing Ethiopian believed and was baptized.
  6. C. the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 31:11-12). Moses read the Law to the people at Mt. Sinai and they responded, "We will obey" (Ex. 24:7). Once they entered the Promised Land, they were to read it during the Feast of Tabernacles to remember their wilderness journey. In captivity, the Israelites began reading a portion of the Law every Sabbath.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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