The African Bible Study
The Bible Becomes Transparent and Leads Us to God
The lectio divina or the African Bible Study is a special way of hearing what God is saying to us through the Bible.
For whichever Bible passage you are considering, read the text aloud at least three times, in at least three different voices - a man's, a woman's, a girl's, a boy's, someone's who speaks with a different accent - so that many people in the group have an opportunity to read, as well as to listen.
Each person should read the entire passage completely, without breaks or interruptions.
You may discuss the passage briefly (going around the circle, allowing each person to say which one word struck them particularly - but only the one word, without explanations) after each reading, but reserve full discussion of the passage until the last reading is completed, holding that discussion as tightly as you can to the words that were brought up in the circles.
Some or all of the study questions can help clarify the discussion:
1. Who is speaking?
2. Who is he speaking to?
3. Are there any bystanders?
4. Does the speaker's person change? (From "I" to "we"?)
5. Which words or phrases sound new?
6. Which phrase rings especially true?
7. What will you think about during the week after rereading the passage?
8. What will we pray about during the week?
Close with prayer, again with prayer that focuses closely on the chosen text, as you listen to the fullness of the scripture resonate in your hearts.
Listening to Eugene Peterson's translation of "The Message" can also provide a different perspective.
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