Lessons from Richard Greenham on Reading the Word

Puritan Greenham, A Profitable Treatise for the reading and understanding of the Holy Scriptures. Dr. Beeke writes, “Though Greenham is used here as a model, many Puritans have addresed the “how-to” of Bible reading.” His points are worthy of your time;

1. Diligence, if you read The Scriptures diligently it will make your rough places plain, difficult easy, and unsavory tasty.

2. Wisdom, choice of matter, do not spend the bulk of time on the most difficult portion of the Word, do not move from revealed to unrevealed, the wise reader will aim to be established in a well rounded doctrine. Time, never let a day pass without reading the Bible, Sunday most of the day.

3. Preparation, approach the Bible with a reverential fear, swift to hear, and slow to speak. Approach with faith in Jesus Christ, sincerely desirous to learn of God, and put your heart into reading the Bible.

4. Meditation, if you don’t meditate you won’t get depth, the difference between rowing and drifting to a destination in a boat; reading without meditation is barren

5. Conference, Proverbs 21:7, iron sharpening iron, concerned about small group discussions, not too large; should be able to be free to speak.

6. Faith, faith is the key to profitable reception.

7. Practice, the doing of a sermon; “is the sermon finished?  It has been preached, but not yet been done” reply of a Puritan husband to his wife’s question upon returning home from church.

8. Prayer, indispensable for all our reading of Scripture; before and after the reading of the Bible, pray as you read them, memorize verses, meditate, think about it and then put it into practice.

If you need nourishment of your body, then you need a blessing for nourishment of spiritual things; we need to do these things to get the bible into us; we must get into it in a genuine and saving way.

HT: Notes taking while in Puritan Theology under Dr. Joel Beeke. Read his full article on Reading and Hearing the Word in a Puritan Way.

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