N.T. Wright on "HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS WHO ARE TRYING TO ENGAGE THE SCRIPTURES IN THAT KIND OF WAY?"


I think I want to say, surprise yourself. Get a different translation from time to time. Go away somewhere where you’re not going to be phoned or emailed. Sit down and read right through 1 and 2 Chronicles in a sitting, or read right through all of Paul’s letters at a sitting. The first book other than Philemon I actually read straight through, the first long book, was the book of Revelation when I was, I think, 14 or 13. I’d just been given the New English Bible translation, and I knew nothing about Revelation. I just opened it and read it from cover to cover. And I didn’t understand more than a tiny bit of it, but it’s like watching a thunderstorm. You think: “Oh my goodness, something’s going on here. I have no idea what it is, and it’s very exciting.” I think people need to be able to be surprised by Scripture. Read Genesis at a run or Job at a run. Then to go down into the single verse, into the two- or three-verse short passage, and say, “What is this all about?” Get a piece of paper and write down what you think this verse is about, and what you think this phrase is about, and what you think this word is about. The thing is inexhaustible. It’s just a gold mine, and an everything-else mine, as well. You’ll never tire of it.