Are You Looking For A Fresh Way To Read The Bible?

Derek and I have been asking the Lord to help us get creative in the way that we are discovering Him and expressing Him to one another.  Recently we were listening to a message on getting to know Jesus more intimately as a friend. In it we were encouraged to read the gospels as though Jesus was reading them to us, in the first person.  So I decided to do this the very next day in my own private time with the Lord. Starting with Matthew chapter 1, I set out to swap the words “he” and ‘him” for ”I” and ”Me” as I read aloud. But just before I opened my mouth, the funniest thing happened.

I realised that in every movie I have ever seen that portrays Jesus, the actor always speaks english with either an American or an English accent.  As an english speaking person in an english speaking country, I have grown up in church and amongst friends and family where I have only ever listened to the scriptures being read with an Australian, American or English accent (except for my dear South African sisters and brothers). I started wondering, what about people that are brought up in Scotland? or Ireland? If they were english speaking, they would have only heard the scriptures read aloud with Scottish or Irish accents. I had the thought that if a Scottish production company produced a film on the gospels, their Jesus would speak with a Scottish accent. The thought didn’t even seem ridiculous to me, it just seemed logical. And so, to mix it up and get a bit more creative, I decided to read the gospel of Matthew aloud to myself as Jesus telling me His own story as an english speaking Scotsman!

Now, if you’re not laughing, I would be surprised! I laughed too! A lot! I laughed aloud at the thought of it and I thought of how many people close to me would laugh if they could hear me doing this! But in all honesty, I felt there was really something in this. I really felt it was the Lord leading me to do this, to discover Him afresh and I sensed Him really having fun with me. This wasn’t silly, this was fresh! This was new! And ultimately, this was a genuine exercise (given by the Lord Himself I am convinced) in getting to know Jesus more intimately as my very real friend. And what do friends do together? They enjoy one another, don’t they. They share their lives with each other and have fun together. And that’s just what we were about to do.

So I started reading with a Scottish accent. Yep, I actually did it.  Despite how I seemed to go in and out of a mix of Scottish, Irish and even Indian at times, (still with an unmistakable Aussie twang) it was captivating. Oh, how the scriptures came alive to me! It was as though I’d never heard them before! It was truly as though Jesus was sitting next to me on the couch, just telling me His story.  He was telling me of His adventures with all the colour and delightful expression that our Scottish brothers and sisters are blessed with. And it was delightful indeed. I heard things in His story I’d never heard before. I saw Jesus in a way I’d never seen Him. I saw a whole new part of His personality through hearing different inflections, different emphasis and I heard His perspective differently. It was a fascinating and very moving tale that even moved me to tears at times when I heard my Lord’s story in a whole new light.  I heard his heart ache for John the Baptist. I heard His repulsion over the acts of the Pharisees. I heard His patience and kindness towards His disciples. I saw His identity as the Son of God come as son of Man and how the two were intermingled. I saw His trust and security in His Father. I heard His compassionate heart for the lost. I heard His sense of deep rest.  I couldn’t get enough so I pressed on for many chapters until I got tired.

Guys, this was so grand! It was a wonderful experience and I touched Jesus in a whole new way. I got to experience afresh the Lord’s sense of humour, creativity, His sense of adventure, His willingness to be with me and share Himself with me.

If you’re looking for a fresh way of touching Jesus as your friend through scripture reading, I thoroughly recommend giving this a go. Do as suggested and read the gospels in Jesus own words about Himself as outlined in my first paragraph above. And throw off religious restraints by throwing in an accent.  If you are Scottish (my apologies for my poor reflection of your beautiful language and accent) try an Italian or Russian accent. Go crazy!  You know, for me it just shook all the religion out of my bible reading.  It threw it all off and I was in story time with Jesus.

I’m going to give you a taste with a few chapters that will hopefully make you smile, (and not laugh too hysterically) and see your Lord in a whole new light also. I encourage you to get your cup of tea or coffee, cast off the religious restraints, hit the play button and close your eyes as you listen. And let’s have fun with Jesus. He’s not religious at all, He is wonderful! I hope you enjoy Him in these recordings of Matthew Chapter 2 – 11 from the NIV.

  • Recommended reading – There is a book called Jesus in His Own Words by Robert Mounce. I have never read it but I would very much like to. It looks like it’s near impossible to get a hold of it but even just clicking on this link will give you a little taste of it which might be enough to open up your creative juices into a new way of discovering Christ in the scriptures.

Go ahead. I dare you.

6 thoughts on “Are You Looking For A Fresh Way To Read The Bible?

  1. Indeed an added and refreshing dimension to scripture reading/fellowship. Thank you. Jesus with a Spanish accent sounds a bit like Antonio Banderas to me. Lol.
    There is a publisher called http://www.seedsowers.com. They publish The Story of My Life as told by Jesus Christ. It’s the 4 gospels interwoven in the first Person/Christ in the NLT version. ISBN: 978-0-940232-71-6. It’s excellent.

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      • I had a chance to listen to your readings. You can definitely catch the Scottish accent, especially in the rolling of the “R”. While I do enjoy furnishing the Lord with a voice when reading the scriptures, I never considered incorporating an accent. This presents new and exciting possibilities. Thanks again. Blessings to you and Derek in Christ, our indwelling Lord.

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      • That’s wonderful Julio, it kinda seemed so silly but I truly took it from the Lord in giving a creative way of discovering Him afresh. I love how He’s unconcerned with conventional things, He IS the norm and He is vastly creative. I only have to look in the mirror to see that! Lol. I do hope you enjoy finding some new expression of Him like I have. And please share any other ways you’ve discovered Him, we’d love to know! I’ll pass on your blessings to Derek and we send ours to you and that precious sister of ours also. Amen bro.

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  2. The funny thing about accents is that we gain a lot about our identity from something that comes so natural to us. Moving to America my accent became probably one of the most if not most commented thing about me. And yet it was as simple as breathing to speak as I had been taught. I was of my people and my people are of me.
    5 years down the line, my accent has changed. I now have a hybrid of American/australian. It’s not often commented on anymore because I sound more like them. And yet I don’t want to sound like them because I’m Aussie born and bred.
    But I was born to sound like Him because I am of Him and He is of me. The less time we spend with Him and more time we spend with the world we become a hybrid/doubleminded.

    I pray that we all seek to sound and speak like Him and dwell in the identity of being His people and moving out of that. Only then will we not sound like this world or identify with it.

    I love you my sister. I miss you with my whole heart. Thank you for blessing us with what God has put on your heart.

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    • That’s a beautiful insight sister, thank you for sharing that. Yes and amen. Christ is the universal language of all creation. Even the birds speak “Christ “! And the ants, and the waterfalls and oceans, those born again ones in Scotland, Switzerland, New Guinea, Africa. Christ is our language and we can hear His accent in each one of us! I hear Him in you! Xx

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