“Timothy unfolded the papyrus letter, and began to read. ‘Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus.’
‘So he’s alive,’ Timothy thought. He read the letter. ”
I stopped reading. I wanted to hear other people’s voices in the study.
“We always study Paul’s letters a phrase at a time, but they were letters, read out loud, And then studied. Even when people were alone, they read out loud. So read it out loud,” I said.
And we did.
Each of us read a couple paragraphs. It only took ten minutes. The text in about 1700 words in English translation.
Everyone was pretty quiet when we finished. Then Ed said, “I never read a whole book of the Bible out loud at once.” Catherine said, “Aren’t you glad he didn’t choose Isaiah? It’s got 66 long chapters instead of four.”
“So what do you think?” I said.
“It reads like someone’s last words,” Sue said. “It’s actually pretty poignant, especially when you get to the end where he’s talking about dying.”
“Paul names a lot of people with hard names,” Jim said. We laughed. Jim had ended up having to say most of them.
“Here’s a secret,” Sue said. “Say them fast and confidently, whether you know them or not. Then we think you know what you are doing.”
“But seriously,” Catherine said. “What’s with all the names?”
I had some suggestions about that, partially from my thoughts about the reason for the names in Nehemiah. But I said, “Let’s wait to answer that until we have some more observations.”
People spoke up.
- “There’s a lot of Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus.”
- “He sees almost a battle between good teachers and bad teachers.”
- “He’s pretty focused on giving advice to Timothy.”
That’s a four-day taste of a Bible study. Let me know if you are interested in more. And if you are playing along at home, read 2 Timothy out loud straight through. What other observations do you have?
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