The Public Reading of Scripture in Scripture

“For example, the book of Nehemiah tells the fascinating story of a great spiritual revival that occurred in Jerusalem. After the city’s wall was rebuilt, everyone came together for a sacred assembly, and a gifted teacher named Ezra read the Book of the Law ‘aloud from daybreak till noon…in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively’ (Nehemiah 8:3). Others also read the Scriptures and explained its relevance, ‘making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read’ (8:8). The peoples hearts were touched; they ‘bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground’ (8:6). They also began ‘weeping as they listened to the words of the Law’ (8:9)”

– Max McLean, Unleashing the Word, p. 45


“When readers do their work properly, they are “pre-preaching.” Good Scripture readings set up the emotional and intellectual connection that a reader has to the text. Readers help the congregation begin forming questions about the text and encourage them to anticipate hoe the teaching pastor will address a particular issue.”

– Max McLean, Unleashing the Word, p. 35