It may seem odd to write a book about the value of not just reading, but also the importance of hearing the contents of a book. And not just any book, but the Bible.

Most people in the early church could not read. How did they grow in their understanding of God’s Word? How did they grow as disciples to ask the question that theologian Brad East recently posed? Answer: By hearing gifted readers.

These readers worked hard to emphasize the right places, pause at the right moments, and supply energy throughout. Their “performance” in the best sense of that word gave people understanding. Hearing the word read not only familiarized them with the material. It helped shape how they “felt” about the material. Quoting a wonderful line from Quintilian, Sandy reminds us that it is good to “add force to facts.” Even when people could read, the hearing of God’s Word created new levels of understanding.

If your church has been blessed with great readers of Scripture, then you know the power of hearing well-executed words. If you have not heard such readers, you are missing out on a considerable blessing and benefit.

Many of us know what it is like to hear a familiar passage from the Word of God read in such a way that it engenders all kinds of new insights. This deeper and more beautiful understanding is something that Sandy does a terrific job of explaining.

Each year, I get to read a lot of terrific books. Sandy’s book is one of the most edifying ones I have read in a long time. I will be recommending it with great enthusiasm.

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