“…blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy…” – Revelation 1:3
Being a Christian, just a simple Christian, I need to be able to read God’s Word with understanding. There is a tract compiled by brother Michael Gilbert that could help us all as Christians. In it he says, “The ability to read God’s Word, whether aloud or silently, with proficiency, is the first step in learning His precious Truth (Luk. 4:16-17).” Being a proclaimer of God’s Word, I must read the scriptures aloud distinctly so that I may give the sense of what was written for our learning (Neh. 8:8).
So must we all, whether it be in reading aloud or along in Bible class, or when we study the Bible with someone one-on-one. When we can read, especially the King James’ Bible, with ease and be understood, we show others how much we care about God’s Word, and that it isn’t our first time reading it. Whether we are trying to read the Bible through in a year or we are going over something in our studies or we are preparing to read scripture aloud or just (continued from front) trying to memorize a few scriptures, the more we read silently or aloud, the better we master the language and understanding of the Bible. I have seen it time and time again, when one reads verses more than a few times they get better and better in pronouncing the words and understanding them. All of us want to grow as Christians and what better way than to read God’s Word. Here are a few helpful tidbits from Gilbert’s tract when reading God’s Word:
A comma [ , ] denotes, especially in long sentences, a little elevation of the voice. It is the shortest pause, at which a reader’s voice should stop the time of pronouncing one syllable.
A semicolon [ ; ] denotes, for the most part, an evenness of the voice, at which the reader’s voice should stop the time of pronouncing two syllables.
A colon [ : ] marks a little depression of the voice at which the reader’s voice should stop the time of pronouncing four syllables.
A period [ . ] is a full stop, denoting a greater depression of the voice than the colon, at which the reader’s voice should stop the time of pronouncing six syllables.
A note of interrogation [ ? ] shows that a question is asked, and the end of the sentence preceding it should be read with a raised or elevated tone of voice, except when a question is asked by who, which, what, how, why, when, wherefore, which sentences should be read with a depression of the voice at the end of them.
A parenthesis ( ) includes something explanatory, which, if omitted, would not obscure the sense. The words included in parentheses, should be read with a weaker tone of voice than the rest of the sentence.
An apostrophe [ ‘ ] is used to show the possessive case, as, a man’s property.
HELPS FOR PRIVATE STUDY
Common Symbols in KJV Bibles
An asterisk [ * ], obelisk [ † ], or parallels [ || ], and many other marks are used to direct the reader to some note or remark in the margin or at the bottom of a page.
In many King James Version Bibles (KJV), quotation marks [ ““ ] are not used to denote a person’s words. Instead, commas are often used (as in Matt. 7:21-23).
Don’t read aloud the “extra” sentences, words, and titles in your Bible. Examples include:
- The words “Selah” and “Higgaion” in the Psalms (both words may mean “pause as you read” or “meditate”).
- The traditions of men after many NT books, such as 1 & 2 Timothy, which are not Scripture.
- Titles of certain Bible books such as “The Gospel of Saint Matthew.” “Saint Matthew” is a title given to him by men. “Matthew” is sufficient. Jesus taught us to avoid special titles for men (Matthew 23:7-12).
Knowing these simple guidelines will help not only in our own studies, but also in speaking with others about God’s Word. We must be comfortable and confident in what God has preserved in His message. 1 Timothy 4:13,15-16 – Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.