Reading the Bible in Community

Reading the Bible with others does not mean only that we read together in a small group, or that we read commentaries to benefit from the wisdom of great teachers, or that we listen to the Bible read and reflected on in worship or other gatherings.  It also means reading the Bible through the lens of others’ experiences, in the knowledge of others’ stories, in the midst of immersion in others’ lives.  For all this is in the service of loving God and loving one another.  It is not to make us more knowledgeable about the Bible’s text, although that is helpful.  It is not to make us more culturally sophisticated, although that is a benefit.  It is to plunge us deeper into life with God, and therefore deeper into life with one another, that we might take one more step toward the beloved, all-inclusive community centered in Christ.

— Richard J. Foster, Life with God, p. 105-106

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