Quakers believe that the real way that you understand what the Bible has to say to you is to let the words be illuminated. Paul Buckley explains.
- What is your experience of reading the Bible?
- What does Paul mean when he directs us to, “Let that inward Light light up the text that you’re looking at”?
- In what instances have you experienced the voice of God being illuminated underneath the words of scripture?
Quaker Voluntary Service has opportunities for young women and men interested in social and personal transformation through service work and living in Quaker community.
How Do Quakers Read the Bible?
A lot of Quakers don’t. I actually asked this question of a dozen/fifteen different Quakers from across the spectrum: from evangelical Quaker pastors to a woman who describes herself as a lesbian-feminist bible believing Christian, activists and people who are more theologically based. I asked them exactly that question: how do Quakers read the Bible?
The result is a book. Gotta plug the book.
The Quaker Bible Reader
Each one of them gave a very different answer to the question on some level, but if you looked at all the essays that they produced – as a whole – you find that there is really an answer to that question, how do Quakers read the bible, and that is: Quakers read the Bible under the immediate direction of the holy Spirit.
We may be scholars. We may know a lot about exegesis and the history of biblical criticism or we may not. But in each of the answers that I got – from Evangelical to Liberal – it was very clear that the real way that you understand what the Bible has to say to you as a Quaker, as an individual, is to let the words be illuminated. Let that inward Light light up the text that you’re looking at. Let the holy Spirit speak to you, and to listen for that voice of God underneath the words.