Our eyes and our ears process things so differently. Typically, when we hear something read aloud, there are changes in the reader’s tone and different words are emphasized at different times. Characters might even have different voices.
Listening engages our minds and helps us remember. And yet…most of us read the Bible silently. Sadly, most of us also read the Bible with a monotone voice in our heads.
In Nehemiah 8, we hear about Ezra reading the Book of the Law aloud to the people. I doubt he read it with a monotone voice. After all, it says there was weeping and rejoicing as he read! That kind of response comes when people hear the Bible read with emotion and passion.
There are many different translations – and readers – built right in to the Bible App. Pick one and listen to Nehemiah 8. I just checked a few different translations, and all of them were under four minutes. You might even want to listen to it in two or three different translations if you have the time!
Notice what stands out to you. Picture the scene. Visualize the sights, sounds, and people. Let yourself get lost in it.
Another way to “hear” the Word is to read it out loud. Yes, it might feel a little strange to read your Bible out loud at first. After all, most of us don’t read out loud unless there’s a little kid nearby and we’re reading something like Curious George©.
Well, try this: Read your Bible out loud as if you were reading Curious George© to a little kid!
Read with energy. Read with passion. Go ahead and give the characters different voices or accents. After all, the people in the Bible were originally speaking Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. They didn’t sound like you anyhow!
Let your mouth and ears join the party. Not just your eyes and mind. You will enjoy it more. And you will remember it better.