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Each Tuesday, the Calvin Theological Seminary community gathers for Public Reading of Scripture (PRS) thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Grace &Mercy Foundation. This grant provides food at each week’s gathering and aids Seminary faculty and students as they start PRS groups in other languages and locations.

PRS is grounded in 1 Timothy 4:13, which instructs, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

In addition to promoting community through regular listening to Scripture, PRS is an important spiritual discipline because it trains believers for godly living, helps combat false teaching, promotes regular study, and reinforces the importance of public Scripture reading as worship and renewal.

Training for godly living: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” As we study Scripture, we trust God will use it to equip us for righteous living. God uses Scripture to train and form us into God’s image and likeness to live in righteousness and holiness before him (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

Helping combat false teaching: False teachers and unsound teaching abounded in the early church (2 Cor. 11:12-15; 2 Pet. 2:1-3). To combat false teachings, the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy and other church leaders to know Scripture well. The same instruction applies to believers today. To combat false teachings that threaten to destroy the church, we must know Scripture well. How can we do battle if we don’t have proper weapons?

Promoting regular study: When we read Scripture communally, we’re motivated to study regularly on our own. Times of personal study grow our knowledge, which can then be shared to edify others. Regularly hearing Scripture in community and studying it privately deepens our understanding of the text and of God.

Reading as worship and renewal: Since Old Testament times, publicly reading Scripture has been a cornerstone of worship. God commanded the Israelites to listen to God’s Word publicly and regularly to aid their obedience (Deut. 6:4-9) and meditation (Josh. 1:8-9; Ps. 119:11). Scripture was often read at ceremonies of covenant renewal between God and Israel (2 Chron. 34), when the people of God were reminded of their failure to keep the covenant and encouraged to repent of their sins.

Through the regular Public Reading of Scripture, Calvin Seminary aims to form disciples of Jesus Christ who are trained for godly living and equipped to combat false teachings, who regularly study God’s Word, and who recognize the importance of reading Scripture as an act of worship and spiritual growth.

To learn more about Calvin Seminary’s Public Reading of Scripture, view this video.

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