Thinking Out Loud

September 27, 2009

A New Way to Meditate on Scripture

People talk about meditating on scripture, but for many of us, living in an instant age means we simply are in too big a hurry to get to the next verse to slow down enough to consider the verse we just finished reading.

This weekend I was in a part of Ontario that is more predominantly Francophone (i.e. there is a much more French spoken.)  So instead of the regular Gideon Bible in the hotel,  they had a New Testament with Psalms in a parallel French-English edition.

I found myself turning to familiar passages and reading both the English and the French.   My French language skills are somewhat limited, but many of the French words are either roots or extensions of English words we know, and many times they are simply not the English words we would associate with the particular word or phrase.

For example, seeing God as Holy is easy for us English speakers, but seeing Him as sanctified?   In English we tend to use that word for something common which is made holy. God, of course, has no reason to be made holy.  But languages vary in their composition and what matters most is how the word is now used and understood.

But in the process of weighing all this I was actually meditating on the verses before me.

The 73% of readers of this blog in the USA could do the same thing with a Spanish-English parallel Bible.   In fact, I think the less familiarity you have with the other language, the more it might slow you down to an appropriate meditating cruising speed.

You get to see the familiar passages in a different light, and you might even refresh your high-school second-language skills in the process.


  1. That’s great. I’d probably have to stick to a Spanish-English, but I suspect it would be like walking down a highway that you drove on every day. Longer to look, to feel, to think about.

    Comment by Jeremy McNabb — September 28, 2009 @ 1:18 am

    • like walking down a highway that you drove on every day…

      Great way of putting it. You may have just redefined scripture meditation for a new generation!

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 28, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  2. Good!

    Comment by brian — September 28, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  3. I live in Glen Burnie,Maryland and there are alot of Spanish Speaking in my part of the woods,if I could learn Spanish I could witness to alot of Hispanics in my area.Most of the ones I run into because I work in retail,and we get alot of Spanish Speaking families in our store.Good Idea.

    Comment by mike42lan — September 28, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  4. Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken. Yoga is probably the only form of physical activity that massages each and every one of the body’s glands and organs. This includes the prostate, a gland that seldom, if ever, gets externally stimulated in one’s whole life.

    Comment by william smith — January 16, 2010 @ 12:22 am

    • I can appreciate that some people ran into this article because they were searching the web for “yoga” related material, but for purposes of this blog and the people that read it, your first sentence only proves my point. I believe Christianity is a way of life. (And, in a similar vein, the harder you try to live it, the less is accomplished, because you can’t “do” Christianity on your own strength.)

      The question here is: Are these two “ways of life” compatible or are they in conflict.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 16, 2010 @ 10:09 am

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