Bible Jamming…to the Max!

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Bible Jamming…to the max!  An interesting way to get people – not necessarily Christians or keen – into reading the Bible.

When musicians ‘jam’ they play a song over and over ‘til it’s in the groove, thus the title of this approach to getting into a Bible passage.

Start in whichever way seems normal (first round is the most familiar to many) and use at least 4 of the suggestions below.

I find it best to explain the process briefly at the start and then more fully explain each round when you’re up to it. (Eg. after the previous one has been finished):

First round – one person reads the passage through out loud

2nd round – everyone reads the passage, a verse each around the group (people can pass if they really seem uncomfortable)

3rd round – someone starts and the next person picks up when/where the first stops (“handing over”)

4th round – “cut in” on (interrupt) one another.. mid-verse or wherever!

5th round – anyone cuts in OR hands over to each other

6th round – read only the dialogue (leave out narration or thoughts)

7th round – reading random verse(s) until someone reads the last verse

In a passive consumption-of-entertainment culture and decreasing interest in reading this cheeky method increases active involvement and reading.. of our formative text. It has also been useful in helping people get into the Bible but with a less linear or prescribed mindset.

The ‘cutting in’ rounds can capture teenagers’ competitiveness in a fun way and encourage participation with a bit more choice. The repetition increases everyone’s retention of the passage. The re-reading helps the overall passage to take shape rather than earlier verses being lost in the subsequent ones. It has helped young people suspend the “right answer” approach for long enough to let the characters or tensions, humour, challenge etc. be heard.

Often, especially with Adults, the final random verse round can be significant,… highlighting key words/themes or exchanges in the passage; allowing a kind of intuitive analysis. Bible Jamming is appropriate for use within Lectio Divina, too.

Thanks to Naomi Swindon and SU Victoria for sharing this resource.

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