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14. What Does It Mean to Read the Bible as a Pentecostal?

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Chapter Summary

Pentecostals read the Bible not to learn of the history of Israel, the development of the earliest Christian theology or the life of Christ, but to meet God in the text, and to provide an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to one's spirit. When Pentecostals bring shared experience to the text, one finds the confidence one needs to support one's faith from Scripture, and one has no doubts as to what he sees there. There is a Pentecostal culture of Bible reading. Pentecostalism is by no means an isolationist or solitary faith. The reading and readings arise from and within a community, and a community of faith, in every sense of the latter word, at that. The traditional Pentecostal explanation as to how one might discern the meaning of the text is that it is the task of the Holy Spirit himself to 'lead one into all truth'.

Keywords: Bible reading; community of faith; Holy Spirit; Pentecostal; scripture; shared experience

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