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Scripture Engagement/Contemplate Resources
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Contemplate Resources

Note: The traditional name for this practice called Contemplate is lectio divina, Latin for “sacred reading.”

Websites

Lectio Divina Resources—American Bible Society
Resources on this website include a brochure called “Learn to Pray with the Bible,” a description of the lectio divina process and guidance through its steps. There is also a training video for the lectio divina process. For an America Bible Society YouTube video on using lectio divina to pray through the Bible, click here.

Study the Bible Through Lectio Divina—InterVarsity
A brief history and practical steps on how to do lectio divina.

Lectio Divina: “Divine Reading”—Redeemer Churches & Ministries
This website provides a quick overview of the lectio divina process for both individuals and groups.

Lectio Divina (Spiritual Reading)—Reformed Church in America
Includes instructions and videos on the lectio divina process.

“Lectio Divina”—compiled by Joy O’Byrne
A walkthrough of lectio divina that provides a straightforward look at the traditional four steps of the divine reading process and adds two important steps that are often neglected.

“Step-By-Step Through Lectio Divina”
This article provides a concise explanation of lectio divina. It focuses on preparing one’s heart to be filled with the Holy Spirit through the practice, provides solid advice for how to perform each step, and gives detailed explanations of each stage. Those seeking a deeper understanding of the values of this discipline will find it particularly helpful.

“The Classical Monastic Practice of Lectio Divina”—Father Thomas Keating
The article, by accomplished Catholic theologian and author Thomas Keating, delves into the two different kinds of lectio divina: Scholastic and Monastic. He provides detailed explanations of what lectio divina is and what it is not.

“Lectio Divina: A Beginner’s Guide”  - Elizabeth Manneh
This article gives a good description of each step with a personal touch. The author goes through each step as she has experienced. Includes links to further guides on lectio divina.

Books

Discovering Lectio Divina: Bringing Scripture into Ordinary Life by James Wilhoit & Evan Howard
An insightful book about Scripture engagement in general and about lectio divina specifically. As the authors state, the book is “first and foremost about intimacy with God.” Their sections on the nature of the Bible and on the work of the Holy Spirit as we come to God’s Word are accessible and engaging. The book is also strongly motivational, particularly the chapters on the four stages of lectio divina, which are practical and rich.

Contemplative Bible Reading by Richard Peace
Includes a brief history of lectio divina and explains its original purpose and method. The introduction of the book contains a helpful explanation of individual and communal lectio divina, even providing an example of a lectio divina study for a beginner. The rest of the book consists of individual Bible studies and exercises. The book includes an opening discussion, notes, and brief assignments. It is a wonderful tool to use for individual and group lectio divina exercises.

Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton
Chapter 3 of this book discusses the pattern and discipline of lectio divina in the context of other spiritual disciplines. Barton talks about the importance of the intention of lectio divina in regards to emotions and transformation rather than gathering information or building a wealth of knowledge. As Barton goes through the steps of the process, she keeps the descriptions brief and yet leaves room for interpretation and the Spirit’s movements. Barton also includes a more instructional piece at the end of the chapter to guide the reader through the processes.

Gathered in the Word: Praying the Scripture in Small Groups by Norvene Vest
Gathered in the Word offers a step-by-step approach to lectio divina. Vest explains that this type of reading leads to a deeper understanding of Scripture as well as a deeper relationship with God. Intended primarily for congregational or group leaders, this book also helps individuals who wish to read the Bible for spiritual insight.

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© Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014. This material was created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement.