Mass Bible reading
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t has been reported in the news media that 7,047 people from the Gangte tribe created a world record in mass Bible reading of the Book of Romans from chapter 1 to 16 in standing position within one hour and 27 minutes.It has secured a place in Limca Book of World Records, Asia Book of Records, and India Book of Records.The event was organized to spread the Gospel throughout the seven sisters of north-eastern region. But why choose the Book of Romans when there are several others on the same lines? The author of the Epistle was St Paul. He wrote to explain his understanding his understanding of the Christian faith, and its practical applications for the lives of Christians. The Book contains a most complete statement of his message. The theme of his letter was: “The Gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end” (1:127).
In developing his theme, Paul maintained that that all of mankind, Jews and Gentile, needs to be put right with God, for all alike are under the power of sin. People are put right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. The Book goes on to emphasize man’s need of salvation and God’s way of salvation. Chapters 5 to 8 discuss the purpose of the Law of God and power of God’s Spirit in the believer’s life.
Paul also emphasizes the role of Israel in the plan of God and the Christian conduct, as regards duty to the state and to one another, and questions of conscience accordingly. He believes that the Jews will not always reject Jesus. His Letter to the Romans was to prepare the way for a visit Paul planned to make to the church at Rome. His plan was to work among the Christians there for a while and then, with their support to proceed on to Spain.
For the average believer, a couple of chapters constitute sufficient reading for a day—in exceptions perhaps up to four chapters because Bible reading is a heavy endeavour. Mere reading it aloud does not achieve the objective. One must also understand what the words and hence, ideas, convey.
As such, in this context, it needs to be clarified whether reading a Book of the Bible was with the intention of conveying the message that it has been understood or was carried out to make entry into the various books of records. Be that as it may, the endeavour is encouraging to the effect that an entire community has deemed fit to mass read aloud the Bible.
The Gangte community which is spread over Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and North Myanmar are known to be an enterprising lot and so far they have not been known to agitate for a district or State of their own. Rather, they have settled peacefully wherever they are located. And this is an example which perhaps some other communities can also emulate.