Posted by: lmfilio | September 8, 2008

Eat this Book (In Greek please)

I’ve made a desicion a month ago to level up on the area of spiritual reading. You see, I’ve just finished focusing on spiritual conversation (prayer-life) and because it has been so rewarding I got excited working on the next area of my spiritual life which is to study the Word of God. I bought books which helped me train on the disciple of study: The first one is devotional and the other is academic.

For the devotional book, I just finished reading the third book of Eugene Peterson entitled: “Eat this book”. I got suprised again with another God-revealing metaphor which Peterson used to express the truth about spiritual reading. I noticed that Peterson used John’s poetry where the story speaks of an angel commanding John to Eat the book he is carrying. Here, the angel warned John that it would be sweet at the mouth yet bitter in the stomach. Peterson explained the importance of taking-in the Word of God by putting it in our mouth and down to our stomach and as I begin to understand this metaphorically, I realized that to take-in the Word of God means to chew and to digest it just like food. Moreoever, this implicates that just like when the food has been digested and flows out from my veins, my brain, my muscles and my skin so as I take-in the Word of God, it would also literally flows out from my veins (how I direct my life), in my brain (how I think), in my muscle (how I muster strength) and my skin (how I cover my life). Now, that makes a lot of sense!

And in order do this, Peterson gave instructions on Lectio Divina. This is a good practice for spiritual reading and it involves three parts: Medio, Oratio and Lectio. These are latin words which I understood to mean: “Taking-in, Speaking-through and Living-out the Word of God”.  Being consistent with the “Eat this book” metaphor, I realize that I need to develop this kind of engaged reading in order for me to literally “Eat this book”. So, I decided to learn Greek.

Yes, you read it right. Greek! You may asked: “What on earth would Greek do to help me level up my spiritual reading?” Well, I asked myself the same question and although I haven’t have the answer to it yet, I still casually picked-up a academic book on “Greek grammar” last month went on studying Greek. To my surpise, I found myself getting more exciting as I learn the details of the language. Greek grammar engaged me to learn English grammar as well (something I’ve always been bad at). I learned that it is a prequisite to understand English grammar to fully learn how the New Testament was translated from Greek to English. I meditated on the Word of God and literally chew on it to understand each vocabulary and grammar which translates to meaning and context. I was able to understand the text on its terms and as I humbly submit myself to it, I began to enter (a metaphor please) its world. The world of “the Word” which was with God since the beginning.

This began my practice of eating the Word of God in Greek.



  1. I have an e-sword program. It contains the Strong’s Greek Dictionary.

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