◼ Why is it beneficial for the audience to look up scriptures when invited to do so by a speaker during his discourse?
Factors such as the subject being discussed and whether the talk includes a verse-by-verse consideration of a portion of God’s Word will determine the number of scriptures the audience may be invited to look up.
It is important to keep in mind that one reason for looking up scriptures is to confirm that what is being said is from the Bible. (Acts 17:11) Another objective is to examine the Scriptural evidence in support of what is being discussed so that the faith of all is strengthened. Seeing what the Bible actually says while a key text is read will make a double impression on the mind. In addition to looking up scriptures, taking notes and keeping up with the flow of ideas being expressed is beneficial.
While the Society’s outline may cite a generous number of Scriptural texts in developing a subject, these are provided for the benefit of the speaker, to help him with his preparation. These may give background information and otherwise help him to get the underlying Scriptural principles well in mind and to understand the development of the subject. The speaker determines which texts are vital to the development of the talk and invites the audience to follow along with him as such texts are read and explained. Other texts that lend support to the material may be mentioned and paraphrased, but in such cases the audience does not necessarily have to look them up.
When the speaker reads selected scriptures, he does so directly from the Bible, not from a computer-generated printout. When the speaker invites the audience to read along, he clearly states the Bible book, the chapter, and the verse(s). By pausing to raise a question or to comment briefly on why the text is to be read, he allows time for the audience to find the scripture. Repeating the citation will also help the audience remember the reference. It is not recommended, however, to mention a page number, since these vary depending on the particular Bible edition that individuals in the audience are using. Looking up scriptures when invited to do so helps the audience benefit from the power of God’s Word as it is explained during the discourse.—Heb. 4:12.