Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) on the reading of Holy Scripture


“Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought for in Holy Scripture. Each part of the Scripture is to be read with the same Spirit wherewith it was written (Rom. xv. 4). We should rather search after [our spiritual] profit in the Scriptures, than subtilty of speech… let the love of pure truth draw thee to read (1 Cor. ii. 4).

Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever (Ps. cxvii. 2; Luke xxi. 33). God speaks unto us sundry ways, without respect of persons. Our own curiosity often hindereth us in reading of the Scriptures, when as we will examine and discuss that which we should rather pass over without more ado. If thou desire to reap profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faithfulness; nor ever desire the estimation of learning…”

– Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471), De Imitatione Christi (The Imitation of Christ), Ch. V. “Of the Reading of Holy Scriptures”