Churches do a funny thing called “Bible Study”, we sit around in small groups and discuss the meaning of scripture. Of course no one really knows the exact meaning of anyone else’s writing. Reading is an exercise practised in contexts. The context of our lives and lived experience shapes our interpretation of any writing, even, or perhaps especially ‘holy’ writing. Part of my tradition would say we are meant to interact with scripture, to bring our lived experience, the wisdom of our elders, and the events of our day to the movement of reading.
Put that active relationship together with reading something emanating from a cultural understanding thousands of years and thousands of miles away from our own, and it’s not hard to see why churches like to study the bible in groups. We need the experiences and imaginations of as many people from as many walks of life as we can get. Opening up the wisdom of the elders requires the assistance of a lot of elders.