Paul commanded Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture (1 Tim. 4:13). And the early church took this seriously. In about A.D. 150–155 Justin Martyr, describing a typical church service, includes the importance of reading the Word aloud:
On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has finished, the president speaks, instructing and exhorting the people to imitate these good things (First Apology 67).