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How To Read The Bible

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How to Read the Bible

O Lord, incline our hearts to your word. Give us a desire for it. Open our eyes to see wonders there. Subdue our wills and give us an obedient spirit. Satisfy our hearts with a vision of yourself and your way for our lives.

For a longer, more in-depth version of this article, see John Pipers Unlock the Riches of Scripture: How I Discover Meaning in the Bible.

Use A Bible Study Method To Illuminate Gods Word

You dont have to be overwhelmed when reading the Bible! While you may not understand everything you read, the study methods below will make it simple and convenient to process your time in Gods Word. Plus, the more you read and draw near to the heart of God, the more He will reveal Himself to you.

As a total beginner, the Read & Respond Bible study method worked well for me. It allowed me to process what I read and think through how I could apply it to my life.

Plus, its practical enough to squeeze into a busy schedule. If you have 10 minutes in your day, this Bible study method can work for you!

Watch how simple the Read & Respond method can be in the tutorial video:

As I matured in faith, I was looking for a study method that went a little deeper into the passage and helped me dissect the meaning. The Write the Word study method was a perfect solution, and I enjoyed taking this next step to grow in faith.

Watch the Write the Word tutorial here:

Bible Verses About Reading The Bible Importance Of Reading The Bible

Reading the Bible is like reading the manual of life. Its our #1 way we can learn about God and who he is, and its the #1 way we learn who we are and how we are called to live life.

And for most Christians, reading God’s Word is the biggest way we can develop our personal relationship with God.

If you are looking to build your relationship with God, download a free, Spiritual Goals Worksheet, which will help you define how you are going to grow spiritually.

This worksheet includes examples of spiritual goals to consider that will help you set your own plan for reading the Bible and growing closer to God.

The Word is God himself, and the more we read the Bible, the more we understand the heart of God.

God speaks to us when we read the Bible through the Holy Spirit reading the Bible is one of the primary ways that God speaks to us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24 ESV

Gods Word teaches us how to live and guides each one of us personally as we seek Gods guidance for our lives.

It doesnt matter what decision or situation you are facing. If you are praying about whether you should take that job, marry that person, or move to a new city God will speak to you as you pray and read his Word.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV

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How Often Should You Read The Bible

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

In Joshua 1:8 God tells Joshua to meditate on the Law day and night. This will help Joshua obey Gods commands.

While reading and meditating on Gods word are two different spiritual disciplines, it is hard to do one without the other.

As a Christian, you should be reading your Bible daily.

Get Started Reading The Bible

Why Read the Bible if You Don

Now that you have all of your materials AND your Bible reading plan for beginners, youre ready to get started!

Thankfully, learning how to read the Bible for the first time really is easier than you might think.

Simply choose a book from the Bible reading plan for beginners above, and set a goal to read one chapter a day.

Each chapter of the Bible starts with a big number. Each verse in the Bible starts with a small number. So a chapter is typically only a page or so, while a verse is typically only a sentence or two.

You write them like this: John 3:16 = the book of John, chapter 3, verse 16.

Dont worry if you dont understand every single word. Ive been reading my Bible for decades and I still dont understand every single word or know how to apply them all. No one does. Theres always more to learn!

But you really can learn a LOT simply by reading through a little each day, thinking about what youre reading, and looking for ways to apply what youre learning to your real life. The more you read and put into practice, the more you learn and grow!

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How To Read The Bible And Enjoy It

I remember the first time I tried to read the Bible for myself. I found my grandfathers copy on a shelf in his living room. I was nine years old.

I sat down on the floor, cross-legged, with the Bible on my lap. I opened it slowly reverently and began to read.

  • I was fascinated by Gods creation of the heavens, earth, and man in Genesis 12.
  • I was swept into the drama of mans temptation and fall in Genesis 3.
  • I was saddened by Cains murder of Abel in Genesis 4.

I felt like I had discovered a lost bookthe key to the universe! I was captivated.

Then I hit the begats in Genesis 5.

Oh boy.

My eyes glazed over.

I closed the Bible, stood up, and slipped it back on the shelf. I didnt pick it up again for another ten years.

So many people have told me theyve had similar experiences. They know they should read the Bible they just dont know how to begin.

Even if you are not a Christianor dont consider yourself a spiritually-inclined personthe Bible is worth reading. Without question, it has had a greater impact on Western civilization than any other book published.

You cant understand great literature, common metaphors, or cultural allusions without a basic knowledge of these ancient texts.

But how do you start? The Bible is, after all, a big book! I have read it through several times. In fact, my goal is to read it through every year, though it some times takes a little longer.

Ways To Read The Bible

It turns out that readingwhich is probably how you’d traditionally think that one would approach the Bibleis just one way to immerse yourself in the wisdom of the Scriptures.

But in fact, there are five ways that you can approach the Bible.

1. Hearing The Bible

In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!, Romans 10:17 reads, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ., and 1 Timothy 4:13, Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

Donald Whitney writes in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life that most who, like Edwards, were converted while reading Scripture are also like him in that they often heard the proclamation of Gods Word prior to conversion. Faith and the ability to apply faith in every area of life is given to us as we are equipped by the hearing of the Word.

2. Reading The Bible

In addition to reading and listening to the Bible via our private morning practice and our group morning meditation with the Abide meditation app, my own family gathers before dinner each evening and reads one chapter of the Bible together, usually from Psalms or Proverbs. Later in this article, I’ll give you several good resources for identifying a structured Bible reading plan that will work for you but in the meantime, it’s important to understand that the Bible itself emphasizes not only the importance of hearing God’s word, but also reading it.

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The Bible As Personal

According to Saint Mark the Monk , He who is humble in his thoughts and engaged in spiritual work, when he reads the Holy Scriptures, will apply everything to himself and not to his neighbor. We are to look throughout Scripture for a personal application. Our question is not simply What does it mean? but What does it mean for me? As Saint Tikhon insists, Christ Himself is speaking to you. Scripture is a direct, intimate dialogue between the Savior and myself-Christ addressing me and my heart responding. That is the fourth criterion in our Bible reading.

I am to see all the narratives in Scripture as part of my own personal story. The description of Adams fall is equally an account of something in my own experience. Who is Adam? His name means simply man,human: it is I who am Adam. It is to me that God says, Where are you? . We often ask, Where is God? But the real question is the one that God puts to the Adam in each one of us: Where are you?

Who is Cain, the murderer of his brother? It is I. Gods challenge, Where is Abel your brother? , is addressed to the Cain in each of us. The way to God lies through love for other people, and there is no other way. Disowning my sister or brother, I replace the image of God with the mark of Cain, and deny my essential humanity.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Ground Level: The Historical Books

How to Read the Bible Every Day | 8 Tips to Make Bible Reading a Habit

The bulk of the Old Testament primarily covers a period of time from about 2500 B.C. to about 400 B.C., in the area of the world known by scholars as The Ancient Near East. It specifically focuses on Gods historical and prophetic interactions with the Hebrew people. There are 39 books or sections written by a number of different authors.

The Old Testament is divided into at least three major sections. The first part contains the history of the Jewish people. Its roughly chronological, and all the narratives fit into the times described in these history books.

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The Ultimate Guide To Reading The Bible For Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

If youre desiring a closer walk with Jesus, reading your Bible on a regular basis will be life changing. Today Im talking about reading the Bible for beginners or how to get started reading your Bible.

First, before we get into reading the Bible for beginners, I wanted to share a few thoughts Ive had this week. Weve been in social isolation at our house for seven weeks now. At first it felt like a big adjustment. I think the first couple weeks were the hardest.

At least for me. I needed to find a new normal.

Since weve been home so much more than usual, Ive found Im enjoying the slower pace. Life is quiet. Each day presents much the same as before. Like a quiet routine.

I spend more time relaxing. My house is clean. I dont have the pressure of meeting appointments and keeping a strict schedule. I dont have to get up at 4 am.

I spend my days puttering around the house doing cozy things.

  • Ive been planting a garden.
  • I play with our new puppy, Marlowe.
  • I sit and talk to my girls.
  • I sit in the sunshine.
  • We take walks.
  • I work on my writing.
  • I clean the house and cook new recipes.
  • I spend evenings watching sermons from It is Written and sometimes well watch a movie.

Its peaceful. It reminds me of this verse:

Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

But for now, I think Im going to enjoy this quiet life just a little more.

How To Read The Bible: Read A Little Every Day

Getting Gods Word into your life doesnt have to take long. Start smallfive or 10 minutes is better than none. Sometimes less is more, especially when reading less means youll actually remember more.

Chose a time and place thats convenient for you. Many people read their Bible first thing in the morning, choosing to spend time with God before daily distractions get in the way. But if mornings arent your thing, dont sweat it. That you read Gods Word is more important than when you read Gods Word. Personally, I love to read my Bible at a local coffee shop, but I once read through the entire Bible while waiting in carpool lines.

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Make Bible Reading A Habit

It might be tough at first. You might doze off, but you have to strengthen your muscles because your devotional muscles are weak now. However, the more you devote yourself to Christ and His Word the easier it gets. Reading Scripture and prayer will become more enjoyable.

Satan knows how to distract you and he is going to try to distract you. It might be with TV, a phone call, a hobby, friends, Instagram, etc.

You are going to have to put your foot down and say, No! I want something better than this. I want Christ. You have to make a habit of turning down other things for Him. Once again, it might be rocky at first. However, dont get discouraged. Keep on going! Sometimes you have to separate from your groups so you can spend uninterrupted alone time with Christ.

Joshua 1:8-9 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Have accountability partners

Im starting to be more accountable with my Christian friends. I have a group of men who keep me accountable in my personal Bible study. Every day I check in with a text and allow them to know what God has been telling me through His Word the night before. This keeps me accountable and it allows us to motivate each other.

Start now

When You Feel Overwhelmed With How To Read The Bible Start Small

How to Read the Bible: Four Steps

The Bible is the foundation on which our faith is built. But it does not mean we read only the Bible. Other books by godly writers can serve to open up our minds and hearts to Scripture.

Some of the best materials on how to read the Bible are those written for children. After graduating from college and gaining a theology degree, after working in Christian publishing for several years and reading mountains of biblical teaching books, I still find these the freshest, best entry points into the message of the Bible. They make it fun by bringing out the story, and they make their points with clarity and gentleness.

Additional resources and books are helpful too. Some will prefer commentaries others will gravitate to Bible study curriculum. Each serves a great purpose in helping us dig in and understand more. Dont shy away from them. Find the ones that fit your learning style and take full advantage of them.

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Memorize To Master The Bible

I used to think that it was better to have a lot of verses memorized, but in my effort to have as many verses as possible memorized, I had them memorized shallowly. I might have to struggle to get started, or get partway through a passage and have to paraphrase the rest. Now, I realize it is much better to have fewer verses memorized very deeplythat is where the power comes from. Rather than memorize a mile wide and an inch deep, it is better to memorize an inch wide and a mile deep. That is a key difference, because until we memorize verses deeply and spend time meditating on them, the truth of the passages does not seep deeply into our subconscious to influence our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and emotions.

When we memorize Scripture this deeply, it will often then jump into our minds as our first reaction to lifes circumstances, helping guide our decisions and influence our emotions. Even Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4, quoted Scripture in response to the temptation. When we know Scripture well enough to quote it immediately in response to lifes challenges, the Bible begins to take on a power that it did not previously have in our life.

Memorize one verse so that you can say it without hesitation. Then, memorize another, but link it to the first. Then memorize a third one, but link it to the first two, and so on. Keep doing it the rest of your life. Pretty soon, your command of Scripture will be a mile wide and a mile deep.

Pray For The Spirit’s Help When You Read The Bible

We have a helper and a teacher. Jesus even said we would be better off if He left because this helper is so amazing. Really? Were better off without Jesus on earth with us? Yes! Because the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian, moving us toward being more like Jesus, teaching our minds, and softening and convicting our hearts.

If you seek to do anything Ive written in your own power, you will dry up, run out of motivation, get bored, become arrogant, lose faith, get confused, and turn from God. It is inevitable.

To connect with God through His Word is a miracle of the Spirit and not something that can be formulated. All the suggestions I just made for how to read the Bible are not the equation that adds up to relationship with God. They are ingredients that must be present, but only the Spirit can mix and prepare them in such a way that we see God in His glory and are moved to follow and honor Him. So beg the Spirit to open your eyes when you read. Plead with the Spirit to give you the inspiration to read. And He will. Maybe not in a flash, but He will. And as you begin reading the Bible, delving deeper into Gods Word, you will find that the Spirit and Gods message in the Bible will change you.

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