How to read your Bible

biblereadingSo you’re interested in reading the Bible… where do you start? The Bible’s not like a novel, or a history book, or most any other book—it’s a collection of many different stories, in many different literary genres written by a wide variety of authors, each with a unique background and motive for writing.

In other words, while it’s certainly possible to start reading on page 1 of the Bible all the way through to the end, that’s a pretty challenging undertaking even for a dedicated reader.

This question “how do I go about reading the Bible?” is one we’ve talked about here in the past. Here are a few highlights to help you get started actually reading the Good Book:

  • Scripture Union has a nice series of articles about how to read the Bible. They start with the basics and move on to more in-depth Bible reading.
  • The Navigators has an essay that suggests the best way to read the Bible is in very small chunks, rather than trying to dive through numerous chapters and books all at once. They recommend spending seven minutes (no more, no less) of time in the Bible each day—you can increase the time later if you want, but if you’re just starting out, the most important thing is to make it a daily habit.
  • Dr. Jim Samra of Calvary Church has a four-part series of audio messages about how to study the Bible. You can listen to them for free in MP3 format.
  • Many people find it helpful to follow a Bible reading plan as they make their way through the Bible. Such plans usually spread the task of reading the entire Bible across a year, so that after 365 days you’ve made it all the way through. One nice thing about many Bible reading plans is that they organize your reading according to a set theme (chronological, topical, historical, etc.) rather than telling you to just start with Genesis 1 and read straight through. We’ve collected a lot of links to free online Bible reading plans from around the community; there’s almost certainly one that matches your reading preferences.

Once you take a look through some of these resources and get started reading the Bible for yourself, you might find yourself surprised at how easy and enjoyable it is to read the Bible—far from being a laborious literary task, it can be a refreshing and inspiring way to start (or end) each day on the right spiritual note. So don’t be scared away by the Bible’s page count—dust off that old family Bible and try fitting some Scripture reading into your daily routine.

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