Various Ways To Read The Bible

There is no one right way to read the Bible, but there are many wrong ways. Let's check out some positives and negatives:

Positive ways we can read the Bible:

  • Using a recognised modern translation that suits you.
  • Praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you read.
  • Reading it consistently.
  • Reading right through the Bible over time - to gain an overview.
  • Using it meditatively - maybe in small sections to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through it to you.
  • Researching topics in the Bible, such as checking out a theme or a Biblical character's experiences etc.
  • Using Bible aids, such as the concordance, Bible dictionaries and commentaries.
  • Keeping notes of things which are meaningful to you, and marking cross references to linked passages in the Bible. Marking the margin with meaningful insights and comments.
  • Searching out courses which may help you in your understanding of the Bible.
  • If you're having trouble getting down to it... just start!
  • One way to start is to read the historical account of the life of Jesus in the gospel (good news) of Luke, followed by Acts - which is the account of the early church. This can be followed by reading the letters written to the early Churches (check the Bible contents - from Romans to Philemon). Next read the gospel of John, followed by Hebrews through to Jude. Then Matthew, the book of Revelation and the gospel of Mark. This completes your overview of the New Testament.

    One way to introduce the Old Testament is to read a psalm each day (divide up the longer ones), which may be read concurrently with your N.T. (New Testament) reading. You will also notice that there are 31 proverbs, one for each day of the month. Then you might like to read the first five books of the O.T.(Old Testament) You are well under way.

    Many people like to read a selection from the O.T. and the N.T. each day. (We invite you to consider the Bible reading plan on the web).

Traps to avoid in reading the Bible:

  • Read it inconsistently. The Devil has an arsenal of weapons to keep the Christian from the Bible. One is called TV, another busyness. Can you suggest some others?
  • Read it without prayer.
  • Using it as a "magic" guide. Randomly sticking a finger on a page for guidance - and jumping to false conclusions. Eg: Random selection (1): "and Cain killed Abel..."; random selection (2): "Go and do likewise" !!!
  • Interpreting out of context.
  • Not recognising the form of literature of that part of the Word of God.
  • Not testing your understanding with cross checks from within the Bible, and in fellowship with other mature Christians.
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Created on: 28 August 1997 Last updated: 28 August 1997