There are lots of people who are overwhelmed by the idea of reading the Bible. You may, in fact, be shaking your head in agreement that “the bible can be overwhelming”. As you may have guessed, you are not alone. But it is inevitable that you’d learn and improve on reading the bible -to improve on your faith and Christian journey, you just have to read your bible. But the big question is, how do you plan reading the bible?
Of course, it is true that “every scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness” according to 2 Timothy 3:16. You must however recognize that the Bible is not like every other book. It is not necessarily meant that you read it from the first to the last page in that order. It is in fact, better to see the Bible, like a library. To get the best out of your decision to read the bible, you must plan your reading. It could be a year reading plan, or a six-month plan, or whatever the plan is -whatever works for you.
The bible contains a list of some books of the same genres, so you may pick a genre, to begin with. These are the genres with the most books
The books include: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Jonah, Acts
Although most of the books of the bible have an element of history in them, these ones are primarily focused on communicating stories that are of historical significance. You will find in these books, a lot of the Bible stories you may have heard as a kid.
The books include: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
The wisdom literature focuses on what it takes to live well. Of course, it features some poetic languages and may be figurative, so you may not always read them the same way you read the Bible’s historical books.
For example, while Proverbs 13:14 tells us that “the teaching of the wise is a fountain of life . . .” it doesn’t necessarily mean that wise teachings are literal fountains, but a rather continuing source of intellectual and spiritual nourishment.
These books include: Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations
Books include: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Books include: Daniel, Revelation
Books include: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
Books include: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude
Truth be told, a year is quite a long time to remain committed to reading the bible, especially when you are reading those more difficult to read passages. So, I have some tips on how to meet your annual reading commitment.
Habits (including reading the bible) are based on persistent behaviour. It may be harder establishing a routine if you read at random times each day. However, once you develop the habit of reading your Bible at a certain time of day (this also includes reading it in a specific place), it becomes much easier to follow.
If you take your commitment seriously, find someone to join you -he or she becomes your accountability partner. By setting goals along with a friend, you become accountable and that can make all the difference. You not only hold each other accountable for the daily readings, you are also able to dig deeper by discussing what you have read together.
Reading the Bible is not much fun if you don’t understand what you are reading. It is extremely helpful to have a Bible version that helps you to understand what is going on (and exactly how it applies to you).
If you desire a useful resource then the NIV Student Bible may be helpful. It has a lot of information and insight. Designed especially for Bible students, it will give you the right amount of help without overwhelming you with the “Word”.
For much of the history of the church, people have heard the word of God rather than reading it. It may sometimes be helpful to buy an audio Bible so you can listen to it at your convenience, even while taking a walk. For those who may be struggling to read the bible daily, you may consider listening to an audio bible.
These are my suggested ways over the past few years on how you can begin. You may choose your own on how to start but don’t stop!
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