Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tips on Reading Through The Whole Bible

"The Bible is a thorough Book but not an endless book. You can complete it!"
I had a social media conversation with a friend today who, like many Christians this time of year, is beginning a read-through-the-Bible plan. After we spoke, I thought I'd share a few notes, as some of you may be able to glean some helpful hints. I must tell you, I approach read-through-the-Bible efforts in an extremely practical way. I don't consider reading "through the Bible" to be my primary source for spiritual growth, rather, I do slower, read-and-journal plans for that (for more information on what I'm doing this year, see my most previous post). That said, I still read through the Bible as often as I can. I figure, of all the "stuff" I can put into my head and heart every day, nothing is better than the Bible. In my advice giving, I do not mean to be irreverent in any way, rather, I seek to give practical "git 'er done" suggestions. I want you to succeed in this task!  
I've read through the Bible several times. I don't know how many times I have, exactly, but more than a few. Reading through the Bible in its entirety is no longer a difficult task for me. My hope and prayer is this post will provide some very helpful tips on making reading-through more simple for you as well:
Read-through the Bible Thoughts
  • Read it "In Order" - If you've never read through before, I'd suggest a "Chronological" Reading plan for your first time. Do an Internet search and you should have no problem finding one. When I read through for the first time, I used a book called “Read Through the Bible in a Year” by John R. Kohlenberger III to help. I've read through the Bible using a few different plans. The plan in this book was, by far, the most interesting to me. There is a widget on my blog page if you'd like to order a copy of this book.
  • Bust through the Barriers - WHEN (not if) you feel a little "bogged down," switch things up a little. I read the Bible regularly in both the New Living Translation (NLT) and the New American Standard Bible translation (NASB). In more difficult-to-read-through Books of the Bible (Numbers is a tough one for me), I switch to The Message paraphrase and/or an audio Bible. During the switch, instead of "sticking with the plan," I plow through as far as I can go, as fast as I can go, without stopping. When I do this, I oftentimes actually jump ahead in the reading plan. Nothing wrong with being ahead, folks! I'll pray something like, "Lord, if You want me to stop and reflect, I will. Otherwise, I gotta keep it moving!" You know, He has stopped me a few times. But for the most part, it's just about keepin' it movin' for me in the more difficult Books to read. Being a little more free in the reading plan might not work for everyone, but it works for me. If you have tried unsuccessfully to read the whole Bible and have failed due to tougher-to-read Books, this might work for you. Aggressively attack the barriers and, before you know it you may find the tough stuff is completed.
  • Believe!  The Bible is a Book about faith, right? I think you should have faith that you can make it through this Book! Ask God to help you every time you read. The Bible is a thorough Book but not an endless book. You can complete it! In my dramatized audio Bible set, there are only about 72 hours of total play time. You might consider adding some audio read-through time to your daily commutes or whenever you are alone and fairly undistracted. It saddens me when people give up on the best Book ever given to mankind. Don't give up! Keep going! You can do it!
If you have any questions about my post or have personal questions about Bible reading or study, I'd be happy to help. Just email me. Until then, Go! Read!

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