There are lots of ways to read the Bible.
Check out the video – Monsignor Gerard Burns from Wellington shares an approach that has helped him…
For more tips, check out the tabbed section below…
Spending time alone with God is a really important way to deepen your relationship with him.
Take your Bible to a quiet place and put your phone on silent (or better yet, don’t take it with you). Ask God to help you understand what you’re about to read and ask him to speak to you through the Bible (see the next section on hearing God).
Read the passage you’ve chosen slowly. Is there anything that stands out? Is there anything in the passage that gives you comfort or makes some sense of something that’s going on in your life right now? If so, then this could be God speaking to you. Maybe write it down in a journal and come back to it. Share your thoughts with another Christian you know and trust.
Some questions to ask when reading:
- Does the passage show me anything about God?
- Does the passage show me anything about human nature?
- Does it teach me anything about myself?
- What don’t I understand?
- What’s the most exciting thing about the passage?
Think about how you could apply this to your life.
- Is there something you can do in response to what you’ve read?
- Do you have someone you can talk to about what you’ve read?
Include what you have read and learnt in your prayers to God.
It’s important to read the Bible for ourselves, but the Bible was firstly written for the whole community of God’s people – which is why it’s important to read or discuss what you’ve read with others.
You’ll see things from different perspectives and encourage each other in your faith. Other people will have insights that you may not have thought of and your insights might help others. As you discuss with others, you’ll get a bigger picture of what God is saying and doing in your community.
Find an audio version of the Bible, throw on your headphones and just listen. Allow the words to speak to you. Too easy!
Listening to the Bible is a very different experience to reading. Listening allows you to more easily comprehend the overall Bible story - the big picture. It's a great way to get the overall gist of a Bible book or letter.
Memorising Bible verses has many benefits. It helps us think deeply about what we’ve read even when we don’t have a Bible (or *gasp* the internet) handy, and it shapes our thinking and actions as we remember it throughout the day.
Once you've memorised a verse, it's amazing how many times throughout your life it will pop into your head exactly when you need it.
Studying helps you go deeper. This helps you understand the original meaning of what you’re reading in the Bible, through the use of resources such as a study Bible, Bible dictionary or commentary (books that help explain each verse of the Bible).
There are heaps of study resources available.
This approach focuses on study of a particular person, word or theme in the Bible.
Use a website such as Bible Gateway to find all the passages where that person, word or theme appears in the Bible.
Pro tip: With a highlighter in hand, colour-code these themes by highlighting the passages in your Bible. For example, you may want to highlight the promises of God in one colour, and things God calls us to do in another.
Simply read a book of the Bible like a normal book. Read several chapters or even a whole book in one sitting. This allows you to grasp the outline of a book and eventually the whole Bible story better.
Check out the Listening to the Bible tab above to find out how listening to the Bible can help with this.