How Do You Read The Bible?

I often get asked, “How do you read the Bible?”  I get the question enough that I think my answer is worth sharing here.

This post describes how I read the Bible.  Me.  Yours truly.  Jeff.  If you find something helpful – feel free to work it into your Bible reading. BUT please know that you must find what works for you.

What version do you read?

I read the 1984 version of the New International Version (NIV84).  It was the Bible I used when I first came to faith.  I loved it then and I love it now.  The NIV was revised in 2011.  If you go to the bookstore and pick out a NIV it will be the revised version (NIV2011).  You now have to work extremely hard to find an NIV84 since they are no longer in print.

Do you find a certain type of Bible helpful?

For my devotional reading I use a NIV84 wide margin edition published by Cambridge.  It gives me plenty of space to highlight and write in the margins.  Here is a picture of the opening chapters of Philippians in my highlighted and marked up Bible:

IMG_3438

How do you decide what to read?

I’m a big believer in a slow and deliberate reading of Scripture.  I go through the Bible book by book (not necessarily in order).  I’m currently reading Paul’s letters and I’m in Philippians.

Here’s what my reading looks like …

Philippians 1: Read each day for a week

Philippians 2: Read each day for a week

Philippians 3: Read each day for a week

Philippians 4: Read each day for a week

In the case of Philippians, I will finish reading it in one month (for longer books I might read two chapters a day for a week).  In this slow and deliberate reading I have time to meditate on words, phrases, images.  I get a good grasp on thought patterns.  More importantly, I finish the reading of the book knowing it on a much deeper level.  I’ve applied it to my life for a month.  I’ve highlighted and meditated on certain phrases and verses for a month.  I don’t read the Bible for information.  Rather, I read the Bible to deepen my relationship with God.

I’ll give more insights into my Bible reading in a post next week.

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