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:
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.