The idea of reading the whole Bible is daunting – that’s a lot of pages!
Over the next 180 days, that is exactly what we are doing – our whole congregation is reading the whole Bible in 180 days! This can be a life-changing experience as we grow deeper in relationship with God and with one another. In order to help us succeed, here are some tips to reading the whole Bible.
- Start. No really. Most people fail because they never even try. Pick up your Bible on August 4th and start reading. Just by doing that, you have gotten further than most people ever do!
- Pick the right Bible. Study Bibles can be a distraction – causing us to read all the notes, and check all the cross references. Remember the goal: to read the whole Bible, not to read for deep understanding. I prefer a large print Bible with no notes in it.
- Read with others. The Bible is not meant to be read alone. Joining a reading group greatly increases your chances of success!
- Don’t get stuck on the names. There are so many names! So. Many. Names. Don’t get stuck trying to remember who is related to whom. Most of the names in Genesis show up once and never come back around again. If you try and remember all the names and how everyone is related, you won’t get past Genesis.
- Take notes. There will be things that you don’t understand or that you have questions about. Instead of spending a lot of time on that section, write it down. Bring it back up in your reading group, or come back to it with fresh eyes after you have finished you complete Bible read through.
These best practices will give you the best chance of succeeding in our reading challenge
There are also some basic reading tips that are helpful as we get into the practice of reading everyday.
General Reading Tips
- Set a time. Set aside a block of time, around the same time every day, as your reading time.
- Limit distraction. I know, that can be hard. But it is easier to read if you aren’t interrupted constantly. Turn off the TV, limit conversation, and focus on what you are reading.
- Find a spot. Some of us find it helpful to have the same place where we read every day. That won’t be possible when traveling, but while at home it can be good to have a well lit, comfortable spot dedicated to reading.
- Take it with you. Carry your Bible with you as you go – whether that’s to work or vacation or camp. You never know where you might find the extra moments to get ahead in your reading.
So Many Questions
How long should I plan on reading?
I tell people to plan on an hour, because we all read at different speeds and some passages of the Bible are harder than others. In reality, it may only take you 30 minutes many days. But if you have blocked off an hour to read, you won’t feel rushed.
What if I get behind?
It happens to all of us. We miss a day. Life gets in the way. A) Get caught up as soon as possible. If you miss one day, it is not a big deal to find an extra 30 minutes to catch up. But each day you get behind it takes longer to catch up. B) Set aside make up time. Maybe you know it is going to be a busy week. And so on Saturday or Sunday you plan on extra reading time that week to catch up. C) Read ahead. Look, nothing says you can only read for 30 minutes each day. If you are a quick reader, getting a day or two ahead gives you a cushion if life gets crazy.