I finally did it! I read the Bible with my mom and husband over the past year! People that know me know that I love to read, but I’ve always struggled to read the Bible in a timely manner.
For those who’ve never had a problem committing to reading this 2000 page Book every day, then that’s incredible! But this post is not for you. For the rest of us who’ve also struggled with it, then I have some advice from someone who’s failed at reading the Bible in a year several times before.
- I’d suggest not reading it cover-to-cover or in chronological order. Over a year ago my now sister-in-law suggested a book called “secrets of the secret place” where the author mentioned that the most read book of the Bible was Genesis, and most people (including me before) fell off right around half way through Exodus. The author suggested reading the Bible at various points. The plan we read last went through the New Testament in chronological order, with various old testament chapters that pointed to the New Testament chapter. It was very special, but it could be a bit tricky for those without a solid foundation of some key old testament stories. Which is why the next point is:
- Invest in a Study Bible. I’d suggest a Life Application Study Bible. It’s been great to look through the Study Bible to learn more about a particular verse, chapter or story.
- Read with someone. The Youversion Bible app plans allow you to invite friends and family. Have an accountability buddy that will also help you reflect on what you’ve read that day.
- Read in a translation that’s understandable. King James (KJV) is very traditional and lyrical, and the English Standard Version(ESV) is more on my personal reading level. I love how they’re both word-for-word translations, but when I’m very tired or stressed, I’ve found that reading the Bible in the New Living Translation(NLT) to be the best fit for me. NLT is thought-for-thought, which means it translates the meaning instead of the literal word. As a primary quiet time endeavor, I’d avoid paraphrased versions like the messenger(MSG), but they can be a good supplement to the aforementioned translations.
- Audio is your friend. 95% of the time I read the chapters while listening to the audio, and it really helped my reading comprehension with the Word of God. The reader for NLT had the most calming voice in my opinion which is also why I read in that version.
- Pray, pray, pray. You need the grace of God to commit to reading the Bible in a year. Pray for the grace and the commitment. Have other people pray for you and with you.
Reading the full Bible is an experience like no other and is so very worth it. Daniel and I are going through a few smaller plans in the meantime, but in a month or so we plan to start another “Bible in a year” plan that takes us through a Gospel chapter, another New Testament chapter, a Wisdom book chapter, and another old testament chapter book each day, just like the “Secrets of the Secret Place” book suggested. No matter where you are in your faith, if anyone’s interested in joining us we’d love to have you in on the plan.