March 13th, 2018
Reading the Bible: How to Get Started
The Bible was written over thousands of years in multiple languages on three different continents. It’s big, broad and sweeping. Trying to figure out where to start can be overwhelming.
Our hope for everyone this week is simple: read three chapters of John per day. Start the day of your community group so you can wrap up by community group next week and share your experience with others.
Beyond this week, the best way to approach reading the Bible is to define two simple goals:
1) Choose a Plan to Read the Bible. Starting at the beginning usually isn’t the best way…even though Genesis is great! Here are some options you might consider:
- Before you even tackle a reading plan, perhaps you want to get a little more familiar with the Bible and how to read it. Watch a video or two each day from the Bible Project. This series on how to Read the Bible is a good place to start.
- Pick a plan that guides you through the whole Bible in a year or two. Check your App Store and you’ll find many options. Choose one that spreads out your reading across multiple parts of the Bible each day. The one I’ve used and found the most value in is the Moravian Daily Texts. It takes you through the New Testament and Psalms every year and the rest of the Old Testament every two years. It’s only available as an ebook.
- Read something that includes both Scripture readings and helpful reflections. I’ve found the the “For Everyone” series by NT Wright to be very helpful for this. He’s written them for the entire New Testament, and I’ve read through all of them by reading 1 or 2 sections per day.
2) Make a Schedule. Once you choose a plan you can commit to how often. Some plans are designed for everyday to stay on track, while others offer more flexibility. Figure out what days and what times you will read and add them to your calendar. I’d recommend at least three days a week to get started so you have some consistency.
The simple two-step plan outlined above is helpful to get started, but reading the Bible offers opportunities to dive deep too. Here are some other resources you might find helpful along the way:
- Blog Post: 3 Easy Ways to Engage the Bible // The Bible Project
- Book: The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, by Scot McKnight — A book referenced in the sermon.
- Website: Blue Letter Bible — A free website with some older, but still helpful, Bible resources like dictionaries.