How To Read the Bible
The Bible includes 66 books, and many new readers may not know where to begin reading. Below are four basic steps that will help you begin to build up a habit of proper, healthy and fruitful Bible-reading.
First, Consecrate Yourself to God
To consecrate is to entrust yourself to God by means of a simple prayer. The Bible is God’s word; His direct revelation to man. In order for us to appreciate a book, we first must get to know the author. God is the author of the Bible. Once you entrust yourself to Him and consecrate your heart to Him, He will gradually open this rich treasure-store – His Word – to you. You must pray this simple prayer: “Oh God, I am willing to know Your Word! I entrust myself to You. I open my heart to You. Let me know the mystery that is hidden in Your Word.”
Second, Come up with a Plan
It is very important to set aside a certain time each day for Bible-reading. The Bible has 1,000 chapters (approximately 30,000 verses); so a definite plan is needed in order to read it completely. One good method is to set a short-term goal. For example, you may decide to read the Gospel of John in 30 days.
Third, Purchase a Bible and Reference Materials
Once you have developed a plan, the next step is to purchase your own copy of the Bible. This should be a copy in which you can write notes concerning what you have learned and your personal reflections. We highly recommend the Recovery Version Bible – a study Bible which is easy for beginners to understand. It comes with the complete text, book outlines, and helpful footnotes and cross-references. In addition to the Bible itself, this version includes a “reading guide”, which will allow you to schedule a portion of reading for each day. This will help you keep the pace and dig into the reading with the aid of the rich footnotes. It is also helpful to have a notebook and pen in which you can record your daily progress.
Fourth, Join a Small Group for Bible-reading
It is best to read the Bible with companions. In a group of two or three, you may read the Bible freely, with no forms or conditions, sharing with one another what each of you has gained. This way of reading the Bible is the most fruitful. You may find Bible-reading groups in many different districts, cities and towns. If you would like to find a Bible-reading group near you, please get in touch with the Meeting Hall near you and join one of their small Bible-reading groups.
The most noble human life is one with a goal. A man with a goal for his human life has a plan for his life. The Bible is a rich book. If we want to obtain all the blessings embodied in God’s Word, we need a plan for reading the Bible. It is impossible to know the Bible without exerting any effort. This is why you need to reserve a generous portion of your time for reading the Bible.