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  • BSideBecca

5 Tips for How To Read Through the Bible

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

picture of an open Bible with highlighted words

A verse pulled completely out of context promising wealth and health if only the person would pray "right."

A talk on how questioning the current prophet means you are questioning the Lord (and how sinful that is).

A video on a cult that developed out of a misuse of Scripture.

A closeup selfie with a caption completely bashing the faith of his youth based on his experience (not on what is actually in the Scriptures), like after like ticking underneath.

All easily found on my phone this morning.

It would be comical viewing the completely illogical statements and untruths if it wasn't so terribly sad!

My heart breaks when I hear people being told they shouldn't read the Bible.

My heart gets so frustrated when I hear Christians say they don't feel smart enough to read the Bible.

My heart is angry when what the Bible says is mangled, twisted up and tossed out.

Friend, friend, friend! Whether you've been wanting to read the Bible through your whole life and haven't done it yet, or if you're new to the Bible and have no idea where to get started, this post is for you.

Here's why I believe in reading the Bible cover to cover:

God puts a high value on it. (Romans 10:17)

The Bible tells us it is living and active, therefore it can have an active role in teaching us, convicting us, guiding us. (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

If you know what the Bible contains, you will note false teaching because you will know what the real Word "looks" like. (John 8:32)

Basing your life on the teachings of a human will always let you down at some point. If your pastor or women's Bible Study leader or small group leader is not telling you to check their words against Scripture, AND encouraging you to study the Bible on your own, then they are not someone you should be following. (2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 4:1-4, Colossians 3:16)

Today's post is a pep talk on JUST READ THE BIBLE. It is not an intricate look at every detail about Bible reading, it is an encouraging team meeting to motivate you to get started.

So, how do you get started reading the Bible? Here are 5 Tips for Reading the Bible Cover to Cover:

  • Open The Bible: That's it: Just start. Don't overthink it. Don't freak out about whether you're going to understand everything. Don't decide you need a pile of supplies to "do it right." OPEN THE BIBLE.

Don't have a Bible? You can access one online:

Need a print Bible? I suggest the She Reads Truth Bible or He Reads Truth Bible

(Why? Because it has good info pages , Bible reading plans, and is fairly inexpensive.)

  • Have a Plan: God does not care if you read the Bible in the morning, or evening, or on your lunch break. You do not have to read the Bible in a year, or two years. BUT it can be a good idea to make a plan on how and when and what your goal is in reading the Bible because humans are humans and we struggle with consistency and self-discipline sometimes (unless you're the one who doesn't...can you give me some tips??).

a picture of an open Bible with highlighted words

Some ideas that help people: Listen to the chapters in your car on your commute. Listen while you work out. Read it in the morning with your coffee before the kids are up. Read it in the afternoon when you are running out of steam from your day and have a little break. You can read the Bible in one year if you read 3-5 chapters a day. I've timed myself before and this takes approximately 15 minutes. If you need accountability, ask a friend or family member if you can do a quick check-in with them at the end of each week.

You do NOT need additional books or helps with reading the Bible, but under the

point of "Have a Plan," here are some resources that break down the reading into

those 3-5 chapter portions:

52 Weeks in the Word by Trillia Newbell

The Navigators - various plans on their site HERE

  • Ask Questions, But Don't Stop: Once you begin reading the Bible, you will start having questions, after all, you're reading about the God of the universe! How could He be God if you didn't have any questions about understanding Him? Having questions is great, having questions is necessary, but don't stop reading the Bible. One way to handle the questions is to keep a notebook, scrap paper, little slips of paper tucked into your Bible with your questions written down. Write down the question, and keep reading. Your question may be answered in the next book of the Bible, or might be answered your second time through! You can research the question (I'm definitely not telling you not to, but also: don't quit reading. Keep going!) It's okay to have questions - questions are good! Don't feel bad or "dumb" or like you don't get it. You have questions the first time you look through the Ikea assembly directions too, right? It doesn't mean you should stop.

  • Look for Themes and Patterns: A way to keep your mind engaged when reading the Bible is to look for themes or patterns throughout. Especially in the Old Testament, it can get easy to get bogged down in laws, people, numbers, etc. One way I keep my mind attentive is by choosing a theme to look for.

Theme ideas:



Garments (clothing)



Trees! (When do they grow, why is Jonah pouting under one? What is the lumber

used for in Chronicles? Why is a tree an image of a blessed person in Psalm 1?)

The word "faithful love" or "steadfast love." (I mark that in purple every time I see it and it has become an encouragement to me to see God's faithful love to His people!)

Pattern ideas:

If/then statements. IF you do this, THEN this will happen. IF we believe this, THEN

we do this, etc.

The word "but." One hundred percent I giggled every time my dad, who was a

pastor, said while preaching, "There's a big "but" here..." So laugh, but also pay

attention when the big "but" shows up. BUT GOD (what did God do to turn

everything around?) Take note!

Comparisons, contrasts, repeated words, statements, ideas, etc.

  • Story of Scripture: The Bible has an overarching storyline that becomes more apparent when the Word is read all the way through. Picking and choosing verses to fit what we want to read at the moment doesn't give us that full drone-footage view of what the story is and how God is working in redeeming His people, and how we fit into that story. As one of my professors used to say, "Don't read in isolation, read in relation." How do all the books fit together? Use your English grammar knowledge to help you ask questions and follow the story. Who, what, when, where, why all should be asked of the verses you're reading. Once you've completed your reading, can you give a general storyline of the Bible?

I encourage you to begin reading the Bible today. No matter how old you are, no matter how well you think you know the Bible, you will learn more about our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is I - and I alone - who will stand before the Lord someday, giving an account for myself. It is up to me to know His Word and deepen my relationship with Him.

If anyone ever tells you NOT to read the Bible on your own, run. Leave. Find a church who will encourage you in reading Scriptures.

Open Your Bible. Send me an email at: if you want to tell someone you're reading the Bible. I will pray for you. Create a group with some friends if you need accountability and encouragement to read the Bible. JUST READ THE BIBLE.

“Down through the years, I turned to the Bible and found in it all that I needed.”

― Ruth Bell Graham


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