How to Read the Bible and Enjoy It

I remember the first time I tried to read the Bible for myself. I found my grandfather’s copy on a shelf in his living room. I was nine years old.

A Guy Reading the Bible - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ArtisticCaptures, Image #5606277.jpg

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ArtisticCaptures

I sat down on the floor, cross-legged, with the Bible on my lap. I opened it slowly … reverently … and began to read.

  • I was fascinated by God’s creation of the heavens, earth, and man in Genesis 1–2.
  • I was swept into the drama of man’s temptation and fall in Genesis 3.
  • I was saddened by Cain’s murder of Abel in Genesis 4.

I felt like I had discovered a lost book—the key to the universe! I was captivated.

Then I hit the “begats” in Genesis 5.

Oh boy.

My eyes glazed over.

I closed the Bible, stood up, and slipped it back on the shelf. I didn’t pick it up again for another ten years.

So many people have told me they’ve had similar experiences. They know they should read the Bible; they just don’t know how to begin.

Even if you are not a Christian—or don’t consider yourself a spiritually-inclined person—the Bible is worth reading. Without question, it has had a greater impact on Western civilization than any other book published.

You can’t understand great literature, common metaphors, or cultural allusions without a basic knowledge of these ancient texts. (I use the plural because the Bible is actually a collection of books.)

But how do you start? The Bible is, after all, a big book! I have read it through several times. In fact, my goal is to read it through every year, though it some times takes a little longer.

This has served me well in so many ways. I find myself referring to the stories and sayings again and again. The best part is they have become the foundation and raw material for everything I do.

In this post, I thought I’d share how I read the bible. It’s not the only way to do it, of course. But I thought this might be helpful to you if you want to read it all the way through and partake of its treasures on a regular basis.

  1. Read at a set time each day. As I learned a long time ago, what gets scheduled gets done. I read the Bible first thing each morning, so I don’t get side-tracked by something else.
  2. Distinguish between reading and study. When I am reading, I don’t try to do word studies, read commentaries, or chase cross-references. While this can be valuable, I consider it Bible study—something I reserve for other times. The goal for my reading is breadth not depth.
  3. Use a balanced, Bible reading plan. This is key. I read from four passages each day: Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. This way, if I hit a dry patch in one section, I can usually get something out of another. Innumerable plans are available. This year I am using the One Year Bible.
  4. Read in an easy-to-understand translation. Some may disagree, but a paraphrase is fine for Bible reading (not study). The key is to use a translation that helps you to understand what you are reading. I usually read in a different translation each year, just so the text doesn’t become so familiar I stop paying attention.
  5. Highlight or underline as you read. Maybe the thought of marking in a Bible scandalizes you. I hope not. It helps me focus my attention and get back to those passages that I find particularly meaningful. I read on a Kindle, so I also have access to those highlights in the cloud and in Evernote.
  6. Identify at least one key take away. Personally, my goal in Bible reading is not merely to increase my knowledge; I want to change my life (see James 1: 22–25). This begins by paying attention to what I am reading and marking those passages that seem particularly relevant to my current circumstances. When I am finished reading, I go back over my highlights and pick one to record in my journal, along with my response to it.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. This is difficult for me. I am a recovering achiever and a perfectionist. But it is essential if you are going to make progress. The truth is you are going to miss some days. It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Just pick up the next day and keep moving.

The key, I think, is to keep the process simple. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Don’t get hung up on what you don’t understand.

Like Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Questions: If you aren’t a Bible reader, what’s keeping you from it? If you are, what advice would you offer others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    I love the Bible.  Even in those begats, you can find some nugget stuck in there that is kind of hidden, but says so much about God and who He is.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      So true. The is one of the reasons to read the Bible through regularly, so you know who all those characters are!

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        Do you have a favorite One Year Bible reading plan? 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I really like the one in the Tyndale One Year Bibles. I’ve tried many others but keep coming back to this one.

        • KeithFerrin

          I also recommend doing a “chronological” read-thru occasionally. Especially helpful when it comes to figuring out where some of the Psalms, prophets, etc. fit into the rest of the Old Testament narrative and at what point in the Acts narrative Paul wrote different letters.

          • http://www.alansalls.com/ Alan Salls

            I agree!  My favorite read of the Bible was doing a Chronological Bible a few years ago.  It really puts everything in perspective on a timeline.

  • http://joannamuses.com/ Joanna

    One of the things I’m finding helpful lately is to hand-write out the entire passage I’m studying. Writing out the passage slows down my reading so I don’t just race through it and because in writing out every word I often notice finer details I might not notice just reading. I find writing down all my observations and questions about the text (no matter how small) helpful for similar reasons. 

    • Beulah

      Mez too! Sometimes I write the bit am reading and new insights pop up just cos i slowed down. I love writing the Word. On difficult days just writing the Word while applying your mind is so relaxing and invigorating.

    • http://www.delemares.wordpress.com/ sandra delemare

      I don’t write out an entire passage, but I do write out some of it – as you say, you can often notice something that gets missed by just reading.
      I also like The Message for the same reason. It makes you think more about some of the more familiar passages.

    • http://www.austinburkhart.com/ Austin Burkhart

      I think that’s a great idea. It really forces you to internalize the passage, not just skim through it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I think this can be helpful for studying, but that would bog me down for reading. In my experience, if I make the task too big, I am not consistent.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       I agree.  I am hand writing the book of Proverbs right now.  I’ve gained incredible insights from writing that I never noticed while reading.  I use a journal called Journibles.  It’s on Amazon.

  • tamaractaylor

    I hit a rut a while ago with the Bible.
    Just felt so… blah. Every story, I knew. Except, I’d turned the stories into ideologies to be taught.
    I’ve been reading through a book called Flawed Families of the Bible lately. It’s breathing new life into how I approach the Bible.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Tamara - 

      That is great.  Have you tried praying through the Bible?  Read a piece and pray based on that piece? 

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        I love praying scripture! Putting my own name or someone else’s into the promises, replacing the word YOU with a name. Very special, and makes the Word alive and relevant. Great idea, Tim.

  • http://garridon.wordpress.com/ Linda Adams

    What’s kept me from it is Sunday school experiences when I was a child.  The earlier stuff for kids was great because it was about the stories.  That was fun!

    But as we got older, the Sunday School teachers — and later the adult classes — would take a single verse and analyze the life out of it.  Everyone had to interpret the verse the same way, so anyone who didn’t get that meaning was best left off not saying anything.  It became a class you could fail by trying, and not something you could learn from or even enjoy.

    As a writer, I recognize that there’s a wealth of things I can use in the Bible, but it’s tough when the majority of my memories are about trying not to interpret anything.

    • http://www.generouscuriosity.com/ Aaron Coon

      I understand exactly where you are coming from. Recently, I began to re-read some of the familiar stories. However, this time instead of analyzing what the Greek word is or the Hebrew word. I try to put myself in the story and imagine what the emotion, sites, sounds, etc… must have been. I will even ask myself, what would I have done, for example if I were in Peter’s shoes and Jesus was telling me to step out into the water? Could I have done it, etc… This has helped me gain new perspectives and breathe new life into the stories. 

      I hope this helps you as it has helped me. God Bless.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/ Aaron Johnson

      Linda, as a high school Bible teacher, your words are really powerful reminder. Thank you.

    • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

      Linda,

      Thanks for serving our country. 

      I’m sorry to hear about your Sunday school experience, but not really surprised.  I stayed away from the Bible and from church for a LONG time (20+ years) because of my childhood experiences, but now I’m actually writing a book about the Bible.  It’s not one of those long books that analyzes every verse, but an overview.  It will be a free download, so I’m not trying to sell you something.  I hope to hear from you!

      Have a Victorious Day!
      Marianne

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    I always wanted to read the Bible for all the common metaphors, the cultural allusions, and the wealth of idioms it contains, as I’d love to be able to identify Biblical references as such. However,  the anesthetic effect the Bible invariably has on me every time I pick it up tells me that God wants me to read other things. 

    • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

      Michaels suggestion about early morning helped me years ago.  A cup of coffee and one chapter in one book in the Bible.  That’s it.  As I got into a rhythm I have been able to read more without the anesthetic effect.  

      Try a chapter of Proverbs a day for month.  There are 31 chapters.  It is a book of wisdom and each chapter is reasonable in length.

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        I like the Proverbs a day for month.  Good one. 

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

         I’ve used the Proverbs-a-day approach, too. Such wealth in Proverbs!

  • Jonathanraber

    A good way to start reading the Bible is to read the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters. I like to read the chapter that corresponds to the day’s date. In one month’s time you can read through the whole book. Next month, start over or go to another book.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/ Aaron Johnson

       Johnathan, I’ll second that. I got started reading the Bible by reading Proverbs. I would read a chapter, then I’d watch the truths play out at work and school. It made me more attentive to how people work, and how life works. Soon I was saying, “there must be something to this; this stuff works.” That’s what really inspired me to keep reading.

    • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

      I just recommended that plan to Cyberquill.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I agree. I almost always get something helpful there.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s how I’ve been hitting key points for the last couple of months. Reading through a Proverb a day. Slowly I began adding an old testament and then a new testament chapter each day. 

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  • http://www.generouscuriosity.com/ Aaron Coon

    This is a very good post. The Bible can be a difficult book to read, mostly because of how long it is. One thing I try to keep in mind is that you have to take it one passage at a time. If you focus on the Bible as a whole, it will seem an impossible task. However, if you break it into parts, and work at one part at a time. Soon all of those parts will add up to the whole Bible. I also like the idea of reading a little from each section of the Bible. I think that helps to bring everything together as well. The key is to start today and stop saying I’ll do it tomorrow. 

    Thanks for the post. Very helpful.

  • Harrison

    Thanks for this post! I’ve struggled with being consistent reading my Bible over the years….not good for a Pastor :-) what you said about not kicking yourself for missing a day is good. http://Www.Youversion.com has some great reading plans and will allow you to re- set when you get behind so you don’t feel behind. I think it’s a nice feature to keep you going after a setback.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Good point on YouVersion. Our youth pastor loves the simplicity and portability of their plans. 

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    For years we have had a one year bible around the house that I would read on a regular basis. It was listed by date so it was easy to see the passages for that particular day. I’ve tried electronic solutions, like e-mails and bible reading software, but the printed bible has been the best. I like your idea of a new translation each year. I may have to order a new one. Thanks for your insights!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’m with you. I can’t do electronic versions. Something about holding it in my hands, flipping the pages, helps me focus and absorb.

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  • http://www.delemares.wordpress.com/ sandra delemare

    This is great advice, Michael. I’ve posted a link to it on my blog. I’m planning on writing a series on Bible reading/study/meditation and this is an excellent intro.
    You can find my post here: http://delemares.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/reading-the-bible-part-1/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sandra. I appreciate the link-back.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I did not start reading the Bible until I was 31.  15 years later I am still awed by the newness of it.  Yes I hit dry spells.  Then I have to discipline myself to stay with it.

    What I find interesting is I will reread something that 10 years ago I underlined and have no clue why I underlined it.  But right next to that verse I find something that hits home today.  There is wisdom in that book for all seasons of life and for all people.

  • Beulah

    Read the Bible in 90 days, well it was demanding of time. but that was the first time i was able to see how the Whole Bible fit together. Was surprised how eager i was to read the Bible after the 90 days cos of seeing it in its entirety and learning so many things i didn’t know existed in its nooks and crannies. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The first time I read it all the way through, I did it in 90 days too. It was demanding but helpful to get the big picture so early in my spiritual walk.

  • Ginger Edwards

    For reading, I like a chronological Bible in a modern translation. Two good ones are Tyndale’s The One Year Chronological Bible, NLT and Zondervan’s the Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Harvest House publishes The Daily Bible, a chronological Bible with daily readings that also has a companion journal for those who want to delve deeper into their readings.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Both times I’ve read through the entire Bible I used a chronological approach. Loved it. Really helped me get an overall understanding of the texts.

  • Marlee

    I love, love, love this post, Michael. I think we all have a similar experience when we pick up a Bible for the first time. This is such a practical and doable guide for getting into its goodness. I’m keeping this one for future reference! Thank you.

  • John Wright

     Michael- Great post as usual.  I am happy and a little ashamed to say that at 45 years old and after several failed attempts, I am closer to reading the Bible in one year than I have ever been.  I use Brian Hardin’s One Year Audio Bible web site. As you suggest, I do my Bible reading first thing in the AM, equipped with a good cup of coffee, of course, . I actually follow along as Brian reads to me.  Brian uses the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and, Proverbs method that you describe. He also changes translations each week.  I especially like this method.  While, I would love to have a bookshelf adorned with hard copies of all the translations that I have used this year, I use the YouVersion on my iPad as I can download each translation for free and can sync my highlights as you describe.

  • Lacey Wilcox

    This might sound crazy, but I have been completely refreshed by reading the Jesus Storybook Bible to my children.  It’s a sweet, simple reminder of the Lord’s perfect work and plan, and His deep, abiding love.  I recommend it for children AND adults :).

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great idea. :)

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      I found the same thing to be true. This is especially critical to moms of young ones who have so little time for themselves, it allows them time in the Word with their little ones. Bless you Lacey, and your children!

  • Bonnie Clark

    If you have kids or grandkids, or even if you are an adult trying to understand what the Bible is about, I recommend getting the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  It is amazing!  This children’s Bible takes all the stories we know and love (Abraham and Isaac, Jonah, David & Goliath, etc) and link them all to the greater story of redemption. 

    The subtitle is “Every Story Whispers His Name” and indeed, every story does. “No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story… You see, the best thing about this Story is — it’s true. There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.”Sally Lloyd-Jones does point to Christ with every story, helping children to see the whispers of redemption through it all.  So at the end of the story about the Tower of Babel, for example, she says “people could never reach up to heaven, so heaven would have to come down to them.  And one day it would.”

    I love it,  it has fantastic illustrations, and you can get an audio edition if you want too. 

    • http://joannamuses.com/ Joanna

      The Jesus storybook bible is fantastic. It is so good to see a resource that is kid appropriate that so clearly lays out the big story of scripture rather than breaking it up into disconnected stories. 
      I know adults who have really benefited from it too. 

  • http://dianneguthmuller.com/ Dianne Guthmuller

    Michael, this is a great post! I too strive to read the Bible through each year. I have read it many times in the format you use (4 different passages). Four years ago I purchased a One Year Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation. It transformed my understanding of the Bible and God. It reads like a story. I was so changed by it that in 2010 I began to lead an online Bible study called “The Journey to Knowing Him more.” I serve as tour guide on this journey and post a devotion from each day’s reading. My desire is to help others to know Him more through His word. 

    I would love it if you could check out The Journey… at dianneguthmuller.com

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Personally, I read a portion of the Bible every morning before I head off to work. It helps “set the pace” and properly affix my focus for the day. Usually, I would read a couple of chapters in Psalm and Proverbs. Now, I’m reading two separate plans on the YouVersion app via my Kindle Fire – it’s fantastic!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Which plans are you using Tor, and why two at one time? I have the YouVersion app on my Kindle Fire as well, but haven’t started a reading plan on there yet. I keep going back to my “paper” Bible. It just feels right.

      • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

        I’m reading through the “Life Application Study Bible Devotion” and the “Book of Common Prayer” plans. I started with the “Life Application” plan but it only consisted about about 5-7 short passages. I wanted to beef that up a bit and the “Common Prayer” plan has ample heft within its daily listings – 6-8 full chapters. When I really want to “dig” in – I default back to my trusty paper version. With that, I often find passages based on page  position rather than actual chapter and verse….

  • E_mbey

    ..Well..interesting blog..I actually have a problem reading my bible regularly..actually my schedule and routines are crazy..actually got into a residency training program from medical school..so it’s kinda tough..but I’m trying to change it..

  • Sdmadd2

    Just a suggestion:  Listening to an audio version of the Bible may also be helpful.  Sometimes I get better understanding when I hear a portion read to me.

  • http://www.austinburkhart.com/ Austin Burkhart

    This is the first year I’m reading the bible through from cover to cover in order. Yes, Leviticus was a bit tedious but seeing how Jesus came to make a broken system whole again is fascinating!

    Blog: http://www.AustinBurkhart.com 

  • Doug Harvey

    For those that do read their bible every morning, how much time do you spend reading the bible versus your other early morning reading?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I spend 15 minutes on the bible and 15 minutes on other reading, not counting the audio book I am listening to when I run. That gives me another 45 minutes to hour of reading.

  • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

    I’ve started asking questions about the stuff that intrigues me. Like, what happened to all those men who were remade from Bones? Did they live full lives? Were they around before? Maybe its just the writer in me. I’ve started saving up a “questions for Heaven” list of stuff I want to know some day.

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Heather, I have one of those lists too and it gets longer and longer every year. :)

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I use Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading system, tweaked to fit my personality.  This year is the first I’ve attempted this plan.  It seems to be working incredibly well for me; better than most other plans I’ve used, including the one I developed.  I wrote about it on my blog when I started using it (http://www.jeffrandleman.com/trying-a-new-bible-reading-system/).

    The other thing I do while reading is journal important thoughts and ideas that I gain from my reading.  That way I can return to them later easily.  I do this by hand, even though I often read electronically.  It feels stronger when I write it than when I type or Kindle-Note it.  Plus, my kids will have a collection of these thoughts someday to peruse as well. 

  • http://abarenakedlady.com/ Shelly Tiffin

    The Bible app called You Version has really helped me. It has reading plans on it, will remind you each day to read the bible, and (most helpful to me) it will read it to you (great for the car). With the app I have no excuses and have to think before I dismiss the reminder.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great app. I use it as well, but more for reference than my daily reading.

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/ Aaron Johnson

    If it  is your first time reading the Bible and you are a bit intimidated by how huge the thing is and puzzled or confused by parts of it, I’d recommend Eugene Peterson’s book, An Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible. Peterson makes things accessible without dumbing things down :) Here’s a link to the Amazon page for it: http://amzn.com/1600062334

  • Jeff Kusner

    Great tips on reading through the Bible, even with all the begats, it’s important to remember the lineage of Christ and where we came from

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/ Aaron Johnson

    As a Bible teacher, one of my former students facebooked me and said, “Mr J, I really want to dig into the Bible again, but need something to walk me through.” Sadly, after several years at seminary, I found it difficult to find something that didn’t “analyze the life out of it” (like Linda mentioned earlier in the thread). Then I found this great book by Eugene Peterson called, Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible. If you find yourself puzzled or just find reading the Bible a daunting task, it’s a great help.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Peterson has some great resources written with a pastor’s heart!

  • http://twitter.com/GoodSirs Jason Salamun

    When reading scripture, there are no bonus points for speed, but there is fruit in depth. 

  • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

    Michael,

    Glad to see your addressing this topic and glad to have you back from vacation.

    I have found so many people of faith don’t actually engage the Bible much at all. Your title was uncannily similar to my previous post on this topic but your approach was much more concise.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/billintheblank/2012/06/how-to-read-the-bible-every-day-and-enjoy-it/

    Thanks!

  • http://www.changevolunteers.org/ Change Volunteer

    Hi Michael, Thanks for posting another great read! I was a little lazy too starting off on  the Bible. I treat it as a normal book to read. Every night before I go to sleep I make sure I complete a few chapters. 

  • http://www.exploringtheholybible.blogspot.com/ Mark S. R. Peterson

    I don’t generally like to make New Year’s Resolutions, but when I wanted to set goals for my life this year, one thing I’ve always wanted to do is actually read the Bible in its entirety.  I’ve done it before, starting at Genesis or reading the New Testament first, and I’ve always had problems keeping up.
    Then, I came to a revelation (no pun intended): why don’t I keep a blog where I record my thoughts on what I’ve learned in the Bible.  I started at Genesis, with a few detours into Psalms and Proverbs.  This holds me accountable, because I know I have to keep going.
    God bless, Michael!

  • http://livetheneweconomy.com/ Mike

    The one year plan worked for me a couple of times.  

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I started reading the bible regularly in my mid to late 20s.  I read it through chronologically three times over about ten years.  I read daily.  Since then I’ve been more spotty.  I bought a different version a couple of years ago and made it halfway through, but petered out.  I still read it, but not in a disciplined way.  I think there are cycles in life and it will come around again.

  • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

    Michael,

    I listened to the Bible on CD during my morning commute.  I did this for years, so I was able to go through it several times.  I didn’t get hung up on the things I didn’t understand.  I just kept going through it.  I highly recommend reading the Bible from cover to cover because it’s hard to get the big picture otherwise. 

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne

  • Diane Stortz

    Mike, I love the distinction between reading and study as well as your list! Thanks for writing about this topic on your blog.

    I would add just a few suggestions, based on a number of years of reading through the Bible with a small group of women.

    First, read with the primary purpose of getting to know God better. What does he say about himself? What is his character? What does he do?

    Second, read in community. Meet regularly with someone else or a group to discuss what has stood out in the week’s reading, including questions you might have.

    Last, the reading plan I like alternates Old and New Testament books. I’ve been posting weekly readings on my blog, http://www.abibleplace.com. This plan and the two points above form the basis of my upcoming book, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year, out this fall from Bethany House.

    Thanks again for the encouraging post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      These are great suggestions, Diane. Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting.

  • Keith Kemp

    I read the Bible daily.  Currently I am reading through the Proverbs one chapter at a time.  Since there are 31 chapters and 31 days per month, it works out well.  I also read the Bible verses that are suggested reading in Our Daily Bread, a devotional from RBC Ministries.

  • http://jimhaw.com/ Jim Haw

    I committed to reading the Bible through every year when I was in college, over 30 years ago.  The best tool in helping me to maintain this commitment has been the availability of audio bibles. The best thing I have found out there right now is the Bible app (http://www.youversion.com/bible/) by YouVersion.  It has tons of translations and many of them offer an audio version.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/ Aaron Johnson

       Jim, that’s a great app. I love the side by side feature.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Something that has really helped me in reading and understanding Scripture is this nugget from my pastor;

     “We don’t pull the text off the page, we pull the gospel out of the text.”

  • http://twitter.com/faughn4 Adam Faughn

    I have read the Bible through approximately 20 times, but I am always looking for a new approach. This year, I am reading on my Kindle, and simply reading the Bible as I would any other book. I am just reading a few minutes each evening and using the “percentage counter” at the bottom to track my progress. It has been wonderful, not trying to see if I’ve kept up with some plan. In fact, doing it this way, it looks like I’ll probably finish in September or October!

  • http://derekouellette.com/ Derek Ouellette

    I’m a Bible studier, but not really a Bible reader like I was when I was young. This might sound bad but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day. So given the choice between reading and studying, I’ve opted for studying. The problem is that when I study the Bible I usually spend more time in other books, theology books. But I’ve been wanting to get back into a simple reading plan.

    Two years ago I challenged myself to do the 90 Challenge in the NIV Bible in 90 Days. I’m impatient. If I can’t get something don’t quickly, I fizzle out. I don’t practice what I preach. Working in a Christian retail store I’ve recommended countless One Year Bibles to people for the very reasons you give. I suppose sometimes you just need to hear someone else say it. I’ll give that one a try.

    Only question remaining… should I wait until January to begin? ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, begin now! There’s nothing sacred about January 1.

  • http://www.transparencymag.com/ Kevin Howell

    I usually suggest people to read the new testament first, then explore the old testament. I believe it’s more relevant to us, especially if you’re reading it for the first time. Personally I try to read a chapter a day of a particular book I’m studying. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Underlining, taking notes, journaling is so essential to the process.
    Good post.

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    One point I would add is – Pray Through The Bible.  I find it truly livens up the time of reading. Great list.

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    How do most of you enjoy reading the Bible? iPad? Mobile? Traditional? Computer? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I read on my Kindle Fire.

    • http://www.transparencymag.com/ Kevin Howell

       Primarily traditional, but away from home usually on iPad

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

       There’s just something about reading an actual Bible with paper pages that cannot be replaced for me. That being said, I do love my Olive Tree Bible app on my iPhone and iPad!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I tend to rotate among all of the above, which I also do with other books.  Is that weird?  

  • Mark Green

    The bible is the greatest book ever.its the manual for life.its How god speaks to us.All the answers to our problems can be found in it.
    http://worshipmedic.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Right Mark! A friend and I were just talking about the Bible and how it applies to leadership principles. Almost any principle that is spoken about today has roots in the Bible. Amazing stuff!

  • Mark Green

    i love the NIV’s though

  • http://www.danapittman.com/ Dana Pittman

    Great post. I am a bible reader. I think having apps like YouVersion and such diverse reading plans make it easy. I read the bible cover to cover using Bible in 90 Days a few years ago and it ignited my love of reading daily. It helped me realize the benefits of having an active reading life.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Agreed, Dana!  I studied the first half of the year using a YouVersion plan.  It was great!

  • http://www.beyondthesinnersprayer.wordpress.com/ Barb

    I love reading the Bible, but I wasn’t always that way. I didn’t start loving it until I began applying it to my life. One thing I often do is to take whatever Scripture I’m reading and apply it to whatever I’m working on at the moment.

    Here’s an example: right now I’m working on not making blogging more important than God wants me to make it. This is what I wrote in my journal when I read Jeremiah 10:8 (But they are all together stupid and foolish. In their discipline of delusion their idol is wood):

    Journal Entry: I hate to say it, but I am altogether stupid at times. In my discipline of delusion, my idol is stats and recognition, and wanting people to like me and not be mad at me. With relationship difficulties and worries, I automatically go to God for help – but with writing difficulties and worries, I automatically go to my blog stats or app sales to see if anyone likes me yet.  My stats and sales figures don’t comfort me and recharge me – they depress me, worry me, and make me feel like giving up. “I am altogether stupid and foolish. In my discipline of delusion, my idol is wood!”

    This Bible passage reminded me of the craziness of turning to stats and sales figures for help. Only God is powerful enough to comfort me and help me when things aren’t going the way I want them to go. The truth will set me free from my dependence on stats. I love the Bible because God uses it to change my life.

  • http://www.AaronjRob.com/ Aaron j Robinson

    I believe the best way to ENJOY reading the bible is to EXPERIENCE it. In other words, to apply its teachings and principals to our lives, and expect the results it promises! (Hebrews 11:6) I agree with Aaron Coon – I try to read with imagination and creativity (heavy on the imagination… LOL).

    On a practical level, I would offer 3 suggestions:

    1) CHALK IT OUT – Underlining or highlighting, just as writing, helps the verse linger a little longer… it helps me to meditate on the Word.

    2) TALK IT OUT – Whether that be through my blog, social media, or just conversations with others… it helps me to remember the Word.

    3) WALK IT OUT – The bible read and not lived out is like a shelf full of cookbooks with no kitchen – just a bunch of great ideas… it helps me to experience the Word.

    (don’t try walking on water though… that was between Jesus & Peter… you might drown)

    Joshua 1:8 (nasb)
    This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

    I also love using the OliveTree Bible Software. It’s FREE for Apple & PC (as well as ipads and iphone/android), and has its own Cloud based system. All of my notes, underlines, highlights, and questions are on all of my Apple devices!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      This comment would make a great blog post, Aaron!   Thanks for the recommendation on Olive Tree.  I’ll check it out.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Love the suggestions. Very memorable!

  • Marsha

    I really enjoyed reading your article and could relate to what you wrote.  I started reading a Bible called “The Books of the Bible”.  It’s the NIV version with no chapters and no verses, more like the way the letters were read to the original churches.   I am currently reading the NT portion that is produced by Biblica but they are coming out with a whole Bible version soon.  Now, instead of reading certain chapters or verses I read “big” by reading whole books through until I’m finished with that particular book (not always in one sitting, however, but some, like the book of Ephesians and shorter books I can). 

    It really changes your understanding of what the writer was wanting to convey to the church.  I find that without the chapters and verses I am compelled to read the whole book.  Now, getting through the Bible even if I read 10-12 pages a day is much easier and I feel like I am more in touch with the authors heart behind the letter.  I just love this way to read God’s Word!

    Bless you,  Marsha

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I like the idea of reading without the verses. The Message and the Phillips translation both have chapter divisions but no verse notations. Thanks.

      • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

         I also enjoy reading the Bible this way. It’s one of my favorite things about my message Bible. It allows me to read the Bible the way I read any book, without the artificial “stops” put in place by all the verses and cross-references.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’ve found early morning readings to work well for me too. It’s one of the first things I do on most mornings. Having that set time helps so much!

  • http://writersharonkirkclifton.blogspot.com/ Sharon Kirk Clifton

    I love to read the Word of God aloud, complete with appropriate vocal modulations, as though I were reading to a child or an audience. It’s worth the effort. If I come to a passage that puzzles me as to how it should be read, I look back over the context and figure it out. Reading aloud tends to keep one focused on the text.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great point, Sharon!  I also love praying the Psalms aloud.  

  • Joe Smith

    I agree that reading the Bible daily is important. I have found a helpful daily devotional that also includes a daily Bible reading segment. You can see it and subscribe for free at http://www.dailyintheword.org/today

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’ve read through the Bible a couple times, typically with a chronological approach. I wanted to get a good handle on the overall story. This time I’m doing something different, going through searching for themes, common threads. I might use the One Year Bible, since I enjoy both OT and NT selections at the same time. Great suggestions here!

  • Joe Huguenard

    Thanks Michael… I loved your recommendations on how to read the bible.  I just thought I would add for some folks, who don’t really like reading, are too busy or who have vision problems, that there are several audio Bibles and/or websites available that have audio readings of the Bible to make it easier to get their Bible reading time in daily… even if they are busy with life or have some unfortunate condition which prevents them from reading actual text.  It also makes reading the “begats” a little easier because there’s no worries of trying to pronounce the names correctly.  Just type in “Audio Bible” in a Google Search and your choices will be quite numerous.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great recommendation, Joe!

  • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

     Michael, what a great post on a very important subject. Thanks for starting the dialogue on this. 

    I came to regular Bible reading late in life. I’ve done the “Bible in a year” approach, the chronological Bible approach, and a number of other methods. 

    What I’ve found that works for me is this: I usually read 5 Psalms, and one chapter of Proverbs each day. That gets me reading the entire book of Psalms and the entire book of Proverbs once a month.Then I will read based on what God is doing in my life; in other words, what parts of my life (and of the Scriptures) is the Holy Spirit highlighting for me? Recently, I find myself fascinated and consumed by the letters of Paul. Before that, I had a long period of being able to read nothing but the Gospels. And before that, I was fascinated by the stories of David, Daniel, Jacob, and Joseph.For me, an organic relationship with Scripture is vital. I must be reading the parts of Scripture that feel most alive to me in a given season in my life.Having said that, I often couple this approach with specific study (different from my devotional reading).  This reading is done most deliberately, usually accompanied by a commentary or two.Thanks again for starting this discussion-it’s really fascinating to read what other people have to say on this topic!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I just listened to the audio version of The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham where it was noted that the FIRST thing Billy reads every day is 5 Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs.  He said the first is where he learns the most about his relationship with God and the second is where he learns the most about relationships with people.  

      Sounded good so I started doing that the other day and love it.  Thanks for sharing that and your other thoughts, too, Ray!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Love this post.  For me, nothing can stand in the way of reading my Bible more than “studying.” Suddenly I get bogged down. Mentally separating the two things goes a long way into increasing my reading.  I also like reading different translations to “shake things up,” and make me rethink a familiar verse.  

  • Sbcoward

    Thank you, these are great tips. And I will try to ussome of your methods.

  • DoMoneyBetter

    Michael, thanks. I really needed an article like this to just reboot my approach to the Bible. With time I’ve tended to forget these simple points. Probably this was one of the most meaningful list posts I’ve read. 

  • Rita

    I love reading the Bible to increase my English skills!  God is the best writer ever!

  • http://www.dongxuli.com/ Dongxu

    I’m a Chinese with fairly good English skills. I tried two or three times reading either Chinese or English version but failed because the languange the Bible used is quite unfamiliar. People don’t seem to speak like that so I can’t feel I’m reading something relevant to daily life. Do you have any recommendation to non native speaker?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would try the New Living Translation.

  • http://mauricefoverholt.wordpress.com/ Maurice F. Overholt

    Good words here, Michael.  Recently I have been simply reading a chapter a day and taking a different focus than in the past.

    While I look for takeaways and a relationship to my present experiences, I also read it with the primary thought in my mind that these words are the words of God, living and active.  Visualizing that I am hearing God speak the words and remembering that he is right here with me gives me great peace for each day.

    It’s like reading a story to my boys.  It doesn’t matter what story it is; the point is that I am reading to them, and that fact alone is soothing to them.

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com/ steveborgman

    Michael, what a great post!  I encourage people to try different translations of the Bible as well.  YouVersion.Com lets you select your own reading plan and version.  I personally have come to love the New Living Translation.  Sometimes it also helps to read special commentaries on the books you have chosen.  For example, my uncle, Paul Borgman, has written a fantastic couple of commentaries on Luke and Genesis, from a Biblical Literature standpoint.

  • http://twitter.com/r_lewis Ricky Lewis

    I love that you point out how relevant the Bible is even to non-believers. It’s so true. The stories and principles found in the living word are so powerful. Thanks for your post.

  • Tristan K. Frazier

    Thanks Michael for keeping it simple and reminding me to bring out my highlighter again. 

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    I think a lot of people have the same experience you did. So I suggest not reading from start to finish, at least when you first start reading the Bible. This challenged me to set a routine schedule, thank you for the post.

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    It may make me a horrible person, but I can’t bear to write in my bible.  Instead, I use post it notes to make notes or point out verses that speak to me.  Don’t know what there is about it….just can’t do it!

  • Pwwest22

    The first Bible reading plan I was taught was very strict:

    1) Do it alone in a quiet place.
    2) Beforehand pick a book, subject, author, etc. you will commit to
    3) Say a prayer for understanding and revealation

    4) (and this is the most strict point) Read for at least ONE MINUTE EVERYDAY.

    The Pastor that gave me this plan always closed the teaching with these words:

    “See where that gets you”

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  • Passion4grace

    There may be times when you simply can’t find things relevant to your current circumstance. Does that mean that your Bible-reading time for the day was not worthwhile, useful, or meaningful? No! We have to remember that Bible is about God. You may not walk away with a specific application, but maybe you will have a promise to meditate on, or something to praise God for. The Lord reveals his character to us in Scritpure. Somtimes when we read we’re just getting to know Him and other times He instructs.

    Michael, when do you study the Bible>

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I don’t have a set time. I usually do it when I have a question I am trying to answer or a topic I want to know more about.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    What I appreciate the most in reading the Bible is the possibility to spend time with God and know Him better. 
    If I read the Bible only as a “duty” or a “discipline”, I can’t really enjoy it. If I see the daily reading as a chance to stay with the person I love, it is really a delight!
    This article below (I am not the author) really opened my eyes on that!
    http://www.cordeo.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/CD-Resource-RF-Bible-Reading.pdf 

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  • LesNielsen

    The Bible is great, but the New Testament is where I love to find today’s answers. The magic of the Bible is the realization that the principles Jesus outlined 2000 years ago, are not only relevant today but essential if we expect to understand the real meaning of life.

    Every decision we make in life can be listed under two categories…  “preference” or “principle”. And once we understand the difference between the two, life becomes so much more pleasant and peaceful. Stress is practically eliminated and we free up time to focus on that which is most pressing at the moment.

    Much of today’s stress comes as a result of looking for happiness only “in the world”… not realizing that “true happiness” can only come from God.

    Like many out there, I’m concerned with the direction our nation is headed. My goal, (now that I’m getting old) is to help others find that “peace that passeth understanding”, and I hope to share it by inviting others of like mind to visit me on my blog and share their ideas.
    Come visit me at http://resurrectingchristianity.com . And thanks for this great site. I’ll be sharing it with my friends.

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  • TheMikeJThomas

    Reading the entire
    Bible is an intimidating goal that has left many people discouraged.  I
    have started several times and made it to Exodus only to be left wandering in
    the Wilderness…never entering the Promised Land.  I hear similar stories
    from many people and have decided to do something about it.  I am in the final stages of a project
    called the 12 Story Bible.  The goal of the 12 Story Bible is to help you discover God’s story by making the whole
    Bible understandable in a quick and easy format.

     

    Now
    you can understand the whole Bible in 12 short stories.  Each of the 12 stories
    has been carefully selected to walk you through the whole Bible.  

     

    In
    the 12 Story Bible, the Bible speaks
    for itself.  Each of the stories is
    crafted from the actual Bible text in the New Living Translation.  They are not a retelling or summary,
    but the actual Bible.  Each story
    presents important people, events or turning points in the bigger story. Some
    quick facts, called Fast Forward, are
    added in italics between each story so that you can see how the big story flows
    together.  Please take a look at http://www.12storybible.com and share any
    feedback.

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Well done blog Michael. Thank you.
    This year I decided to read the Bible in a year…I started in February, but still want to get it down.  I am using a chronological version on my YouVersion app on my phone and read an day(s) each day to catch up.  It is a good point to make sure you go in prayerfully asking for something to take away from your reading time.  If not I will walk away and do not have something to reflect on for that day.

    K, bye

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    Thank you for sharing this advice. I want to spend time in the Bible each day, but it’s felt like a chore lately, a box to check off. Gonna employ these strategies right away.

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  • Lisa3642604

    I have read the New Testament before just recently started rereading it, There is areas that seem to speak to me as I’m reading alone this time I find myself under lining a lot that speaks directly to me. I tried at first reading the Old Testaments I found myself being a new Christian becoming really confused as well as bored .I’m still unsure on trying to start reading the Old Testaments at this time so I’m going to stay reading the New for awhile longer.

  • Narrator

    Stephen Johnston here. I am constantly reminded by my listeners, that they find renewed interest and understanding of the Bible by hearing it read to them. It is my life’s work and I missed it in your blog as a suggestion for “reading the Bible” regularly. I have narrated virtually every version of the Bible as can be witnessed on Christianbook.com. Read the reviews posted there by those who have benefitted by listening as well as reading. God Bless your growth in hearing and understanding!

  • José Córdova

    This year I’m starting to read the Bible over the internet, and since i’m using technology i thought it would be better to take some notes using technology too. I am following a reading plan, and atking notes over Evernote, and i found it very useful, because i can read and have my notes everywhere i am. Thanks for the article.

  • Jakeless

    I always try to get my Bible reading done first thing in the morning. (Get my big rocks in first)

    My advice to anyone reading the Bible for the first time is, start with the New Testament. Don’t get all hung up in the Old Testament. Learn about Jesus and His ministry. It will aid you in your understanding of the Old Testament.

  • Paul

    My wife and I are listening to the Bible in a year. We follow along in our Bibles but use an audio version that uses different actors, has music that fits the scenes and mood, etc. I put it on our MP3 players where we can listen in the front room or while out walking. We are using the Gideon’s method of one-year through the Bible.

  • http://mommainprogress.blogspot.com/ Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    I found one version I really like a few years back and stuck with it. It happens to be NLT, but I also occasionally pick up another translation so, as you said, the text doesn’t become too familiar. I’ve decided for this year to focus on the Gospels. I really want to feel like I’m understanding and absorbing what I’m reading, so I’m going slow and focusing just on these four books of the Bible. Looking into different commentaries and studies to really concentrate on the Gospel. I’ve never tried this before, usually I’m more of a quick read with maybe a little highlighting kind of gal, and it’s only mid-January, so this is still a bit of an experiment. I also read every day at the same time, in the morning, before I do anything else. Well, I do make coffee. I’m not sure even God wants to talk to me before I’ve had coffee.

  • MisterOo

    The Word of God does appear complex, but in the seeming complexity is the hidden beauty- the Word of God is the ONLY right-side-up thing in our seemingly upside-down world that WILL keep you always right-side-up, only should you allow it! It is after all God’s Word, don’t you ever hesitate to question Him as you read along, his answer to your question WILL always be the revelation you need!

  • http://twitter.com/Totally_Taryn Taryn DiMartile

    I got pretty ambitious with some friends of mine this year – we decided to jump start 2013 by reading the Bible in 90 days. It’s been intense, but so far, so good! The good news is that it’s January 16th and I’m already in Joshua – we got through all those begats and laws very quickly! ;)

  • http://www.MorrisMatters.com/ Dwayne Morris

    I have been using Wayne Cordeiro’s SOAP method. It revolutionized how I read and engage with scripture. Last year, I spent the entire year in Genesis and Exodus using this method. I just decided that I would abandon the notion of trying the read the bible within a 365 day period. I just determined that I would SOAP through the Bible and let it take as long as it needed. Besides, it’s not like I would finish the Bible and put it on the shelf like a normal book. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to post a link to a video about the SOAP method. I produced this video with some friends for a project at my church. Enjoy: http://www.morrismatters.com/read-bible-cordeiro/

  • Kent Faver

    Michael – a) great post! b) You can’t be far from Brian Hardin @dailyaudiobible.com since he is in that part of Tenn.  His daily podcasts are awesome.  I have several Daily Bibles and love them all – change out every year or so.  Your points are spot on.

  • Vic

    I have ADD, so I have a VERY dificult time keeping my attention on what I’m reading, and I get VERY sleepy when reading too.  This past year I started letting YouVersion(.c0m) read to me while I prepare my breakfast.  I always have two eggs over-easy, two pieces of toast, a cup of tea and a cup of OJ.  So the whole process is very rote and I can listen easily.  It has worked out great and yes, I did miss some days along the way.  It is going to take 14 months to read through the whole Bible.  That is success, not failure.  I’m getting God’s Word into my head, and most importantly, into my heart!  Praise God, He is Good, and He does good, and He teaches me His Statutes.  Ps 119:68.

  • http://www.PRWIthAPurpose.com/ E Michelle Lee

    Hi Michael, I enjoy reading your articles and am pleased to see this one encouraging others to dive into the Good Book; the Word of the Lord.  I agree with you that there is a time to read it and a separate time to study it. John 8:31 Jesus tells us that if we continue in the Word then we are His disciples. There are so many other scriptures in the Bible that tells us why we should read and meditate on it daily. I would also like to encourage others to read it by sharing a few online resources that I use daily.  In fact Biblegateway.com will send to your email box daily, at no charge, the Read Your Bible in a year program.  Each day for an entire year you will receive directly in your email the OT and NT portion that divides the reading over the course of the year.  At the site there are also a ton of other resources to help folks study and learn.   In conjunction with reading the Word; I would also recommend   Strong’s References (Includes links to Greek and Hebrew word definitions) Main Index – Books and Chapters at http://www.apostolic-churches.net/bible/strongs.html.  I also would make this one very important recommendation before anyone begins reading the Bible.  Pray that God opens your eyes and your heart to His Word/laws/precepts/knowledge. For the Bible clearly tells us that unless we ask of Him to help us understand His Words; we will not understand.Luke 24:45, King James Version (KJV)45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
    Ephesians 1:18, 2Timothy 3:16, Psalms 119 will all help you see the mystery of God’s Words an be revealed to us through prayer and reading the Bible.  Thank you for allowing me to share these free resources with those who seek to know God through His Word.  E Michelle Lee

  • Roytruelove

    I have found that for FUN of reading I enjoy the translation ” THE MESSAGE”.I like to read one of the Old Testament books all the way through and for deeper study go to another traditional translation to compare them to get the full meaning of a section.
    If I start out with a prayer for understanding, I will usually get it.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/noeclement Noé Clément Teyssedou

    Thank you for these great advices!

  • Hannah Leighton

    I recently came back to the church (was baptised last September) and this is one (of many) areas I am trying to improve in. I think a lot of my problems come from not understanding so much of the bible- I quite often miss the hidden meanings behind stories and lessons, just seeing it for what it is. I get overwhelmed at the level of knowledge my friends/elders have and feel sad I can’t just pick scriptures from the off the top of my head (I’m not a great historian anyway). Another area I struggle in is trusting it’s God when I hear him speaking to me- the 2 of these go hand in hand a lot of the time and when I feel I’m getting a word from him I panic and try to make my own mind up about it instead of talking to him or reading the Bible for guidance.

  • KC

    Hi, do you have some suggestions on how to make the begats more interesting? And the really dry parts? I really really want to read the Bible but I get sidetracked when reading the boring parts and end up not reading it. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Try this book. I published it more than 20 years ago: How to Enjoy the Boring Parts of the Bible.

    • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

      KC,

      I often listened to the Bible on CD and just fast-forwarded when I got to those parts. However, I’ve learned that those begats are important. One reason they are there is to help us with a timeline. After I put together my own timeline and compiled the genealogy of Jesus I have a much greater appreciation for this information.

      Have a Victorious Day!

      Marianne

  • mim

    Thank you for for this, really needed some gidance

  • Chuck Barker

    What was your thought on using the Twain quote?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Just what I said in the previous paragraph—don’t get hung up on the parts of the bible you don’t understand. In other words, don’t let that keep you from reading and enjoying the bible. Thanks.

  • http://www.MorrisMatters.com/ Dwayne Morris

    Tip 1: Choose consistency over perfection. Too many people start strong and then life happens and throws them off schedule so they give up. As long as you commit to the discipline, missing days aren’t fatal. Just pick it up the next day. I dare say, every-other-day is better than no days.

    Tip 2: I love the SOAP method! Developed by a pastor in Hawaii (Wayne Cordeiro), it mimics the pattern you outline here. If you’ll allow me, I can share a link that explains this method and includes a video: http://www.morrismatters.com/bible-study-soap/

  • Dodson Family Story

    Thanks for the post! When you spend daily time in God’s Word it helps you to develop a love for it even more. It’s the best way to start of your day, in my opinion. These are great steps to follow, very practical!

  • marie

    i love reading the bible and i feel fulfilled and blessed after every reading. my advice to my dear friends…..just handle the Bible like food and you will realize you cant stay without reading it.

  • http://deathofhallyu.blogspot.com/ Death of Hallyu

    I searched for “How to Read and Enjoy Harry Potter” on Google and didn’t get a single article. It’s quote thought-provoking that I can find many articles like yours, however.

  • Becky Brath

    Michael….. can I use these tips for my church newsletter….referencing you of course.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, you are welcome to. Here is my formal policy. Thanks.

  • http://www.MarianneClements.org/ Marianne Clements

    I just released a book that I believe is a great resource to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Bible. It’s called “The Bible in 7 Pieces: A Short & Simple Overview of a Long & Complex Book”.

    I would like to share the FREE Ebook with all of you. It’s available for a limited time only, so download it now (http://eepurl.com/FTXq1). You can also order the paperback from my website (www.MarianneClements.org) or from Amazon. Note: You get freebies when you order from my website.

  • http://www.nathanmagnuson.com/ Nathan Magnuson

    Good thoughts, Michael. This will be my third time going thru the One Year Bible reading plan. I’m doing it with some friends and each day we try to capture one key thought and put it into a 160 character SMS message to each other. I also keep mine in Evernote. Great for the takeaway part. Here’s my list so far: http://bit.ly/LkpCEr

  • Daniel Bratianu

    I read the Bible regularly.I recommend others to start reading the Bible with the Book of Proverbs,then the Gospel of John.

  • http://www.kerigentrywelch.com/ Keri

    Here’s another tip…read through it chronologically. There is a chronological reading plan on YouVersion that makes it read much more like a novel/narrative. If you read it this way, you’ll really come to see the themes that are in the Bible and find countless ways to apply it to your life.

  • http://482gr8.wordpress.com/ 482gr8.wordpress.com

    Nice post. I use the reading plans from the You Version Bible ap. I’m currently using a Billy Graham 365-day plan. I added an Advent plan during that season.

  • Owen Hemsath

    I appreciate the difference between study and reading. This is a big stumbling block for me as I feel like I’m supposed to go deep everytime I engage with the Word.

  • http://JasonandChelsea.com/ Jason Allen White

    Thanks for the post.

  • jan

    i was forced to read the King James version as a child, i liked sunday school, didn’t like Church. I don’t like reading as I’m dyslexic. As a young adult I was cajolled into reading the bible through,I didn’t enjoy it.
    Only now I’m beginning to enjoy reading. I recently decided i like proverbs. I don’t enjoy the Bible, does that mean I’m not a Christian?

  • Mark

    Mr. Hyatt, you have given me the spark back and thats what I needed. People don’t realize no matter how small the comments or things they do which can turn around or change a persons life. Thank you.