Hi everyone! Today I am going to be sharing with you 7 ways to read the bible! I was saved when I was 9, and from then up until a few months ago I had struggled with truly reading the bible. It’s not just like reading any other book; it is a guide to the best life you could possibly live on Earth, so it is VERY important that as Christians we dig into this beautiful read as much as possible! All of these techniques may not be suited for you, and that’s okay. I am sharing all of these so everyone can at least find one that they really feel helps them read the bible as greatly as possible. This book has many layers to uncover, and just like a math problem there are several methods on how to approach it. So let’s get to it!
If you’ve ever been to youth church, you may have heard this term before, but I know some of you are thinking, “Soap? What does that have anything to do with reading the bible?”
Well my friends, it’s actually a pretty nifty acronym. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Analyze, Prayer. This is very handy to use when you’re new to reading the Bible because it is a guide that takes you through all the important aspects of reading scripture. For scripture, you write down the verse or phrase that really got your attention. Then you observe the text, and write down your initial thoughts. Next is analyzing the scripture, and asking yourself, “How can this be applied to my life?” Then lastly is prayer, where you go over what you learned and share your thoughts with the Lord. I started doing this when I committed to consistently reading the Bible, and it worked wonders! Once I really started getting into the groove of things, I used the next method.
2. Talking Through It
This method is kinda like SOAP, but without writing it down and you analyze a lot more. I use this method the most because I personally feel that I get the most out of my read when I do this. Basically I’ll read a paragraph or two, analyze the text, and talk myself through what I read and what God wants me to get from it. Depending on what I’m reading, the analyzation may vary. For example, I was reading Mark a couple of weeks ago and it shares a lot of what Jesus was doing when traveling from town to town. A lot of the time I noticed Jesus’ responses and reactions to the people, and I was (and still am) truly amazed at how humble and gracious he was. But if I were to read something like Proverbs, I am definitely more self-reflective. I think this method is a great go-to if you have been on the SOAP train for awhile. It truly challenges you to get to know the Lord in a much more intimate way.
3. Start with the Gospels
Once again, this method is more for those who are just beginning to read the bible, but it’s also a really good thing to do when you need a little refresher! A leader at my church actually recommended this to me (thank you Gwen) because the Gospels are all about Jesus, and getting to know him is the perfect start on learning how to have your very own relationship with God. The gospels are the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John- in that order. They go through the good, the bad, and the very ugly. They are vital to our understanding of the foundation of our faith, so if you have no idea where to start reading, these are it!
4. Choose a Topic
If you are seeking advice or information about a certain topic in the bible, I highly recommend getting a study bible. All study bibles are different. I have the Teen Life Application Study Bible; it is in the NLT version, and is jam-packed with a bunch of helpful reads and tools. In the back it has maps and a handy index section where you can find scripture for just about any topic. I actually use it pretty frequently, and it is super helpful when I know I really need answers or guidance in a certain area in my life. If you don’t have access to a study bible, you can always go on the interwebs and look up verses for a certain topic!
5. Audio Bible
If you’re not much of a reader or you’re constantly on the go, this could be an awesome method for you! There are CD’s and apps available that are audio versions of the Bible where someone reads the scripture to you. I personally don’t do this very often, but when I do I always use the YouVersion app. I really like it because you can easily pinpoint what you want to be read, no problem.
6. Bible Plans
Oh man do I love my Bible plans. This tool is once again on the YouVersion app, and it’s really great for starting your day off with the Lord. I have read over 30 plans, and I always feel refreshed after reading them. I don’t do them as much anymore, but if you struggle with finding time to read this is great. It can remind you daily to read your plans, and there are hundreds of topics to choose from!
7. Bible Study
Now last, but not least, is BIBLE STUDY! What always helps me when reading the Word is reading it with others, because it helps you see the Bible from different angles. It also helps you make good, personal relationships with other Christians which is extremely important! Not only do we need to have a relationship with God, but with our church community! So don’t be afraid to join a bible study or start your own! It’s filling two needs with one deed.
I hope that at least one of these methods caught your attention. Don’t be afraid to use more than one, and explore your choices! I remember the first few times when I picked up the Bible I felt super intimidated because I didn’t know where to start, so if that’s you hopefully these tips helped! If any of y’all have any other methods or techniques to share, feel free to share them in the comment section below. I will chat with y’all next week!