Most people read the Bible in one of three ways:
We touch it. Perhaps we receive a daily Bible verse on our mobile phones, or we randomly open our Bible and see where our eyes fall.
We hop around in it. We bounce-bounce-bounce all over our Bibles, searching for truth (or trying to prove that we’re right).
We crawl through it. In January we resolve to read through the Bible in a year. Sometimes we make it; often we don’t.
Each of these Bible reading methods has its place and can be used by God to richly bless us from His Word. If you’d like to go even deeper in your study of Scripture, here are three ways to read Scripture verse by verse—the way it was written.
1. Walk Through Scripture. God’s Word is meant to be savored, step by step. To begin (or renew) your walk in Scripture, here’s a pathway:
Select a book of Scripture: a short book, such as Ephesians, Titus, or Jonah; or a longer book, such as the Gospel of John.
Select one or two good biblical commentaries on the book.
Study one chapter at a time: Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, etc. Freely underline and write notes in your Bible, interacting with God’s Word. Even better, have a “Meet at the Text” weekly small-group study; you’ll be refreshed by each other’s insights.
Reading through the Bible in a month will jump-start your soul.
When you’ve finished one book, move on to another, then another. You’ll begin noticing beautiful connections within God’s Word.
2. Run Through Scripture. The prophet Daniel wrote that end-time believers “shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Dan. 12:4, NKJV).* This beautiful imagery depicts believers running back and forth through the books of Scripture.
When we’ve learned how to walk in Scripture, we’re ready to run. For example, when you’ve carefully studied the book of Daniel verse by verse, you’ll be ready to study the book of Revelation verse by verse. Studying Kings and Chronicles verse by verse prepares you to study the prophets from this same time period: Isaiah and Jeremiah, Hosea and Micah.
3. Fly Through Scripture. Along with walking and running through Scripture, there’s also a time to take flight. Instead of reading through your Bible in a year, how about reading through it in a month?
Reading through the Bible in a month will jump-start your soul. The key is to read without stopping; approach the Bible as one grand story. As you fly over the windswept peaks of the Old Testament you’ll feel yourself longing for a Messiah. You’ll never forget the day you reach Matthew.
Reading through the Bible in a month isn’t as hard as it sounds: about 40 pages a day (the total pages divided by 30).
When you wake up and go to bed with Scripture, when you eat it for breakfast, lunch, and supper, God’s Word will become your daily bread. You’ll never be the same.
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Andy Nash ([email protected]) is an author and pastor who leads biblical study tours to Israel.