If you want to enjoy reading the Bible keep reading.
I love studying the Bible – doing word studies, reading commentaries, using my Bible guide, and journaling.
Not studying the Bible
Recently, I felt God challenging me NOT to study the Bible and just simply to read it. At first, I found myself highlighting and making notes, but God gently reminded me just to enjoy His Word. So, I put down my highlighters, grabbed my coffee, and just read through one book of the Bible at a time.
I won’t forget the day I read through Job. Studying Job is quite interesting (and tedious!), yet as I read through this beautiful book, I enjoyed the poetry, connected with different parts of the story, and saw the big picture.
Benefits of Reading the Bible One Book at a Time
There are many benefits to reading the Bible in this way. Here are just a few
- You see the whole story played out (helpful for understanding context!)
- The themes and sub-themes are clearer
- You better understand the structure and genre of the writing
- The development of the writer’s theology is more obvious
- It’s easier to see how the Scriptures are all about Jesus
- You see God’s character revealed throughout the story in different ways.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Remember the Bible is an old book written and experienced by people from a different culture.
- The Bible was not written like a novel – so you may need to do some reading before you enter into a book to understand the who, what and why. Keep reading for an example of this.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your time in the Word.
- Consider picking a Bible translation like The Message, The Living Bible, Contemporary English Version, or New Living Translation as they’re translated in a way that makes sure the passages are easy to understand and connect with culturally.
- Understand the book before reading it. Who wrote it, who was the original audience, and what was the situation of the time. For more on this read our post on ‘Reading the Bible in context’.
Reading Books of the Bible
I’d like to challenge you to spend a week (or month!) just reading through a book of the Bible, one at a time as if you would read a novel.
Here’s a rough guide on how long some books of the Bible take (according to Dr. Lawson Murray)
15 minutes or less
Ruth, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude
30 minutes or less
Esther, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Hosea, Amos, Galatians, Ephesians
1 hour or less
Ezra, Nehemiah, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Zechariah, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Hebrews
2 hours or less
Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, 2 Samuel , 1 Chronicles, Job, Proverbs, Mark, John, Revelation
3 hours or less
Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 1 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Matthew, Luke, Acts
4 hours or less
Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
5 hours or less
Give it a try now with the book of Philemon! It is a very quick read and deals with some important themes.
This book is a letter that Paul wrote to a member of a church he planted in Colossae, Philemon, with the goal of asking him to forgive his servant Onesimus for running away.
Tip: Try listening to it using the Bible App. Try different translations to discover a narrator that you enjoy listening to.
Enjoy reading the Bible on book at a time!
Enjoy reading the Bible
This post is based on Dr. Lawson Murray’s – Whole Book Reading