7 tips for Bible reading

7 tips for bible reading

Here are 7 tips for Bible reading every day. As Christians, we want to read our Bibles. We know that it’s how God speaks to us.

But we’re all different, so there’s no one “best” way to read our Bibles to suit everyone.

So, here are our 7 tips for Bible reading to help you work out what you can do – and then keep doing it!

1 Plan!

Think through what you can realistically maintain.

Do you want to have set readings for every day of the year? Or just 5 days per week? It will depend on you and your routines.

Do you want to read broadly or deeply? Reading broadly means taking in as much of the whole Bible as you can, drinking in the broad sweep of Scripture. Reading deeply means making your way slowly through a handful of Bible books – maybe with the help of a commentary or two to really dig in.

It’s really good to vary how you read from year to year, maybe broadly one year and deeply the next. It’s up to you – both will benefit you. If you have the time, you might even do both.

Broad reading: There are many “Bible in a year” schedules available. Alternatively, since there are 261 chapters in the New Testament and 261 weekdays in a year, you could simply read one chapter per day during the week. That might leave time for deeper reading at weekends? Or catch-up?

Deep reading: Choose (say) 4 Bible books for this year. Maybe buy some commentaries. Just read a short section each day and reflect on it. You might find it helpful to make a few (short) notes.

2 Use a Bible app

There are many Bible apps available, some with dedicated reading plans.

By far the most popular app is by YouVersion (they even have an app for children). There are very many plans built in.

There are a number of advantages:

  • The app keeps track of where you are in the reading plan.
  • It presents today’s passages to you each day (no need to bookmark etc).
  • For old or tired eyes, it’s helpful to be able to adjust colours and fonts.
  • More than anything, you’ll probably have your phone or tablet with you wherever you go.

There’s an added bonus that using apps makes it easy to share verses you’ve found helpful on social media.

3 Try different translations

If you only ever read from one translation, you might find it helpful to change to a different one for your daily readings.

The reason this helps is that you’re faced with slightly different wording for verses you know really well – and that always adds a little freshness to your reading. You see things in a slightly different light.

We recommend (in alphabetical order!) CSB, ESV, NIV, NKJV or NLT (our church Bible is the NLT).

4 Read with other people

It’s great to read with other people as you can encourage one another to keep going and share verses that have really blessed you.

The YouVersion Bible app has a way that you can invite friends to follow a plan with you.

Some well known plans (like the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan) have Facebook groups and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing encouragements.

5 Pray

When you come to read each day, remember to pray!

We don’t read to become Bible experts. We read to hear God speak and to meet him in his Word.

These words were written by the Holy Spirit and so it’s right to ask for his help as you read them.

Pray for understanding and application. And once you’ve read, pray again in response to what you’ve read.

6 Persevere

Some days your heart will soar! Other days, not so much.

It will depend on what you’re reading, what’s going on in your life, how you’re feeling, etc.

Reading the Bible is like applying varnish to beautiful wood. You often need multiple layers to bring out the best, richest contours. A passage that seems dry now might be very special to you next time you read it.

If your reading feels dry, keep reading. It will come.

7 Be realistic

Whatever plan you work out, everyone misses days sometimes. Life interrupts, you fall ill, you need to be somewhere early (or late), etc.

Don’t worry about having to catch up. Just pick up where you are (or reset your plan to today).

And, if a plan isn’t working for you, try a different plan. It’s not failure, it’s development!