Bible Reading

A new way of getting people to get to grips with Scripture
Author: Steve Levy
Published by: Evangelicals Now (March 2010)

"There used to be just three people in our church reading through the Bible — now there are 150. One older lady, a believer since her 20s, had attempted to read the Bible through for years and every time had given up. ‘Now, together with everyone else, I think I’m going to do it’, she said."

Steve Levy describes how his church has divided everybody up into small groups - Read the Bible Together groups - which meet together once a month. Before coming to the group, people are asked to read or listen to a book of the Bible. They then come together to share what God has been teaching them: "We need to help each other. The Bible is written to be talked about. It grows. It is not bound."  [more...]

Author: Margie Haack
Published by: Ransom Fellowship

For those who would like a plan to read through the Bible but are often discouraged by failing to keep up with 'Read the Bible in a Year' schemes, the 'Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers' allows you to read at the pace you choose and varies the Biblical genres each day of the week. Here's how it works:

  • Sundays: Poetry
  • Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
  • Tuesdays: Old Testament history
  • Wednesdays: Old Testament history
  • Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
  • Fridays: New Testament history
  • Saturdays: New Testament epistles

The plan is available as a PDF for free download.  [more...]

The Art of Spiritual Reading
Author: Eugene Peterson
Published by: Eerdmans (US) and Hodder & Stoughton (UK), 2006

"I want to pull the Christian Scriptures back from the margins of the contemporary imagination where they have been so rudely elbowed by their glamorous competitors, and reestablish them at the center as the text for living the Christian life deeply and well."

Eugene Peterson encourages readers to feed on and live the Scriptures. He wants us to see the Bible as more than a book telling us how to think or behave. We must "eat this book"!

"Holy Scripture nurtures the holy community as food nurtures the human body. Christians don't simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus' name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son."

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Read the Bible in one or two years
Author: Robert Murray McCheyne
Published by: The Lausanne Movement, 2008

God reveals himself to us in Scripture. As we read the Bible daily, he gradually works on our thinking, our will and our emotions so we
can love him 'with all our mind, our strength, our soul, our heart'.

The McCheyne Bible Reading Plan will take you through the New Testament and Psalms twice, and the rest of the Bible once, each year.

Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) urged Christians to grow in their faith by reading Scripture daily. He developed this system to help build a habit of reading in more than one part of the Bible each day. In this way its users would grow in their understanding of God’s great plan of salvation, stretching from Genesis to Revelation. It is used by countless Christians around the world.

This edition of McCheyne's plan is published by The Lausanne Movement and is available to purchase as a booklet. It can also be downloaded for free from the Lausanne website. It contains encouragements from a number of Christian leaders.  [more...]

Author: Ron Forseth
Published by: SermonCentral.com

Of this I am convinced: This side of heaven there is nothing more wonderful we could ever hold in our hands or engage with our minds than God’s Word as given to us in the Bible.

The author describes 25 ways of engaging with Scripture:

Survey the Word, Listen to the Word, Read the Word Silently, Read the Word Aloud (Privately), Read the Word Publicly, Discuss the Word, Hand-copy the Word, Study the Word, Cross-reference the Word, Stress the Word, Highlight the Word, Read the Word Responsively, Paraphrase the Word, Dramatize the Word, Sketch the Word, Read the Word Interpretively, Memorize the Word, Recite the Word Interpretively, Personalize the Word, Sing the Word, Hum the Word, Display the Word, Share the Word, Teach (or Preach) the Word, Do the Word!  [more...]

Author: Colin Marshall
Published by: The Briefing, Issue 143 (September 1994)

If I had to hazard a guess as to how many Christians engage in one-to-one Bible reading and prayer, I would say less than 1%. I have no data on this; it's just a hunch. This seems strange if it is such a simple and convenient way of spurring each other on in the faith. Why don't we do it?

In this practical article, Colin Marshall explains the WHY, the HOW and the WHO of one-to-one Bible reading.

...think about the long-term effects of meeting like this. The two friends will know the Bible better, pray regularly and deepen their friendship. They will encourage each other to deal with God and his word with integrity. As they open their lives to each other before God's word, they will “spur one another on towards love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24-25).

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Author: Gordon Fee

We miss a great deal of the New Testament... because we are so poorly informed about the Old. And the point to make here is that the first readers of these New Testament documents, those whose heirs we have become, had a much greater awareness of what was going on not simply because it was written to them, in their language and culture, but because they were biblically literate in ways that most contemporary Christians are not.

In this lecture, Gordon Fee examines some of the Reasons why Christians read their Bibles poorly. He then points out some of the Results of this reality; and third, he points toward some Remedies.

Among the reasons cited for poor reading are: the over-stimulation of the senses making sustained reading difficult, the non-contextual individualization of verses, the fragmentation and flattening of Scripture. The negative results of this mean that people have 'a terribly fragmented understanding' of what the Bible is all about.

Fee proposes the following remedies:

1. People need to learn to read in meaningful sections.
2. People need to learn to read Scripture aloud.
3. Most people will need to read with some kind of guide.

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Rediscovering the Public Reading of Scripture
Authors: Max McLean, Warren Bird
Published by: Zondervan

"Modern society is awash in words. An auditory tidal wave cascades from our televisions, radios, media players, and the Internet. Today’s distracted worshippers often feel spiritually shortchanged when the Scriptures are spoken without passion and power.

This lively and encouraging resource is the collaboration of a gifted Bible narrator and a mentor to church leaders. In it they show how churches can train their own teams of Scripture readers. These laypeople can—with enthusiasm, conviction, and passion—"unleash the Word of God," and prepare hearts to receive the message. An illustrative, lively, multi-session DVD that brings the book’s lessons to life is included.

Spoken well, the Word of God opens and penetrates the listener’s heart. Simple, straightforward, and culturally relevant, this book-and-DVD combination provides the necessary tools to teach you how to read the Bible aloud, in a way that communicates its life-changing power!"

  [more...]