How Do I Read The Bible?

 By: Ryan C. Brown

By: Ryan C. Brown

During our Wednesday night community group, we have been working our way through Rob Bell’s book, What is The Bible? In our first week, the group took some time to throw out questions they were hoping to get clarity on during our time of fellowship. As I was reflecting on the questions we discussed, an underlying theme became clear to me. I realized, within the complexity of our questions, our group was really asking one main question,

How do I read the Bible?

For our blog this week, I wanted to offer a few ways that I think will help you answer that question for yourself.

Set aside a specific amount of time to read the Bible. 

This may sound like a basic suggestion but it helps to think about how much time you desire to set aside to read Scripture. The Bible is a complex collection of writings. You may find it hard to pick a section, read it and then try and figure out what that may or may not mean for your life or current situation. However, if you set aside a specific amount of time, you allow yourself the space to interact with the text. So pick a realistic amount of time to read the Bible, when you desire to approach the text. 

Set an intention for what you want to learn from reading Scripture. 

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I desire to read the Bible right now?” If you are anything like me, the answer is usually is because I am in a time of crisis or stress. If you find yourself reading the Bible most often in times of crisis or stress, it’s not your fault. We have been conditioned to read the Bible in the manner of a “How To” or Manuel/Guidebook on avoiding pain, suffering or discomfort. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.) The point I am trying to make is when you set aside time to read the Bible, think about why you are reading it. Are you looking for inspiration? Are you looking to study the history and learn more about the characters and context? There is no right or wrong answer. But I find that it helps to have an idea about what you are searching for when you approach your chosen text. 

Incorporate Lectio Devina into your Scripture reading routine.  

Lectio Devina is an intentional scripture reading exercise that allows you to interact with a small portion of Scripture. I have created a clip for you to follow along and become familiar with how to do this type of exercise. The intention behind Lectio Devina is to give yourself space to reflect on small portions of Scripture, and to experience them in a unique way. Lectio Devina is great for personal reflection, or within a group setting*.

These are not the only ways to approach reading the Bible. But I do think they offer a good place to start if you are looking. The Bible can be full of inspiration or it can be full of doubt. The important thing is for you to interact with the text and form your own opinion. Then, join us on Wednesday’s for the Community Group. We’d love to hear what you have been learning…

*Click the link for a YouTube video I created on how to lead a Lectio Devina scripture reading exercise in a small group setting.