How often should you read the Bible? Is once a week okay, or does it need to be every single day? What is the best way to consider this?
We can accept the reality that the Bible is the most important book in the world. It is the source of our faith, our hope, and our salvation. It is also a guide for living a good and godly life.
Yet, the Bible is also a complex and challenging book. It can be difficult to understand, and it can be easy to get lost in its details, or the ancient cultural settings and practices. But, if we take the time to read it carefully, we can learn a great deal about God, ourselves, and the world around us.
The Bible is also a living book. It is not just a collection of ancient stories, but a record of God’s ongoing relationship with His people. As we read the Bible, we can experience God’s presence in our lives, and we can learn how to live in accordance with His will.
So, how often should we read the Bible?
There is no one right answer to this question. Some people find it helpful to read the Bible every day, while others prefer to read it four or five times a week, and others more sporadically. The important thing is to make time for regular and consistent Bible reading.
Would you like to discover more about how to get started in reading the Bible? Or about how to make the most of your Bible reading time? Then I invite you to continue reading.
I encourage you to make time for regular Bible reading. It is one of the best things you can do for your spiritual growth. I invite you to share what you learn in this journey, or even your prayer requests, in the comments section below. I also encourage you to explore the hundreds of prayers found on this site.
Steps To Get Started Reading The Bible
These are not mandated requirements, but merely suggestions that you can modify as you need to. It’s vital to know that you are reading the Bible to grow closer to God, not merely to meet some religious requirement. So, have a gracious mindset toward yourself as you do this.
Since you will be reading scripture, and not merely a book of information, I suggest that you find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Some people prefer to listen to an audiobook version, which is an option.
Next, whatever passage you are reading, try to read slowly and carefully, paying attention to the details. Feel free to ask questions as you read, writing them in the margins of your Bible (yes, it’s okay to write and highlight your Bible, or in a notebook if you prefer).
You may want to ask questions about what you are reading, like “How does this apply to my life right now?” Or, “What is the one key insight from what I’ve read?” Of course, you’ll want to pray before and after you read, asking for guidance and understanding.
Reading the Bible is not always easy, but it can be rewarding. As we spend time in God’s Word, we grow closer to Him, and we learn more about His love for us. Following Jesus is challenging and it makes sense to get guidance direct from God’s Word as we live out His grace and mercy in our lives.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3.16-17, NIV).
Paul’s encouragement to Timothy is also for you and me. As you read the Bible, you are embracing the training in righteousness Paul mentions. Reading the Bible can help you be equipped for what God has for you.
Should I Read The Bible Every Day?
If you haven’t read the Bible in a while, just picking it up and starting to read can be daunting, even intimidating. You may even have thoughts like, “Wow, I’m not sure I can do this. This book isn’t just a book–it’s God’s Word!” Or, perhaps, “I don’t know even where to start. Do I just start at the beginning?”
While the Bible is contained in one book, it’s helpful to know that it was written by several dozen people inspired by the Holy Spirit, using three languages across three continents, spanning more than 1,500 years. Think of the Bible as 66 individual books, but one story–the story of God.
When I embraced that mindset, that perspective–66 books, but one story–it changed my outlook on reading the scripture regularly. I didn’t beat myself up if I didn’t read the Bible every day because the goal of why I was reading was to see how God worked in human history amongst a group of people in a specific place.
I started reading and increased my consistency in reading regularly because I wanted to find out what happened. I wanted to discover how and why God did this there, and that over there. It became less about marking off something on a disciple’s to-do list, and about falling in love with God. I read to see God at work, and hear of His love.
Don’t get me wrong. Even though the Bible contains history, narratives, poetry, prophecy, and letters, it is not just any literature; it is God’s story. But I just accepted that if God is God, then there are going to be parts of scripture I will not grasp or understand yet, or perhaps ever. If I “got” it all in one reading, I think that makes God very small, doesn’t it?
I read the Bible with excitement, not intimidation–what would I learn about God today?
So, whether you are just starting out with reading scripture, or you have been at it for some time, I encourage you not to be afraid of the Bible. It might help if you had a plan you could follow, instead of having to figure it out for yourself.
Four Helpful Possibilities For Reading Regularly
A key to reading the Bible regularly is to find a plan or method that works for you. It’s you reading your Bible, not someone else. This is for you!
The four plans I share here are ones I’ve used in the past and have found to be fruitful and useful. I suggest not doing all four of them at once. Maybe just try one of them at a time and discover the one that helps you.
Embrace The Calendar
One way I have incorporated Bible reading regularly is to embrace the calendar. There are at least 30 days in each month (yes, you can just work it out for February!). There are 31 chapters to the book of Proverbs, a book of wisdom found towards the middle of your Bible. You can read one chapter of Proverbs each day so by the end of the year, you will have exposed yourself to God’s wisdom a dozen times!
But what about the rest of the Bible? Shouldn’t I read it too? Sure, but you may not want to bite off that big of a chunk if you’re starting out. Begin with one chapter a day and see what happens. Then you can add on from there or do something different.
Read The Psalms
Another way you can choose to read the Bible is to read the Psalms, also found in the middle of the Bible. Psalms is a collection of prayers and songs, with 150 in total. In this plan, you would read 5 chapters of the Psalms each day. Perhaps a couple in the morning and the rest in the evening, or all five at once–whatever pace you need.
In this way, you will have read all 150 Psalms each month (5 per day x 30 days). You might have to break up Psalm 119, as it is quite long, but you get the idea. Again, by the end of one year, you will have brought deeply moving poetry, prayer, and worship into your life a dozen times.
Whatever method you choose, I encourage you to read scripture out loud, if you are able.
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Revelation 1.3, ESV).
When you speak the words you are reading, you involve more of your senses. Your two eyes see the words, your mouth speaks the words, and your two ears hear the words of the Bible. Whenever I have done this, the verses come more alive and I pay attention better. Give it a try a few times and be aware of how it feels as you do it.
Read The Bible In A Year
Lastly, what some people do (and it’s worth doing at least once in your life) is trying to read through the entire Bible in a year. I would advise working up to this, as it is a different kind of reading. With this method, you are reading as an overview, less concerned with the minute details of the passage. The focus and purpose are to grasp the span of God at work over time.
You’re not necessarily skimming scripture, but you don’t want to get bogged down in things like “What does that mean?” or delving into too much life application. Your main question is, “What did I learn about God here?” You need to know ahead of time that there will be some areas of the Bible that will be tedious to read through, like the genealogies, for instance.
It’s okay, don’t stop or put it aside–keep the purpose in mind. “I am reading through the Bible in a year to see how God has worked then, so I can understand better how God will work now.”
There are many ways to approach reading God’s Word consistently, whether it’s one I’ve listed here, or any of these several plans. Give yourself some time to find the one that works for your season of life, where you are in your faith journey, and practically, how much time you really have on a regular basis.
Regular Bible reading is essential for spiritual growth. It helps us to learn more about God, His character, and His plan for our lives. It also helps us to grow in our understanding of His Word and His will.
There are many benefits to regular Bible reading. Here are just a few:
- It helps us to grow in our faith. The Bible is full of stories about God’s faithfulness to His people. As we read these stories, we are reminded of God’s love for us and His promises to us. This can help us to grow in our faith and trust in Him.
- It helps us to know God better. The Bible is a revelation of God’s character. As we read it, we learn more about who God is and what He is like. This can help us to develop a deeper relationship with Him.
- It helps us to live a more godly life. The Bible contains many commands and principles for living a good and godly life. As we read it, we learn more about what God expects of us. This can help us to make better choices and live a more fulfilling life.
- It gives us hope. The Bible is full of hope-filled stories about God’s power and His ability to overcome any obstacle. As we read these stories, we are reminded that God is with us and that He will never leave us or forsake us. This can give us hope in the midst of difficult times.
- It provides guidance. The Bible is a guide for living a good and godly life. As we read it, we learn more about God’s will for our lives. This can help us to make wise decisions and live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Given all of this, wouldn’t you agree that reading your Bible in a consistent manner would be an advantage in your spiritual growth? If you are not already a regular Bible reader, I encourage you to start today, using some of the tips mentioned in this article.
Remember, it’s not a have-to task to cross off your to-do list; it’s a get-to opportunity to connect with God.
You get to grow closer to God! You get to read the Bible regularly. You get to see what God will do in your life as you follow Jesus!