Tom Gilson

How Not To Read the Bible

The other day I ran across some guidance on reading the Bible. Going through long passages in one sitting—as in reading through the Bible in a year—is a Bad Way to do it, it said. We must read and study short passages; for it takes unhurried, in-depth meditation to really hear what God is saying to us.

Now I see Christianity Today bemoaning our general ignorance of the flow of biblical history. Knowing the entire context is important. It would appear that reading through the whole Bible isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Is there a wrong way to read Scripture? Sure. If we approach it perfunctorily, prayerlessly, without willingness to submit to God’s authority through his Word, then we’re probably wasting our time or worse (although God could break through and reach us even at that). Otherwise, I don’t know of any Bad Way to read the Bible.

Except one: not reading it at all.

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1 thought on “How Not To Read the Bible

  1. I read the Bible three times last year, and once the year before. I am halfway through it again in the past 3 months or so. I have never been so in touch with the history it presents or so aware of God’s Grace, forgiveness, and forebearance.
    I do notice that I miss some lessons by reading too much and too quickly
    but I have also gained much insight into the flow and the way that the NT writers are constantly quoting, referencing and fulfilling the OT.
    It is a great ride and supplemented by the fact that in Bible study and services we are more likely to focus on smaller bits.

    So, I’m off to read 5 chapters of Jeremiah.
    You have reminded me of one thing I often forget – to do so prayerfully. Thank you.

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