Faith grows as we read and study the Bible. Christian have long held that reading and studying the Bible can bring us into a vital relationship with God. The Bible offers us insights into God’s character and the ways in which God calls us to be in a relationship. The Bible can shape how we see the world around us, how we interact with others, and how we find purpose and meaning in our lives.
The fuller meaning of the Bible gets unpacked when we read it and study it along with others in a community of faith. When we read the Bible, alone or in conversation with others, we can bring our insights and questions and experience to what we read. We learn and faith grows as we listen for what others bring to the conversation. The words come off the page and the truth the Bible shapes our values and informs our understanding.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of reading the Bible:
- Use a translation that makes sense to you. I like to use the Common English Bible. Sometimes, I use the paraphrase translation called The Message. A good translation that we most often use here in worship services in the New Revised Standard Version or the NRSV.
- Read the Bible regularly, even if it is only in small amounts. You don’t have to read it cover to cover. You might start by reading a paragraph or two each day. If you are in a section that is hard to get through, skip to another book or section.
- Read with a pen and paper in hand. Write down what strikes you in the passage. Write down what questions you might have. Write down what you see as a takeaway from what you read.
- Here are some starting questions I bring to each passage I read: What does this passage mean for those who first heard or read it? What might God be saying to me in this passage? How can I apply this in my own life?
Grace and peace,