10 Super Helpful Bible Reading Tips

Reading the Bible can be difficult—but with these 10 super helpful tips, you will be on your way to some seriously awesome quiet times.

  1. Carefully select the Bible that looks the coolest. No one’s ever gotten anything out of a Bible-reading session poring over a lame hardcover NIV. You should spend hours agonizing over which of your leather-bound ESV or NASB Bibles will look the most scholarly, scoring you points with passersby at the coffee shop or pub.
  2. Broadcast your quiet time on every outlet available. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—heck, even Google+—can be a redeeming force as you take several dozen pictures of your quiet time to let everyone know you’re reading the Bible. A quiet time without a filtered Instagram photo as evidence doesn’t count in God’s book.
  3. Pray that God would reveal how awesome you are. As you seek to dig into the Word, cover your reading time with prayer—specifically, prayer that God will show you how special and incredible you are in light of eternity.
  4. Take it easy. Everyone needs a 5–10 year break from Scripture every now and then. So go at your own pace, even if that means not reading the Bible for a couple of decades.
  5. Figure out the context of a verse, and then disregard it completely. Nothing kills a good time in the Word like trying to figure out the historical-grammatical meaning of a passage. If you must know what’s going on in the surrounding paragraphs of your favorite verse, just make it up.
  6. Draw elaborate doodles all over the text. Your third-grade-level likeness of a dove is the perfect complement to a majestic text like Ephesians 1.
  7. Allegorize literally everything. Everything can be an allegory, if you try hard and believe in yourself. Creation? Allegory. Jonah? Definitely an allegory. Jesus? Sure, why not—the only limit to how much of a plainly literal, historical passage you can turn into an esoteric metaphor is your own imagination.
  8. Make every effort to apply the difficult texts to everyone in the world except yourself. The Word is most effective when we apply it to the lives of those around us, as long as we manage to avoid letting the text speak to and convict our own hearts. When reading a text, ask yourself: how does this practically apply to all these filthy sinners in the world around me?
  9. Keep in mind, every verse means “judge not.” Try to carefully exegete the meaning of each text you study, bearing in mind that the meaning is almost certainly “judge not.” If you don’t arrive at this exegesis, try again until you get it right.
  10. Remember who it’s all about: you. Reading the Scriptures becomes even more dynamic and exciting when you realize that every text points to one person: you. Do whatever hermeneutical back-flips are necessary to bend any and all texts to revolve around yourself. Like they say: you are on every page.