Arnold reading a Bible
Exploring the Bible

How to start reading the Bible in 2021

Did you set any new year’s resolutions this year? Any goals? Did any of them involve reading the Bible? (Bernard is very proud of you if they did!) As Christians, reading the Bible is an important part of our faith, but it can be easy to fall out of the habit, get distracted, forget. And each year, I’m sure many Christians set out to get better, to read the Bible more, to read the Bible more often, to make it a daily habit.

And like many new year’s resolutions, we can start out with the best intentions, only to fall off the wagon two weeks (or two days) into January.

So, how can we make sure we stick to our new year’s resolutions to start reading the Bible this year?

Make it as easy as possible

If you make studying the Bible into a big task to get ready for, where you have to search the house to find everything you need, and get it all set up perfectly, then you are much less likely to actually get on and do it. What can you do to make reading the Bible as easy as possible for yourself? Can you set up a specific place where you have everything you might need right there with you? Your Bible, some pens, maybe a notebook or commentaries.

Make it part of your routine

Part of making reading the Bible as easy as possible, in my mind, includes making it something that you don’t even have to think about. I don’t mean you shouldn’t think about reading the Bible, and you definitely should think when you are doing the reading, but it should be so much a part of your routine that you don’t need to think about how you will fit it into your day. My tips for achieving this are to set a time, that is the same each day (if that’s possible for you, people with changing shift patterns will need to get creative with this), set reminders on your phone if that is helpful, and stick to that routine until it becomes a habit.

Use the Bible Project videos

One thing that can put people off reading the Bible is getting confused, and not understanding all these different books and what they mean. Personally, I find reading the Bible much easier to understand when I have a better grasp of the Bible as a whole, and the book of the Bible I am reading as a whole. The videos that The Bible Project creates, give such a wonderful overview of each book of the Bible, as well as specific themes explored in the Bible, which really help to make sense of what you’re reading as you dig into each passage.

Remember you can read more than one book at a time

When you are working your way through one book of the Bible at a time, it can be easy to become tired with that book, or just not feel in the mood for it one day – especially if you’re working your way through one of the “tougher” books of the Bible. This doesn’t mean that those books aren’t incredibly valuable and worth reading, but they can be hard work. This is why I like to be reading two books of the Bible at any one time, usually one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament, so that I can choose which book to study from each day (or go for a little bit of each which is also nice).

Start with small chunks

When we start a Bible reading routine, sometimes we feel a certain pressure to read a certain amount of the Bible for it to truly “count” as reading the Bible. This is just not true. Obviously, the more we dig into reading the Bible, the better, but if you are just getting started and feeling the pressure, why not start with a small passage – even just 5 verses (if that makes sense in the context of the book you’re reading), or just one section depending on how the Bible is split up. Reflect on just on that small section, study it, read it. Then, as you get more used to reading the Bible, you can read more and more each time.

Hear more about these ideas, and even more tips for reading the Bible in my YouTube video here:

What do you struggle with when you want to start reading the Bible? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see if we can help you out!

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5th January 2021