How to read the Bible when it’s hard to read.

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Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” and this weekend many of us have taken the first step! As with any journey, reading the entire Bible in a year will have long, difficult stretches. A little preparation & a lot of perseverance will ensure that we can reach our destination. 

Here are my three favorite ways to get through a hard portion of Scripture: 

  1. A dramatized audio Bible. A few years ago I discovered The Bible Experience and it was a game changer! There are times where I don’t feel like reading or where a passage of scripture itself is difficult to follow (i.e The Book of Leviticus) so I listen to it instead. I prefer to listen to a dramatized audio Bible because it includes sound effects, background music, and has different readers narrating the text with actual emphasis/inflection in their voice. Whereas an “audio Bible” typically has a single monotone reader simply narrating the text.
  2. Use an easier translation or paraphrase. I prefer to read the Bible in a modern yet accurate translation such as the ESV or NIV but certain books of the Bible (i.e The Book of Job) are much easier and more enjoyable to read in a version such as the New Living Translation or The Message.
  3. Find an outline or chart of the book. I have found it helpful to read through an overview of a book of the Bible before I set out to read it in an effort to understand the original author’s train of thought and the context in which it was written. This is particularly useful for some of Paul’s doctrinal works (i.e The Book of Romans) Many Bibles have outlines preceding each book, so slow down and explore yours or look online and you will find an array of supplemental materials to broaden your understanding.

 

Why am I sharing this?

The new year has begun and many of us have committed to reading through the entire Bible in 2017, so I thought it might be helpful to start a blog series and share some of the resources that I use as well as some of my favorites.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to engage with Scripture so that everyone can benefit from your breakthrough!

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