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There’s Reading and Then There’s Reading

I don’t know if you’ve thought about it but reading is a subject that is both simple and complex. It’s simple enough we start to read at age five or six. By the time we’re a teenager the average person knows everything she needs to be able to read for the rest of her life. That doesn’t mean we all read the same. There are fast and slow readers. There are voracious and reluctant readers. Many read for work and many read for pleasure. We read to better ourselves and to kill time when sitting in a waiting room. Reading ranges from casual to careful.


Reading the Bible is no different from reading in general. Some read it casually and some carefully.

We’ve been learning how to study the Bible. I can get very excited about teaching you how to do observations. However, I’m realistic and know that most people won’t take the time to make detailed observations. I get it. It’s work and unless you are in a class where you have to turn in an assignment most of us won’t do it. That’s okay. I think I just heard a collective sigh of relief from readers of this blog all over the world! 🙂

I still want to equip you to see what the text says so I’m going to teach you another way to make observations. I want you to learn to read carefully. Here are 12 tips for how to get more out of the Bible by reading in different ways.

12 Tips for Careful Reading of the Bible

  1. Read fast and slow. Quickly skim a passage once or twice to get the big idea. Then read it again slowly.
  2. Read like it’s the first time you are reading it. To do this read in translations you’ve never read for a fresh look at the Bible. Click here for a website with many translations.
  3. Read inquisitively. Ask questions while you read, especially “why”.
  4. Read expectantly. Believe God is going to show you something new.
  5. Read prayerfully. There are many passages that are prayers, so pray the words while reading.
  6. Read meditatively. Read very slowly thinking about each word and phrase.
  7. Read observantly. Look for things you never noticed before.
  8. Read methodically. Know how you are going to read it today.
  9. Read strategically. Have a long range plan for Bible reading.
  10. Read frequently. Read every day. Read a passage you are studying over and over.
  11. Read progressively. Don’t just read a verse here and there. Read through an entire book or section of a book.
  12. Read interactively. Underline, take notes, write in your Bible.

There is no substitute for making observations in Bible study. If you aren’t going to take the time to do that, then read a passage over and over and over using these techniques while taking notes. If you do, you will make helpful observations.

In tomorrow’s post we’ll be on Step 5. Identify in the passage what you don’t understand.

Do you have a question or comment? Please leave it below.

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Ward Cushman

My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!