We begin reading the Bible through again Sunday morning in 2012. In preparing for that start, here are a few suggestions:
1 – Make one particular Bible your “reading” Bible. It should be light to hold, easy on the eyes, and a translation you do not find difficult. The Bible can be hard enough at times without struggling with the vagaries of a difficult translation. The New International Version is written on an 8th grade reading level. The New Living Translation is prepared at a 6th grade reading level. “The Message” is prepared at a 3rd. grade reading level.
Don’t be embarrassed to choose a Bible for its reading level. Remember: the Bible was NOT written in English. It was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. You’re already a step removed from the original when you read in translation. Why not choose a translation that’s easy to read? Furthermore, reading the Bible is a growth process. Like riding a bike, making it a comfortable part of your daily life will take some practice. Don’t be afraid of training wheels when you first begin.
2 – Select a regular time to read. Because I’m writing on each daily reading, I’ve already begun my reading for next year and I’ve decided to listen each morning on my way to work. I can do four chapters one way – that’s a day’s reading. Find a time that’s good for you and stick with it.
3 – Keep a notebook and pen handy. This year, I am summarizing each Bible chapter in one sentence – and trying to memorize the sentence. I probably won’t memorize them all, but I can get a few books down a year.
4 – Keep at it. If you get behind, don’t try to “catch up.” Begin with that day’s reading. While the goal is to read the Bible through this year, a more important goal is to develop a life-long habit of reading the Bible each day. Develop that habit, and you will get through the Bible.
5 – Pray either before or after each reading. If you are not accustomed to a regular prayer life, simply pray: “Lord, please help me to understand this reading, and from it, your will for my life.” Add a thought about one important person in your life and end the prayer.
I hope you are hugely successful in your reading in 2012. Don’t forget to come back here Sunday for our beginning blog.
See you then!