Reading the Bible

There are a number of practical steps that you can take to get the most out of the Bible:

Choose the right translation

There are many translations available. Some are relatively easy to read, others are more demanding. Look at several and find the translation that suits you best.

Consider the time and place

Find a regular time and place where you can have some uninterrupted space.

Relax

Whether it’s a steaming cup of coffee, or a comfortable chair by the window, it is often helpful to associate your time reading the Bible with another favourite activity.

Establish a reading plan

Reading plans that suggest a passage of the Bible for each day, plus a comment to help you understand and apply it are available from several Christian publishers. Scripture Union and Bible Reading Fellowship are amongst the best known, and their materials can be purchased from any Christian bookshop or via their websites.

If you would like to read systematically through a whole book of the Bible, the study guides written by Tom Wright or William Barclay are particularly helpful.

Do reply below or email canonmissioner@birminghamcathedral.com for more advice on Bible reading aids.

Whatever you choose, try to allow enough time to reflect on what you are reading, and ask:

  • How can I apply what I have learned to my life?
  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Are there actions that I should take or avoid?
  • Do I need to confess something to God?
  • Is there a promise to claim?

Consistency really does pay dividends

Everyone who reads the Bible will, at times, find it difficult to understand. This is because we are reading an ancient text. On those occasions, try to wrestle with the readings, and take into account the fact that you may come away from the experience, not so much with answers but with better questions – which can then be shared with other members of your Spiritual Companionship Group.

The important thing is that you start reading the Bible and stick with it!

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