Reading Whole Books of the Bible

Permit me to ask you a question? Do you ever sit down and read whole books of the Bible straight through?

There are of course many different ways in which we can read the Bible e.g. a chapter at a time or a section of the scriptures each day. Some people like to focus on one particular verse and meditate on that. Whilst others might like to study a theme e.g. love and focus on verses in which that is mentioned.

Over the last few months I have increasingly become convinced of the importance of reading through whole books of the Bible and when possible doing this at one sitting.

You might be someone who, as mentioned above, prefers to study a chapter at a time. My suggestion to you would be to read the whole book through a few times before you start your study to get an overall high level view of the book. For example if you decide to undertake an in depth study of 1 Peter read it through every day for a week before you commence your study.

If we take the New Testament letters, they were written to either churches or individuals and often address specific problems that were being faced. By reading straight through the letter at one sitting we can get a feel of the whole letter. It is very unlikely that the original recipients of the letters would not have listened to the letter being read straight through.

When we read a book straight through it is harder to take verses out of context and apply a meaning to them that was not the original intention of the author. We see the context in which these verses were written and how they form part of the narrative of the book.

If someone writes me a letter (or email) I would not read half of it today and the other half tomorrow. So why would I not apply this to my Bible reading?

I know not everyone finds it easy to sit down and read. I am not an avid reader myself but if I find an enjoyable novel then it’s no problem for me to read 50 pages at one sitting. If I can do this with a novel why should I not do this with my Bible reading?

For anyone who has never read straight through a book in the Bible at one setting there are plenty that can be read in about 20 minutes, e.g. Galatians or Ephesians.

Why not make it your ambition to try and read straight through individual books of the Bible and see how it enhances your reading of scripture.

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