What’s Your Bible-Reading Method?

Posted on July 25, 2022


By David Ettinger

Crowd Mentality
I remember more than 30 years ago while a relatively new Christian, I was hearing much from people in my church about their morning “quiet times.” One such exercise included reading passages from four different sections of the Bible, a lengthy prayer time, and singing a hymn.

Being told that “quiet times” should last at least an hour, I did everything I could to extend the session to the full 60 minutes. By the time I reached the end, I was tired, mentally shot, and felt I had wasted my time. My “quiet time” was a bust, and I resolved not to do it that way again.

While the men of the church urged me to stick with it, I decided to handle my time with the Lord my way, not according to what the “crowd” had deemed was best.

The Best Way for Me
Fortunately, my pastor understood me. He told me that because I was raised Jewish, I had a “Jewish mind” rather than a “Greek mind.” “Jewish minds,” he explained, were more emotional, saw the bigger picture, and were not as reflective. “Greek minds,” he further explained, were more analytical and studious.

This may be a generalization, but in my case it is true. I am a “big picture” guy and want to know how things work in the general sense.

This has been reflected in my Bible reading as in 35-plus years as a Christian, I have read through the Bible twice annually. This means I am on my 70th journey through God’s marvelous Word – which, by the way, consists of 66 books. (And I read them all. For instance, I’ve read Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah the precise number of times I’ve read Genesis, Matthew, and Romans.)

Reading the Bible twice yearly averages 8 chapters a day, which suits my “big picture” mind. I love gobbling up large tracts of biblical real estate and processing it quickly. It’s the way I’m wired.

Also, I read one book at a time. I’ve tried some of the reading plans which require skipping around to different sections of the Bible, but it doesn’t work for me.

I need to read each book of the Bible in its entirety, devoting my full attention to it alone, and allowing its truths to saturate my mind in one joyous fell swoop!

Against the Grain
I know this jumping-all-in-head-first approach goes against the grain of many “Greek minds,” but it works for me. On the other hand, one of my best friends will read just 1 chapter of the Bible every day for a week or even a month until he is sure he has a firm grasp of it!

This would drive me out of my skull, but it suits him just fine and I respect it. He can’t understand how I can plow through 8 chapters a day, and I can’t understand how he can read just 1 chapter every day for a month, but we both understand that we are programmed differently and don’t criticize the other.  

The important thing is that believers read their Bibles DAILY (with exceptions, of course, when the unexpected arises). How we choose to do it is up to us based on the way we are wired.

What About You?
With this is mind, I would love to know how you go about your daily Bible reading?

Are you a “big-tract” person like me; a more diligent contemplator like my friend, or somewhere in between? Also, do you add outside resources, such as devotionals, to your reading time? There is no right or wrong way.

Feel free to share your “method,” and feel free, also, to interact with other commenters. It would make for a great – and fun – conversation!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.