7 Ways to Make Bible Reading Fun

A young college-aged girl told me recently that she didn’t enjoy reading her Bible and asked if there was an alternative book. Well…no! This is THE BOOK! There is no substitute. There are plenty of great Christian books, but none compare to this one.

I’ve heard similar concerns many times. The Bible intimidates many people; even those who are avid readers of other books.

I told this girl she could listen to the Bible on a CD or mp3, but I don’t think that’s the complete solution. I think we need to figure out how to enjoy reading God’s Word. Part of maturing as a Believer is to fall in love with the Bible.

Here are 7 suggestions which may help:

Pray – The Bible is not like any other book. You need God’s Spirit to help you. You should always pray before and as you read it. Ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. Good news here! This appears, in my experience, to be one of God’s favorite prayers to answer.

Version – Pick a version easiest for you to understand. I would suggest you read a more literal translation primarily, but the paraphrase versions are good for casual reading. I suggest NIV or NLT for a literal but readable version, ESV or NKJV if you want a most literal translation, or for a paraphrase version, that’s extremely readable, try The Message Version. I read some of each of these for my studies and fun reading.

Sharing – It brings Scripture to life when we can share it with others. Sharing your reading with your small group, a group of guys or girls at a coffee shop or a couple of people from work helps energize you for the passage. The key here is that when you talk about what you’re reading, it helps you value it more. (Read Philemon 6 for an example of this.)

Journaling – Writing about your time in God’s Word will help you process your thoughts and keep a record of them. It’s exciting to go back over time and remember what you read before. It fuels your enthusiasm for more.

Taking your time – I love the idea of reading the Bible through in a year. I’ve done this many times. I think it’s more important, however, that you benefit from what you’re reading. I sometimes meditate on a few verses or a story for a day. I also recommend people start with an easier book to understand and move to more difficult passages from there. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are good places to start, because they are filled with great stories of Jesus.

Clarify – It’a best to have a study Bible for this part, but there are plenty of free online tools also. Look up words you don’t understand. Learn to use Bible dictionaries and commentaries. Look up passages, which aren’t clear, cross-referencing verses with other similar verses using footnotes. For some people, having a Bible study to work through along with reading the Bible is helpful.

Relationship - The best way to fall in love with God’s Word is to get to better know it’s author. It’s cliche now, but read it as a love letter written to you. If someone writes you a love letter, you’ll read it continually until you figure out what it means, and maybe even memorize parts of it along the way. If you can’t figure out something, you’ll consult the author. Fall more in love with God and you’ll find reading the Bible much easier. You may even someday say it’s “fun”!

What would you add to my list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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22 thoughts on “7 Ways to Make Bible Reading Fun

  1. When I first started reading the Bible, I had the same problem. I also discovered that I had NO idea what I believed or why! So I started reading the Bible with a notebook! As I read, I would write. Sometimes I re-wrote what I had just read, sometimes I would write what I read but in short story form! I discovered some of the most amazing things!! Great stories, wonderful things to ponder and make me really think about who I am, who God is. Not only did I start a daily program, I found my own beliefs. Kinda cool!
    Twitter: bryankr

  2. Just came across this. Good post. One way to make reading the Bible more meaningful (maybe not "fun") would be to ask yourself questions like ones we use with "Storying Training for Trainers" (oral method of sharing and transmitting God's Word):

    1. What did you like about this passage?

    2. What confused or bothered you about this passage? (What do you not understand?)

    3. What did you learn about God from this passage?

    4. What did you learn about humans from this passage?

    5. What did this passage say to you, personally? (something to obey, do, believe, study, etc.)

  3. I agree with you. Recently I decided to share and ask others to share. It has made the Word come alive for me and it has been awesome seeing what people are doing as well. I did this with a blog called http://www.doyoureallybelieve.com. Doing this site has been like what you are saying with sharing. It has added to the value for me. Good post!

  4. I really do believe the prayer aspect is very important. Reading the Bible like just any other book does not help because without the Holy Spirit helping us we would not get anything from what we read. Prayer is definitely the number. Thanks a lot:))

  5. I agree that listening to the audio is not the best solution. For many years that was my only solution as a blind person, but once I responded to the call into ministry I began moving from using web based bibles like bible gateway and looking for a good study program. I found http://www.e-sword.net/ to be the best solution for my needs, the primary need being that the program must be accessible using my screan reader. All other bible programs such as Logos are, and remain enaccessible. One thing I like to do is have a friend read a passage with you and then discuss what you each got out of the reading. I've also begun to chalange myself with the bible in that I choose a minor profit from the OT and study that book for a month.

  6. After reading this post and then thinking about how I plug into the Bible I realized that I am sitting in an unorganized messy room. I have realized that I actually focus in more in depth and more often when my room or my personal space is clean and orderly. This just may apply to me but, I just cant imagine that it is just me who feels this way. Spending time in Scripture in your personal space that is chaotic will cause distractions. I have noticed myself putting off reading and going to watch TV because I didn't want to deal with the mess in my room! Enter a place of peace and order that best fits for you and dive into scripture head first!

  7. I've used http://www.textweek.com to find associated blogs, sermons, and perspectives on specific passages. Often, these authors give me historical background that makes the passage vivid (for example, the story of Jesus and the unclean woman (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/january/17.48.html). I use the reference notes associated with the verses to understand the use of certain phrases and look at where the Bible verse may have been originally cited. Talking with others about these stories is important, too, for their perspectives as well as to talk about what parts of the Bible they find most compelling, supportive, or difficult.

  8. YouVersion now has a way to, with the click of a mouse (or on you phone), listen to an audio version of the passage you're reading that day. I've started mixing that in with my daily readings, especially when I want to spend time with God but just don't feel like actually reading.
    Twitter: Benreed

  9. I like to challenge my students to "engage." More of a put-it-into-practice or practice what you preach sort of idea. As you read across some of these incredible stories of Jesus Christ and you see how He loved on someone or how He lived an example of reaching out to lost, go put it into practice. Try living what you read and watch God use you.