Rule #1: Start with something that is easy to understand/easily applicable and work toward the books that are harder.
– NT: James, Gospel of Mark
– OT: Psalms, Proverbs & Genesis
Rule #2: Be regular/consistent.
Rule #3: Don’t read for quantity, read for quality. Reading the Bible through in a year is great but does little if you don’t learn anything, change anything, or draw closer to God based on what you read.
Rule #4: Read to understand, understand to apply. Learning information by itself isn’t the point. Application is the point. But you first have to understand what it says before you know what to do with it.
Rule #5: Prayer – Ask God for wisdom, insight and understand.
Rule #6: Realize up front that not all your conclusions will be valid – talk with someone you trust, ask questions and compare your findings with other scriptures to try to determine what is right.
Rule #7: When you run into difficulty, don’t go straight to a commentary for help. Wrestle with it on your own for a while first. Commentators are people too and they can make mistakes.
Rule #8: Not everything in the Bible is written for the same reason. Some writings are poetic and some are laws. Some are for instruction and others are general good advice. Not everything in the Bible is a command from God.
What advice would you add?