I am planning on teaching a class within the next 6 months on how to read the Bible. It is not uncommon to hear people who have been Christians for quite a long time who still don’t know how to read their Bible. It seems like these people fall into five categories. I am sure there are more but these are the ones that come to mind for me (I have probably fit somewhere into each of these at some point in my faith):
- Daily Bible readers – the goal is to get in your 3-5 chapters and not miss any days. You may end up reading through the whole Bible but not actually be living any different. But praise God, you made it all the way through! You read every word…you didn’t even skip a geneaology or a census! Lots of pats on the back for that one. A large percentage of these people never finish because often when we read the Bible like this we are reading to get done rather than reading to be transformed.
- Ammunition gatherers – these readers scour concordances or Bible gateway for key words to make their arguments. They read only a verse or two at a time not really taking into consideration the context for the verse that makes their point. They read with an aim for a fight. They are loading their gun and getting ready for the next doctrinal battle they might engage with or are currently involved in.
- Once a weekers – these guys read their Bible only on Sunday morning in Bible class or during the sermon. They are relying on getting all 21 meals for the week (plus snacks!) in under 2 hours. I don’t think fasting is supposed to include a fast from reading the Bible!
- The hungry – those who really want to know more about God’s word and so they might even go out and purchase some study guides or curriculum by people like Beth Moore in order to “get really deep” into God’s word. Usually people like this are much more consistent in their personal Bible study.
- The scholar – these people are really rare. They want to get into the Greek and Hebrew. They might ask the minister to give them some lessons on learning the languages so they can get deeper into God’s word and find more nuances than they get from relying on a translation.
What other types of Bible readers would you add in there?