Dr. Diffey serves as Associate Professor of Old Testament within the College of Theology at GCU. He has his BA in History, completed an MDiv in Christian Ministry, and earned a PhD in Old Testament before becoming a professor. His interests are in the area of Old Testament and biblical theology. He is married to Anne and has three children.
One of the most common goals for Christians is to read the Bible through in a year. I often hear that people falter somewhere around Leviticus. What happens from there is that many people just don’t continue and they read little of their Bible for the remainder of the year.
Bible reading is extremely important and it is an admirable goal to read the Bible completely through within a year. I would like to offer some help to accomplish this.
Be Realistic in Your Goals
If you make a plan to read 10 chapters every day, you will certainly fall short at some point in time. Oftentimes we may be overly excited about our goals and when we fail to live up to them it can result in us dropping those goals in their entirety. So when we don’t read the Bible for a day or two that does not mean that we should just stop reading. Instead of setting unrealistic goals you should set realistic ones. For instance, instead of reading every day maybe set aside five days a week for reading.
Make a plan and stick to it. This goes along with being realistic. Set aside time in your schedule to read. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. It can even be a few times a day where you only have five minutes here or there. But be intentional about setting aside time.
Find an Accountability Partner
Maybe you can find someone who will read through the Bible in a year as well. Then you can get together once a week for coffee and discuss what you have been reading. This also brings the added bonus of fellowship with other believers.
Don’t consider this something that you have to do, but something that is a privilege to do. You should not read just to check something off of a list, but because you want to know God better.That is the goal here. You should not read the Bible so you can win a Bible trivia game or so that you can impress your friends. Read because you love God. Another part of reading faithfully is paying attention. Don’t finish your reading for the day and forget what you just read.
Get an Audio Bible
I have a copy of the Bible on my iPad and iPod. I know a lot of people who listen to the Bible on CD. I often listen to the Bible when I am doing other things, like when I am in my car or when I am grading papers. This is also helpful because many of the biblical books were originally meant to be read out loud.
Download Helpful Bible Apps
There are several apps that have reading plans that will guide you through reading the Bible in a year. One app that I would recommend is the YouVersion app. Most Bible translations also offer their own translation as a free app. The translation that I use most often, the ESV, is free.
Pray for Perseverance
Pray each day that God would help you persevere in this goal for His glory and for your good. While I could say a lot more let me end with two things to encourage you to read the Bible all the way through.
- The average reader can read the Bible through in about 65 to 75 hours. So if you read the Bible for less than 15 minutes a day, you would accomplish your goal. No matter how busy we are, we can certainly find 15 minutes.
- The Bible is God’s word. Paul writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV). Scripture is the very word of God.
What more incentive do we need than that!
The College of Theology at Grand Canyon University is committed to the full inspiration of the Bible as the true and authoritative word of God. To learn about GCU’s Christian identity and heritage, visit our website or contact us today!