Reading God's Word

Dave Swaim
Aug 10, 2018

The Bible is a gift God gave through the church to the church, and was intended to be read in a community that preserves the memory of what God has been doing and saying for generations. Bible commentaries are a way for us to read how other Christians before us have understood the Bible, allowing us to be in community even when reading Scripture on our own. Here are some resources that I have found valuable for both small group and personal Bible study.

Commentaries

​Bible Reading Plans

If you are looking for a place to start reading the Bible, I recommend that you begin with the book of Mark (the beginning of the New Testament) and continue from there. Some of the stories will repeat, others will refer to things you don't know about yet, but keep going! The commentaries will help. But more than that, ask God to read with you and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak. Ultimately, the goal is not just to get to know the Bible, but to get to know the Lord.

  • There are many books that break up the New Testament or the entire Bible into daily readings, like the One Year Bible (NLT).
  • The Youversion Bible app also offers dozens of great reading plans on every subject or section of the Bible for free.  Look for it on the Apple or Google app stores, or head to Bible.com on your computer.
  • I often read devotionally using the New Living Translation of the Bible (NLT), but a few years ago Zondervan created a Bible paraphrase (The Story) that essentially presents the Bible as a coherent single story.  It is a great way to discover the Bible!  In addition, there are multiple versions for different levels of readers (adults, teens, children, etc.).

Devotionals

Devotionals may guide us into the Bible more deeply and personally. There are many good ones, but two that I especially recommend are:

If you are looking for a daily devotional on the go, pray-as-you-go.org offers daily Bible readings (read aloud) along with reflection questions and time for prayer.