How long do you read your bible each day?

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by satz, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    When you guys do your daily readings, say you read one chapter, how long, on average do you spend on it? Do you reread it? If so how many times? Or do you meditate upon it?

    Just wanted to know more about your bible reading habits...
  2. Dagmire

    Dagmire Puritan Board Freshman

    Not nearly long enough.
  3. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    I generally read between 3-9 chapters per day, but i only study & meditate on 1-3 chapters. When i just read a chapter it can take just a couple of minutes, but when i study/meditate on one it usually takes about 1/2 hour.
  4. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    When I am able to read I read 3-4 chapters/day (using M'Cheyne's plan) but some days go by in which I do not read any.

    I'd like to add that I think the modern conception that one must read the bible every single day to be spiritually healthy is a legalistic, unscriptural and potentially damaging assertion.
  5. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    It really depends. I can chew through ten chapters, or just one. I try to keep it at about four, which is long enough to establish good context, but not long enough to become a blur.
  6. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    I vary also. Some days several chapters, others only one, still others none. I take anywhere from a 1/2 hr to 1 1/2 hrs. Sometimes I am riveted. I take 1/2 hr lately to read only one chapter because I am going through Isaiah and I read Matthew Henry's along side of it to help me understand the context.
  7. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    *Does the "also reading Isaiah high five"*
  8. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    Interesting comment.
    In your opinion would prayer fall into the same category?
    Also, must one do anything to be spiritually healthy? Would doing anything for spiritual health be considered legalistic?

    I have counseled folks who were not reading their Bibles to read them every day, even if they didn't feel like it.It paid off for them in the end.
  9. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    No, I would not say the same thing about prayer. It is something that all Christians everywhere have always been able to do.

    You see, sometimes people forget that the common man did not have his own bible until the 16th century. This was an issue that never really seemed to concern the apostles. Emphasis was given in the early Church to the teachers with whom God had gifted the church. People focused more on the preached word instead of their own reading and their own interpreting.

    If it is necessary to read the bible everyday in order not to fall into spiritual destruction (or, conversely, just to generally grow in grace), then Christians for a very long time were without much hope. As far as your experience in counseling is concerned, I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with reading the bible every day. Of course that can be beneficial. But that's a very different thing than saying that one must read the bible every day. If you've never come across that sort of teaching then it may just be my background. I used to believe that it was banking on sin to not read the bible everyday and that I would undoubtedly fall into some other kind of heinous sin without it as well. The guilt and condemnation that people can fall into for not reading the bible enough when daily reading is not even required in scripture is terrible.

    Sermons used to be just a nice thing to do but the "real deal" was in my own "personal time" throughout the week. This just doesn't seem to be what the New Testament teaches. These days I put a lot more emphasis on my teaching elder's exposition of the Word on the Lord's Day. I take notes during the sermon and think about it more during the week instead of being so concerned with finishing the next book of the bible. I also have a much more biblical understanding of the Christian's role in the world and don't despise my secular calling like I used to. Whereas before I would skip doing homework and other such things in order to read, I no longer find that a more spiritual thing to do.
  10. Kristine with a K

    Kristine with a K Puritan Board Freshman

    My Bible-reading-in-a-year program takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes a day, depending on the day. I read for several hours on Sundays: Bible + "spritiual" books.
  11. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    Unfortunately. There is a reason they were called the Dark Ages.

    I have worries about a Christian who doesn't want to read the Bible every day. How can we train ourselves in righteousness if our days are not soaked in the scriptures?
  12. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The "Dark Ages" did not begin until 500+ years after the Apostles. What did all the Christians do during the first few centuries A.D. when they had no access to their own bibles? Why didn't Paul ever tell the local elders to have his letters copied for everyone?

    Again, I'm not saying that I don't like reading the scripture or that I have a problem with reading it every day. I have problems adding man's commands to God's.

    [bible]Ephesians 4:11-12[/bible]

    The short answer, according to Paul, is that we first and foremost are not our own trainers.

    Again, I'm not saying that I don't like reading the scripture or that I have a problem with reading it every day. I have problems adding man's commands to God's. There's way too much emphasis on personal reading and interpretation today and not enough on the sermon.
  13. InChains620

    InChains620 Puritan Board Freshman

    -Reading The Scriptures-

    I think it is important to read the Scriptures and pray daily. I have been a Christian for less than a year, and fail God often. I have missed days of my daily Bible reading, but I am convicted and set aside time to catch up. I find myself amazed at how easily I can just skip my time with God after all he has done for me. That is why I believe it is important that a child of God prays for a hungry spirit for the Word and for prayer. We should pray remembering Jeremiah 23:29. Pray that God would consume us with the flame of His Word, and that he would use it as a hammer to shatter the hard hearts we so often get. If we rely on God's grace for our salvation, is the same not so with our edification? We should be in constant prayer for God's grace and help with our slothful study habits. May God help us all to delve into the Scriptures and grow in grace!

  14. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    And now, with the advent of the printing press, the scriptures are available to every layman. Would the Christians during the first few centuries AD have preferred to listen to their preachers over owning and reading daily their very own copy of the scriptures? I think not.

    Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
    (Acts 17:11)

    Your argument really doesn't stand.
  15. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Yes, I would rather have a trained pastor than my own bible. Try not to be such a product of your time and place in history. Did you totally skip over my quote from Ephesians 4? Teachers are given to train us. I am not an ordained bible teacher. "Just me and my bible" is not my way of going about growth.

    Perhaps you could tell me just what my argument is that doesn't stand, because I don't think you're understanding it. Does the Word of God entail a command to read the scriptures every day or does it not? Were Christians in the Early Church and up until the printing press lacking? Did God leave them without everything they needed?
  16. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I read daily but not regularly. Often I'm jumping from place to place, and reading for 10 minutes one day and a couple hours another. I might read a whole book in one sitting, or just a few verses.

    I wish I were more disciplined to read the Word regularly - but I find I digest more if I'm not trying to read on a schedule or through a reading plan. I've been working on my reading plan for years now and don't get as much out of it as when I am searching on a topic or comparing different verses and following the cross references in a study bible.
  17. VaughanRSmith

    VaughanRSmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I apologise for not seeing your Ephesians 4 quote, it wasn't there when I hit reply. I agree, adding man's commands to God's is wrong. However, I believe there is scriptural mandate for the necessity of everyday reading of the word. Just because there are people better trained in it's exposition doesn't mean we are to neglect personal reading.

    If you mean a command as in "thou shalt", then no it does not. However, as I said above, there is scriptural mandate to necessitate daily reading.

    And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
    (Deuteronomy 8:3)

    How can we eat bread daily and live, and then be expected not to eat of God's word daily and live?

    Of course they were. I have several Bibles in my home. Are you suggesting that I am not better off than they were?

    No, but you can bet your life savings that they would give their right arm for the opportunities to read the scriptures that we have.

    We are a blessed people, with Bibles coming out of our ears. Blessing brings responsibility. Daily reading of the word is just as much a necessity to Christians as daily eating of food.
  18. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    The Bible seems to recommend in several places to memorize and meditate on the Scriptures - I have trouble with "through-the-Bible-in-a-year" plans because by the time I've read all that I couldn't tell you what it was about.

    And what about the folks where Bibles are illegal and hard to come by? I think it's wonderful that we can own Bibles and I don't want to go back to strictly relying on the preached Word - that's how we ended up with the Bible in an archaic language no one knew and "preachers" making it up as they went along...
  19. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I can agree to disagree on this because I know it's a pretty popular view since the Reformation.

    Quickly, I just wanted to point out that your scripture references necessitating the ingestion of God's Word do not imply a commanded daily reading of it. For instance, you quoted from Deuteronomy about living on God's Word. How many of those Israelites to whom that quote is addressed do you think had their own bibles? The same thing goes for pretty much every other like passage, whether it be on meditating on the Word, loving the Word, etc. I can take in God's word by listening to it preached and thinking about the sermon and the text upon which the sermon was based. I have Psalms memorized from singing them in public worship and I meditate on God's word by singing to myself through the day (see Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16). I agree that the Word of God is as important for us as you say it is, but I do not believe that this necessitates daily reading. I will agree with you that in some ways it may be "extra helpful" that we have ready access to bibles unlike previous generations of Christians, but that also does not necessitate anything. It's unfair to say "Look at all these bible we have. Christians should be ashamed of themselves!" People harp so much on that but I hardly ever hear anyone chide Christians for not caring enough about public worship and the preached word. *shrug*
  20. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I think we are to be in the Word all the time, just as we are to continually pray for one another. This does not mean one has to have a strict regiment of morning readings, but I think going for a whole day without looking at the Word is too long. Not that I have managed to do this myself, only that I try because I think this is what God demands of me. To always, at any time of the day, be reading or thinking of or meditating on God's Word.

    If your reading the Word once a week, that not enough. If you're reading the Word every hour, than you're retired and living alone. But the Scriptures should be near your heart(|mind), if not your hand, at all times. It would be hard to over emphasis how important the Word is to Christians. If you know the lines from Napoleon Dynamite (or insert some other movie or book) more than you know God's Word, then you know something is wrong. We live by the Word.

    P.S. If nothing else, daily reading of the Word is good practice even if it is not explicitly commanded.
  21. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    All I'm saying is that we can't look back into the scriptures at the verses talking about the Word and read our 21st century context with bibles flowing out of our ears into them. Since believers from the beginning of time until 500 years ago didn't have their own bibles then I think it's fallacious to use those verses to mandate daily bible reading. What would "being in the Word" have meant to a devout Jew in the Old Testament or to a believer in the first century? It would've meant attending public worship, meditating throughout the week on the preaching/reading of the word, singing in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, discussing the greatness of God with fellow believers, prayer, etc.

    I really hate the fact that this has turned into this much of a debate because it makes me look like I don't like reading the bible or something. Of course we should love the word but it's not a sin if we miss a day of reading. I don't want to derail this thread anymore; sorry for even making the comment.
  22. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    You are correct. I think that was part of the point I was trying to make. The Jews would meditate on the Word, and memorize it. They did not need to keep a pocket scroll with them at all times in order to stay in the Word.

    Not a problem. This is part of working out things. Hopefully it leads to more understanding.
  23. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    I try to read a chapter or more a day. Emphasis on try.
  24. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I apologize, I'm trying to get this thread back on track by splitting off CarolinaCalvinist's very interesting discussion to its own thread, but so far it isn't working. I'm a little verklempt please feel free to discuss this. Sorry!
  25. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

    Don't be sorry. I understand what you are saying and I'm in complete agreement with you. For me, meditation on the Word is better acheived when I don't bite off more than I can chew. And losing the guilt-trip of not keeping up with my "Bible-in-a-year" has been a relief.
  26. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Well, since this thread was split to accommodate the discussion that sprung up, I wonder if I might be able to tempt anyone else to address the OP?

    Prehaps I should give an example of what I was asking. Say today I decide to read a particular chapter, say Phil 3. So I read it though once, which should take say... three minutes at most. So, what now? Should I re-read it? Think about the points that struck me? Look at a commentary? Meditate on individual verses?

    I don't mean this in any legalistic 'you must do this manner'. I only meant for people to share what are their personal bible reading habits, since often I will read a chapter, and only a short while later I will think to myself 'what was that I read again?'

    How can I make my bible reading time more profitable?
  27. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Scourby's AV on CD. I continue to be amazed by the insights which are to be found by "listening to the text." There are verbal structures which are not so evident in the reading. You learn pure English pronunciation at the same time.
  28. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior


    Thanks, I'll check those out.

    Pastor Winzer,

    I've actually been wanting to get Scourby for some time now, but it does seem very expensive.
  29. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Mark, the expense of Scourby is definitely worth it. Koorong marks up 100%, so that is why it's so expensive here, and probably also because they set their prices when the Aussie dollar wasn't doing as well against the greenback. With an improvement in the exchange rate it may be profitable to order from overseas, but then there's the risk of not knowing who you are dealing with.
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