Growing up, reading the Bible was like pulling teeth for me. I had trouble understanding the flowery language, staying engaged with the density of historical facts, and applying the truth to my relationship with Jesus. Have you ever felt the same way?
When I started college, I was determined to read the Bible for myself which I believe was a turning point in my spiritual journey. From then I’ve experimented with Scripture reading methods and have come to the conclusion that there are 5 types of Bible readers.
Which one are you?
These people approach the Bible like a trilogy combined into one book. They will most likely use an easy version to read and their priority is to tackle each book from front to back. Entering into one book, they will read all the chapters before going onto the next. Each one completed is a small victory until the day finally comes where they’ll celebrate having finished the entire Bible.
A trend has emerged known as “Journaling,” but instead of pens and highlighters, these readers decorate their Bibles with water colors and calligraphy. Special Bibles have been printed with wide margins and even coloring templates to encourage the process. Their priority is to tap into their artistic mind and meditate on one verse or passage at a time. While savoring the intricacies of Scripture, they result in aesthetically pleasing pictures.
When these people pick up their Bible, they come armed with highlighters, pens, pencils, and maybe even a notebook. Similar to The Artists, they prefer a wide-margined Bible so they have plenty of room to take notes. Their goal is to interact with the text, and they do so by writing questions, comments, and applications. Their Bibles are covered with rainbow streaks of color, underlined words and phrases, and notes squished in every possible empty space.
Scholars who want to understand the depth of Biblical mysteries fall into this category. They open the Bible with the goal of diving into specific topics or issues and research everything they can find about it. The versions they use probably include commentary from the original Greek and Hebrew translations. Their findings help make connections, support beliefs, and gain a better understanding of God and His ways. The students may be the best and most thorough group and one that bleeds into the others.
You may assume the collectors have something to do with the many versions of Bibles this group collects, but instead, it’s actually something their Bible collects.
The Collectors use their Bible when needed whether on Sunday mornings, Bible studies, or in desperate situations. The rest of the time Bibles sit on shelves or nightstands while dust sneaks onto their leather covers.
I believe the Bible speaks to us in diverse ways. I believe His angels swarm around and minister to us as soon as we open the Scriptures. I believe that spiritual growth is stunted without consistent time in God’s Story.
The world will suffocate the life out of us, and even though we have the means, we choose not to take a breath of fresh air. Choose to breathe in the clean air of Jesus’s love, The Father’s presence, and The Holy Spirit’s truth daily.
Choose to be less like the Collector and more like the Student, but whatever group you fall under, take something away from the Word every time you read it. You never know when it may come in handy.
You are loved and Jesus wants a relationship with you even more than you with Him.
So who are you?