by Erin Bird
We are in a series here on the blog on various Bible study methods. So far we’ve looked at the S.O.A.P. method and the “writing” method. This week, I am going to encourage you to do something that, at first thought, you are going to probably balk at. But please give considerable thought to these week’s study method – repetitive reading.
Read It Again
In a recent sermon, I shared how a guy’s accountability group I was a part of many years ago chose to read 25-30 chapters of Scripture each week, and if just one member of the group didn’t complete the “assignment,” we all had to read the same 25-30 chapters again. Initially, I hated this reading plan. I was arrogant enough to think that if I had read the book of Philippians 21 times in the previous 21 days, I knew everything in it. Yet, to my shock and surprise, I saw new things on the 22nd time.
And that’s when I learned the value of repetitively reading Scripture.
So here’s what repetitive reading can look like:
- Pick a short section of Scripture (something like Matthew 5:13-16) and read it 3-5 times in one sitting. TIPS:
- During at least one of those readings, read slowly.
- Consider reading it once out loud.
- If you are using your phone or have access to other Bibles, read the passage from a different translation at least once.
- Choose an entire chapter of the Bible (like Romans 12 which we studied this past week) and read it every day. TIPS:
- Don’t start the repetitive method with a chapter of genealogy.
- Stick with one Bible translation for the first three or four days before trying a different translation.
- Read with a notebook, highlighting the things that jump out. Look for new things to write each day.
- Select one or two verses (like Galatians 2:20) and read repetitively with a goal to have it memorized. TIPS:
- Write the verse(s) down on a 3×5 card and post the card on the bathroom mirror, in a ziplock bag in the shower, on the dash of your car, or on the door to the refrigerator.
- Download an app to your phone that can help you memorize the verse(s).
- Choose a verse with a friend and memorize it together.
Let Your Inner Child Out
In case you haven’t noticed, little kids LOVE repetition. They rarely complain about hearing the same song, watching the same show, or playing the same game yet again. It is part of how they learn and process life.
For you to learn the ways of Jesus and process how God calls you to live life, you need more than just a one-time cursory read-through of a Bible passage. So try reading the Bible repetitively and see if God’s Spirit doesn’t begin to help you understand His Word in new ways.