What is the difference between reading and studying the Bible? Many believe to read is to study and to study is to read. But the truth is reading and studying are two different approaches to understanding and knowing the Word of God. The greatest distinction is motivation. Reading is primarily for comprehension, enjoyment and connecting with God. While studying is more rigorous, uncovers additional insight beyond reading and dives deeper into understanding the text. Both are equally important and both should be a regular part of the believer’s life.
Reading the Bible is simply selecting a book, chapter or passage in the Bible and reading it. Coming to the text with no agenda except to read allows us to give our full attention to what God is saying and it helps us become familiar with God’s Word. The more we read the more we are able to comprehend the full council of the Bible. Daily reading leads us to connect with God, it refreshes our soul, provides a space for quiet time with Jesus and positions our hearts to hear the Holy Spirit speak. And because reading is easily done, we can consume many words in a short period of time.
Studying the Bible is a process of slowing down and paying special attention to details. Details, like, historical setting, cultural background, literary context, author intent and audience help the Bible student dig deep. While reading is typically done alone, Bible study is best in a group setting with a Bible teacher, a small group for discussion and homework. However, you can study alone. Either way Bible study is very rewarding. It provides an opportunity to discover gold nuggets and treasure in the Scriptures and nothing is more exciting! It makes the time spent examining the text more than worthwhile.
The heart of a Christian is to grow closer to God, and by His grace, He’s made it possible through reading and studying the Scriptures. Everything believers need to know about Jesus Christ, redemption and God’s plan for life is found between Genesis and Revelations. To know Him is to read and study His Word.
Are you engaged in a regular time of reading and a formal time of studying the Bible? Here are a few suggestions – Adopt a diverse reading plan that takes you through a variety of Old Testament and New Testament books. Many Bibles include reading plans but you can purchase Reading Plan Cards or a One Year Bible which lays out the daily reading for you. Be familiar with “all” of the Bible. Leave nothing unturned. AND join a local Bible study or start your own group by inviting a few friends to join you, then dig into a specific book of the Bible. Go deep. Go wide. Discover everything you can and experience the joy of finding treasures. If you are shopping for a Bible study, considering 10 Scriptures to Know by Heart for Women. The Bible study will teach you Bible study skills that can be used for the rest of you life!
After 28-years of reading and studying the Bible, I can say with our a doubt God’s Word will transform your life!
Many Blessings My Friend!
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