There are many good Bible study, and Bible reading, practices that you could implement to improve your study of the Bible. However, there is one simple thing I have found that makes a huge difference in a person’s overall understanding of Scripture. Unfortunately, it is also a practice very few seem to have considered.

Bible Study Tip

Long before you do a word study or a topical study, you should study books of the Bible. And the first step to that is simply sitting down and reading that book of the Bible in one sitting. After all, that’s how most of the books of the Bible were intended to be read.

For instance, when the church in Ephesus received Paul’s letter, they didn’t say, “Let’s look at the first chapter this week and next week we’ll tackle the second chapter.” No, they sat down and read through the whole letter in one sitting.

When I’m preparing a sermon, I like to begin by reading the entire book from which my text will come.

  • I want to make sure I am not taking anything out of context.
  • I want to make sure I really understand the theme of the book and the gist of the passage from which I will be preaching.
  • I want to make sure I can hear the author’s voice.
  • I want to understand what he was saying to the people of his day, so I can convey a similar message to the people of my day.

The first time you sit down and read a whole book of the Bible in one sitting, I can almost guarantee you will see things you’ve never seen before. You will probably say, “I’ve always heard that verse quoted, but I had no idea that’s what he was talking about.”

Don’t Have Time?

You may think, “I don’t have time for that. I can only read a chapter or two at a time.” Do you ever sit down and watch a sporting event? A movie? A television program? If so, you can easily read a whole book of the Bible in one sitting.

Watching a movie takes far longer than reading most books of the Bible. The vast majority of books can be read in a matter of minutes. I have listed some estimated reading times for each book of the Bible below (source).

You may, of course, want to start with a shorter book and work your way up to longer books. But as you can see, this task is not nearly as daunting as you might have assumed.

Could Be Read in a Few Hours:

  • Psalms (5 hours)
  • 1-2 Chronicles (4.5 hours)
  • 1-2 Kings (4.25 hours)
  • 1-2 Samuel (4 hours)
  • Jeremiah (4 hours)
  • Isaiah (3.75 hours)
  • Ezekiel (3.75 hours)
  • Genesis (3.5 hours)
  • Exodus (3 hours)
  • Numbers (3 hours)

Could be Read in About the Time it Takes to Watch a Movie:

  • Deuteronomy (2.5 hours)
  • Matthew (2.5 hours)
  • Luke (2.5 hours)
  • Acts (2.25 hours)
  • Leviticus (2 hours)
  • John (2 hours)
  • Joshua (1.75 hours)
  • Judges (1.75 hours)
  • Job (1.75 hours)
  • Proverbs (1.75 hours)
  • Mark (1.5 hours)
  • Daniel (1.25 hours)
  • Revelation (1.25 hours)

Could be Read in a Matter of Minutes

  • Nehemiah (60 minutes)
  • Romans (60 minutes)
  • 1 Corinthians (60 minutes)
  • Hebrews (45 minutes)
  • Ezra (40 minutes)
  • Zechariah (40 minutes)
  • 2 Corinthians (40 minutes)
  • Esther (30 minutes)
  • Ecclesiastes (30 minutes)
  • Hosea (30 minutes)
  • Amos (25 minutes)
  • Song of Solomon (20 minutes)
  • Lamentations (20 minutes)
  • Micah (20 minutes)
  • Galatians (20 minutes)
  • Ephesians (20 minutes)
  • 1 Timothy (16 minutes)
  • James (16 minutes)
  • 1 Peter (16 minutes)
  • 1 John (16 minutes)
  • Ruth (15 minutes)
  • Philippians (14 minutes)
  • Colossians (13 minutes)
  • Joel (12 minutes)
  • 1 Thessalonians (12 minutes)
  • Malachi (11 minutes)
  • 2 Timothy (11 minutes)
  • Zephaniah (10 minutes)
  • 2 Peter (10 minutes)
  • Habakkuk (9 minutes)
  • Jonah (8 minutes)
  • Nahum (8 minutes)
  • Haggai (7 minutes)
  • 2 Thessalonians (7 minutes)
  • Titus (7 minutes)
  • Obadiah (4 minutes)
  • Jude (4 minutes)
  • Philemon (3 minutes)
  • 3 John (3 minutes)
  • 2 John (2 minutes)

Try it and see. See if you don’t walk away with a far better understanding of God’s word than you’ve ever had before. Obviously, there are other things you need to know and do, when it comes to Bible study, but this is one simple practice you can start today that will help you immensely.

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

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