What the Bible Says
About Reading the Bible

If you are wanting to begin reading the Bible, it would be nice if the author or authors had written a preface. In it, they would have told us what the Bible is about and how best to approach reading it. They might have also given us an outline so we would know where they were going, and how they were planning to get there.


On the other hand, I really don’t like it when someone, other than the author, decides to write a preface and spoils the story for me. I want to begin at the beginning and be surprised.

The Bible has a lot to say about itself, but those clarifications are scattered throughout 2000 pages of plot, intrigue, mystery, red herrings, tragedy, happy endings, foolish decisions, and wise instruction.

So, I decided to try for a middle road. I want to answer the question: Why should anyone read the Bible?

The Bible Speaks for Itself.

I don’t want to spoil the wonder of reading, in context, all that is in the Bible. I would, however, like to tell you some of what the Bible says about reading the Bible. I have chosen a few verses which, in context, allow the Bible to speak for itself.

Characteristics of God’s Word:

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“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword . . ..” (Hebrews 4:12).


[God’s words] are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10-11)

Psalm 19:7-9 also tells us that God’s word is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true.

“Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24).

“The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Psalm 119:160).


Jesus reminded Satan of what God told Moses: “. . . Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

The apostle Paul tells his young friend, Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable . . .” (2 Timothy 3:16). And in the next section, I’ll finish the verse to tell you what it’s profitable for!

What God’s Word Can Do (if we let it):

Psalm 119 – the longest chapter in the Bible – is an acrostic psalm, and every verse tells us something about what God’s word can do for us. Psalm 119 uses synonyms for the Bible, in order to avoid monotony. The gist of all 176 verses, is that if we follow God’s word, we will be blessed. That blessing will be different for every person, but it is certain. I’ll pull out a few verses for you.

“Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments” (Verse 66).

“Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (verse 11).


“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word” (verse 9).

“You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, who wander from Your commandments” (verse 21).

“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word” (verse 28).

It’s worth reading all of Psalm 119!


Back to Psalm 19:7-12: the Bible will refresh our soul, give wisdom, give joy, enlighten our understanding, give rich spiritual and emotional rewards, and help us to discern errors.

Deep Roots into God’s Wisdom

Psalm 1 is all about the value of God’s word in the life of a believer. In verse 1, the writer tells us a blessed person is the one who is not so apt to follow after those who haven’t a clue how to live life but want to tell us how to live our lives without God. Psalm 1:1

How does that person manage to avoid such influences? Reading the Bible results in thinking about it – called meditation. It actually puts delight in our hearts. Something we could all use. Psalm 1:2

Those who don’t read the Bible are blown about by every idea that comes their way. They have no anchor. Those who read the Bible and think about what they have read can put down roots into its wisdom. They can grow strong in their convictions and allow the latest thought fad to pass them by. Psalm 1:3-4


God’s Word Finds Us Where We Are

I already quoted part of Hebrews 4:12-13. The whole verse reads, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”


It seems that God’s word is inescapable. Even if we stop reading it and try to hide from its effects, it will still find us and judge us according to our relationship with God.

How Do We Respond?

To finish the apostle Paul’s take on God’s word: It is “. . . profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (Second Timothy 3:16-17).

In fact, Paul challenges Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (Second Timothy 2:15).


The whole point of learning how to read the Bible seems to be to learn to live right. Knowing it gives us the right equipment to be able to do what we are supposed to do.

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