Jump Start Your Bible Reading

                         Bible Reading Programs, How to Read Through the Bible in a Year, 

 Consider these strategies to give a boast to your enjoyment of the Holy Scriptures.

1.)  Read through all the great, inspiring passages.  Mark in your Bible all the key and great passages.  Be sure to mark those passages that deeply speak to you.

     A Full List of the Great Passages will soon be posted on this website.

2.) Read multiple versions at once.  Open up two different Bible versions and read.  Your understanding will increase.

3.)  Read with a Bible Handbook at your finger tips.  This will provide you with key information in brief form. Both your enjoyment and understanding

      will increase. 

4.) Go back to the Bible version of your childhood or youth.

5.  Dig deep into one book of the Bible.  Make an in-depth study of a single book that appeals to you.  As a young man I did this with Amos and Hosea in the Old Testament.  This

     summer I dug deep into the Gospel of John using Raymond Brown's book Introduction to the Gospel of John. Digging deep into a single Biblical book is a powerful method.  It can

     transform you.  Use a Bible Handbook and a commentary to help you to achieve an in-depth knowledge.

     An In-depth study of one book is better than skimming many books with little understanding.

6.  Read through all the short books of the Bible.  Are you afraid of getting bogged down by trying to read to much?  Then this is the method for you.  You can zip through 4 or 5 of these short books in 30


            In the Old Testament the short books are: Ruth, Amos, Jonah,  Hosea,  Joel,  Habakkuk, and Malachi.  In the New Testament the short books are Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,

            1st and 2nd   Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude.

7.   Read through themes of Scripture, that is read all the Scriptures on a single subject.  Several themes are listed below in the Bible list section.  Understanding increases when you read all the

various Scriptures on a single subject, such as, forgiveness,  faith, God as Father, or the love of God.  Concordences, internet resources and reference books can help you find the Scriptures on

the subject that you are interested in.

8.  Get a copy of a Bible reading plan for reading through the whole Bible in a year.  I recommend the Bible reading plans produced by Harold Teague of the San Antonio Baptist Association.  He has three different well organized plans.







         Special Bible Study Lists  

One simple way to study spirituality is to read through lists of Scriptures on key subjects.  Finding the Scriptures related to your topic can be difficult, so I have included several lists.

God As Father in the Old Testament:

   Only a few times does the Old Testament speak of God as a Father.  Here is the complete list.

Deuteronomy 32: 6                            I Chronicles 22:10

Psalm 103: 13                                    Psalm 68: 5

Jeremiah 3:19          not a typo            Jeremiah 31:9                            

Isaiah 63: 16                                       Isaiah 64: 8

   Please note that Jesus would have heard these Scriptures for the Old Testament was the Bible used in the synagogue.  Also see that many -- probably the large majority -- of people continued to feel that God was more like an absolute King, than a father.  Jesus,

however, heard this as a central key to spirituality.  And if the words we use, give evidence of what we hold dear in our hearts, then Jesus's common term for God "Father" is a key to understanding the spirituality of Jesus himself.

Three Popular Old Testament Scriptures (that are hard to find):

Amos 5: 24 "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like a might stream"

                 This is the Prophet Amos's call for social justice.

Isaiah 40: 28 - 31  "Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary,  his understanding is unsearchable.  . . . Even youths shall faint and be weary  . . . but they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,  ... mount up with wings like eagles,  run and not be weary, ... walk and not faint."

      In this inspirational Scripture, God's infinite power and being is contrasted to humankind's limitations and weakness.  But God, as our resource and strength,

can renew us.  In God we can find strength and renewal.

Micah 6: 6 - 8 "What does God require of you?  but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    That is the climatic end to the prophets poem.  It begins at verse 6 with a shocking for the time rejection of the system of organized religion in his day.  The very religion of which Micah was a part.  But the Prophet Micah had an understanding of that faith that was simpler and more grounded in ethics and justice.

   These three verses of Micah have been described as the most loved and most hated Scriptures in the whole Bible.  And to this day you can find people with emotional reactions to this short Scripture.  It offends some, because it seems to describe a simple spirituality that could live without the machinery of organized, institutional religion.

It is loved by some, because it highlights justice, mercy, and a humble simple spiritual life.

The Greatness of God's Love and Salvation:

Scriptures Related to Rob Bell * Controversy:

     Often people have questioned the scope, size and greatness of God's love.  Often they consider this issue while wondering how wide or limited in scope God's salvation may be. These Scriptures are often cited and understood as pointing to the greatness of God's love and the wideness of salvation by Rob Bell, Gregory Boyd, Paul Eddy, Philip Gulley, James Mulholland, and others.

I Timothy 4: 10                      Hebrews 10:10                I Corinthians 15: 21 - 22

I John 2: 2                             Mark 9: 40 - 41               Titus 2: 11

Romans 3: 23 -24                 John 3: 16 - 17                 Romans 5: 15 -18

Romans 6: 23                        I Peter 3: 18                     Isaiah 49: 6

Revelation 7: 9 - 12               Psalm 107  and many other psalms.

* Of course, question of scope and size of salvation predate Rob Bell's book and promotional video. See resources section of website for other books on this subject.


On the other side of thought and theology that point to a wideness or even universal salvation are the many Scriptures on God's judgement, and wrath.

God's Judgement New Testament Scriptures:

There are so many Scriptures on God's judgement that only a few can be listed.

2 Corinthians 5: 10 we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him, for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Luke 16: 26 Jesus's parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Note: the rich man is in 'hell' for the compassion that he did not show -- a sin of omission.

Romans 14: 10 - 12

Luke 13: 28

Matthew 5: 21 - 30

Matthew 7: 22

Matthew 10: 15 and 11: 21 -24, and 12: 36 -41. In Lukes Gospel see Luke 10: 12 - 15 and 11: 31 and the verses that follow.

Hebrews 9: 27

2 Thessalonians 1: 8 - 9

Revelation 14: 10 - 11 and 20: 10

Judgement Passages In Old Testament: again only a few out of many are listed here

Genesis 3: 10 - 24

Isaiah 1: 28 -31

Isaiah 5: 24 and 66: 24, and Isaiah 59: 1 - 19. See also Daniel 12: 2

Amos 1 - 2 "For three sins and for four I will not turn back my wrath" is the repeated word of Amos as he announces God's judgement upon nations and their sins. He hits slavery, war crimes and much more as the sins that God will judge in his wrath. Amos builds up the ethics of social justice and announces judgement upon many forms of sin and oppression.

Jonah chapters 1 -4

Don't overlook the little book of Jonah. It has multiple themes of judgement. And the most unusual judgement is upon the Prophet Jonah himself. He is judged for his hard hearted disappointment that God will not drop fire down upon the City of Ninavah. So in chapter 4 the book ends with Jonah being judged as a hard hearted person who does not have compassion as God does upon the people of Nineveh.


Scriptures on Baptism:  

Matthew 3: 11 - 17  the baptism of Jesus

Colossians 2: 12

Romans 6: 3 - 4

Matthew 28: 18 - 20  Jesus instructs us to 1.) make disciples, 2.) teach disciples all his commands, and 3.) to baptize.  This Scripture is usually called "The Great Commission."

The Golden Rule of Jesus Christ:

      Luke 6: 31                                      Matthew 7: 12

Five Times in New Testament "Greet one another with a kiss ..."

     The warmth of the ancient followers of Jesus Christ meeting in small groups in homes, barns and fields is reflected in this repeated instruction.  Here is another hint as to the warmth and fellowship of Jesus Spirituality.

I Peter 5: 14                       I Thessalonians 5: 26                I Corinthians 16: 20

2 Corinthians 13: 12           Romans 16: 16