|This is no guilt trip. I want to encourage you this new year by showing you how you can read the Bible more. I hear many people say they want to read the Bible more often, but they get overwhelmed when they start. Most often this comes down to not having a plan that you choose to follow. I often times hear people say things like “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t have time,” or “I don’t read the Bible because I’m a slow reader.” I want to show you some numbers to help put things into perspective. This is not a blog post to tell you why you should read the Bible (and I think you should, listen here for one argument why, as well as a plan). This post is simply to show you that it is possible to read the Bible more this year and to give you a few options on how to do it.
I will address the two reasons people say they don’t read the Bible that I hear the most.
“I don’t read the Bible because I don’t have time.”
Surveys by Nielson and Netflix reveal that Americans watch between two to Five hours of TV a day on average.
Assuming you miss two days a week, that is 10-50 hours a week.
That is between 520-2600 hours a year.
The average time it takes to listen to the Bible on an audiobook is 75 hours.
Maybe you don’t watch TV at all, but I think you get the point. In terms of time, this is actually very doable. You can read the Bible, or listen to it (yes, that counts, especially if you are not reading at all!) several times a year, or at least once if you take the time.
“I don’t read the Bible because I’m a slow reader.”
Pastor John Piper once explained just how much a slow reader can read. This helped me (a slow reader) to read much more than I thought I ever could.
Suppose you read slowly like I do, maybe about 200 words a minute [which is about the speed at which I am talking now, probably]. If you read 15 minutes a day for one year, say, just before supper or just before bed, you will read 5,475 minutes in the year. Multiply that by 200 words a minute and you get 1,095,000 words that you would have read in a year. Now an average serious book might have about 360 words per page. I counted some and made an average. So you would read 3,041 pages in one year during that 15-minute slot. That is 10 very substantial books all in 15 minutes a day.
The ESV Translation has 757,439 words, 33,7561 words less than what Pastor John described by reading SLOWLY at 15 minutes a day.
If you read at the SLOW speed that Pastor John spoke of you will have read the WHOLE BIBLE 1.25 times in a year. If you are a faster reader, say 400 words a minute, you would read the Bible 2.5 times in a year.
It is my hope that you will choose to spend time in God’s word this year. Take time to simply read through it. Take some time to meditate on parts of it. Begin to see the beauty of God’s wisdom and revelation of himself to us and to apply it’s precepts to your life.