Bible reading can be a tricky thing for a lot of Christians. Even experienced believers sometimes struggle to maintain a habit of Bible reading that they find consistently helpful, but what about young Christians who are just starting out on their Bible reading journey? In the following paragraphs two Christian teens talk about their experience of seeking to establish a habit of regularly engaging with the Scriptures.
Do you have a favourite Bible?
Bethan: I like the NIV, but my favourite Bible was a Seek and Find ESV for kids. It was purple and filled with pictures, helpful profiles and summaries. It really makes a difference when you have a Bible that is attractive looking and well laid out. It makes you want to pick it up and read it.
Grace: Definitely the NIV. I really like my new Bible that I got after my baptism. It’s an NIV and has an artistic design, plus it’s laid out to be easy to read.
What are some things that make Bible reading easier or more rewarding?
Bethan: Having a reading schedule rather than just randomly picking a passage to read for the day. Also, don’t just read for a set amount of time – plan a section to read and stick with it.
Grace: Taking notes is a good idea. That way you can remember the most important parts that you’ve read.
What things help you to focus on what you’re reading in the Bible and get more out of it?
Grace: Sometimes I paraphrase the verses and write down a sentence or two to summarise the main point. Also, I look for repeated words or phrases in the passage that help me get the gist of what the passage is saying.
Bethan: It’s helpful to have a guide or some questions to answer about the passage you’re reading. For me, it’s also really important to know what kind of literature I’m reading in the Bible. I will ask different kinds of questions about what I’m reading depending on whether it’s a historical book like Exodus or one of the Psalms.
What are your favourite sections of the Bible?
Bethan: I like the letters in the New Testament because they are easier to apply to my life. At this point in my Christian life, they are easier to relate to than some other parts of the Bible.
Grace: I like the Psalms, because you don’t have to analyse every word to get the main point.
What are some of the things you find challenging about regular Bible reading?
Bethan: I sometimes don’t feel like I get an immediate reward from it, compared to other things I need to do.
Grace: To be honest, there are probably a few things. It’s easy to forget to do it. I feel like I’m not taking it in. I think I should be feeling something when I read it, but I don’t always. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have a lot of motivation.
Is there anything that makes you want to read the Bible more?
Bethan: When I hear other Christians talking about the Bible in depth. Also, hearing non-Christians voice their own misunderstandings of the Bible makes me want to know the Bible more.
Are there are any apps that you use to help you read the Bible?
Grace: The YouVersion Bible app is very good. There are loads of different translations and once you have downloaded them, you can use it offline. You can listen to some of them being read to you too.
What advice would they give to a teenage Christian who wanted to start reading the Bible but didn’t know where to start?
Bethan: The New Testament is probably the best place to start, especially the gospels, since they tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Grace: I would recommend that you ask your pastor or youth leader for advice about where to start reading in the Bible, as they will know you and be able to help you.
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