5 Reasons to Read the Entire Bible in 2016

by Jeff Robinson

I vividly recall two conversations with pastors shortly after I surrendered to pastoral ministry in the late-1990s. The conversations were pivotal because in them I was exposed to two divergent approaches to ministry, and the Lord used them to convince me that I must saturate my mind with Scripture.

In one conversation I asked a longtime pastor how many times he’d read the Bible in its entirety from Genesis to Revelation. “Never, but I hope to someday,” he replied. I was stunned. I thought, “Then how do you know what you believe?”

Soon after I encountered another longtime shepherd of God’s sheep, a man who retired a few years ago as pastor of my home church in Georgia. I posed the same question, but got a very different answer: “I try to read through the Bible every year. After all, I’ve given my life to teaching and preaching God’s Word, so I had better know it to the highest degree a man can know it.”

That day, I became convinced I should read through Scripture regularly and, since it was the end of the year, I began my first read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year venture. I’m so happy I did.

During my longer-than-intended tenure as a seminary student I followed the same practice and, after a few years, had read through the Bible several times. The results have been massively helpful for both my walk with the Lord and the teaching and preaching ministry he’s given me. John Piper’s words are apt: “When all your favorite preachers are gone, and their books are forgotten, you will have your Bible. Master it.”

Reading through it annually is one means of accomplishing that end.

I’ve become convinced that every student of Scripture, particularly those of us who are or might be charged with teaching it as a vocation, ought to consider this practice. Here are five benefits I’ve discovered from reading through God’s Word each year.

1. It helps you learn the overarching story of Scripture.

After reading through the Bible a few times, the redemptive-historical storyline will become second nature. For example, when reading the Old Testament it’ll help you greatly to know that the…

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5 Reasons to Read the Entire Bible in 2016