How Do You Read the Bible?

How do you read the Bible?

Some people read the Bible like a text book — to amass knowledge.

Other people read the Bible like a book of law — looking for precedent and loopholes to justify themselves, ideas, and behavior.

Still, others read the Bible like a “how-to” book — noting the things that they should do and the things that they shouldn’t.

However, all of these approaches miss the point.  The people in Bible-times understood and appreciated it as narrative.  That has how it was written and is its best use — for them, and for us.

Not only should we pursue the Bible as narrative, but also with the knowledge that the narrative is best comprehended when it is experienced in community.

Although personal Bible study and reflection is helpful and enlightening, it is also ego-centric and intellectually narcissistic.  It is through the lens of community dialogue that a deeper and fuller understanding can best be discovered.

So, the Bible is best read as narrative and — whenever possible — in a group environment.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at