The Benefits of Reading the Bible from Cover to Cover
by Abraham Smith
In an earlier article, "Reading the Bible from Cover to Cover," we considered several factors that hinder us from reading the Bible in its entirety. Let us now examine the benefits we get from routinely reading all of the Bible.
The road to understanding the Bible
The Bible is written in such a way that all the answers we seek are not contained in one verse or one chapter. This is the reason the Bible says, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little" (Isaiah 28:10).
There are many passages of scriptures that we cannot understand without turning to other passages that may be in another book of the Bible. An example of this is Mark 9:1. Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power." We must turn to other passages to learn of what kingdom Jesus refers (Daniel 2:44; John 18:36), who is the King (1 Timothy 6:15-16), when the King would begin reigning (Psalm 2:6; Acts 2:29-36), the relationship of this power to the kingdom, and when the kingdom would be present with power (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4), and how one can enter into and become a citizen of this kingdom (John 3:3-5; Matthew 7:21; and Matthew 18:3).
So, in order to understand certain passages, we must have knowledge of other passages and see how they relate to the particular passage we wish to understand. We must be able to make that connection between the two passages. Reading the Bible regularly will increase our ability to connect passages that must be connected in order to be understood.
The more times we read any book of the Bible, the more specific pieces of information from that book we will remember. Thus, we will have specific pieces of information to link to other passages to help us understand these passages of Scripture. The fewer the number of times that we read a book, the fewer the pieces of information we will remember.
When we read a passage of Scripture without understanding it, the reason may be that this understanding will be provided by another passage. The more we read other passages, the more likely we are to associate these passages to the passage to be understood. Since we do not know where in the Bible these other passages are located, reading all the Bible regularly will ensure that we will be acquainted with them where ever they may be.
Have you ever tried to put together a jigsaw puzzle? I have found this task difficult when there are 1,000 or more pieces. What helps me to put together a large puzzle is having a picture as a guide. Sometimes understanding a particular passage is like that. This scripture is like a piece of a puzzle. Like a puzzle, in understanding the scriptures, we need an overall picture as a guide. That overall picture is provided by our familiarity of each book of the Bible containing each passage we seek to understand. But we get this overall picture of each book of the Bible by reading it often.
I believe that we should study passages of scriptures in detail. But unless we have the overall picture of a book of the Bible in which to fit the passage to be understood, we may find ourselves studying without understanding it. The book of Revelation is a good example of this.
Other benefits to reading the whole Bible
Another benefit in reading the whole Bible often is that we become familiar with the context of every book in the Bible. This familiarity of Scripture gives us the ability to recognize when passages are being taken out of context. Thus we will not be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14).
There are many other things we would discover if we would make time each day to read the Bible. We would discover that our inclinations for sin would be less (Psalm 119:9-11). Our strength to do good things would increase (1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 3:3-5, 16, 17). Our patience in difficult times would be maintained (Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:1-3). Our contentment would increase (1 Timothy 6:6). Our peace would multiply (Philippians 4:6-9; Psalm 85:8). Our love would be stirred as well as our joy (Hebrews 10:24; Galatians 5:22-23). We would desire more for our Creator (Psalm 31:23; Psalm 73:25; Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
In addition to this, we would learn what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 3:3-4;5:17). We may also learn that we have been told many things about the Bible that are not true. This false information would cause us to have a distorted impression of the Scriptures. We can help avoid such distortions if we set a time each day for the reading and studying of God's precious words.