I grew up with scripture. We read it some as a family, heard a lot in church and for much of my childhood my parents hosted a weekly Bible study in the dining room. The stories became familiar over time and became more important to me as my faith was formed.
I still have the Bible I read most while growing up, although I don’t read from it much anymore, I can’t seem to part with it. As I prepared for ordination, during which one states they believe all scripture to be inspired by God, I felt it important to make sure I’d read every word of it. Much of it has been assigned during seminary, but I wanted to be sure.
As I read through I realize how much was familiar from the years of exposure. I also grew fond of listening to scripture. I’ve heard some suggest that God’s word is brought to life in each reading. I managed to complete my full read-through prior to my ordination, but it left me wanting to continue to be immersed in scripture.
Shortly after my ordination I found the “Daily Audio Bible” through iTunes. A podcast, during which “Brian” reads through the Bible over the course of the year. Every year. I’ve been faithful in this (sometimes having to “make-up” missed days) since October of 2005. So, I’ve “listened” through the Bible about 8 times as well.
I realize that as I listen, I am sometimes distracted. However, I know this is true as I read it as well. Someone from St. Nick’s told me they were listening and reading at the same time as they worked through the Bible. Fantastic. The benefits of both, I suspect the benefit is multiplied, rather than simply added as we coordinate the use of our senses and drowned out more distractions.
There are more Bible resources available than ever before. There are many great translations, audio versions, video versions and more. I often read from my iPad so I can compare different translations as I read. I hope that you are able to use some of these in your pursuit of God. Bible Gateway has introduced some new resources recently. I posted a link to some of their Advent and Christmas reading plans and devotionals. They also have a variety of audio versions available on their website.