Why You Should Read the Bible Every Day

The most important practice you can develop to help you become a better biblical scholar is to read a little bit of the Bible in Hebrew every single day.

This post explains why you should read the Bible every day. There is also a follow-up post that explains how you can develop a reading routine to ensure that you’re reading biblical texts on a regular basis.

Importance of Reading the Bible Everyday

Reading in a foreign language is often not easy, particularly when it is an ancient language such as Biblical Hebrew. Although a few lucky people seem to learn to read Biblical Hebrew with ease, most of us have to work to gain reading fluency.

What is the single most important thing that you can do to ensure that you gain fluency in reading Biblical Hebrew? You must actually read the Bible in Hebrew!

Here are some of the main ways reading the Bible in Hebrew can help you:

  • The more you read, the more you reinforce the vocabulary and grammatical structures that you have already learned. Gradually, rather than understanding Hebrew as a set of abstract words, patterns, and rules, you will come to see it as a language.
  • Through your reading, you will encounter new vocabulary and new structures. Grammars, whether introductory grammars or even advanced reference grammars, can only teach you so much about the text. You must begin to experience the biblical text and engage with it yourself.
  • The more you read, the more comfortable you will become with the biblical text. You may not notice your progress on a day to day basis, but after several weeks, months, and years, you will notice that the Hebrew text has become less foreign and more familiar to you.
  • If you don’t use your Hebrew skills and/or continue to develop them through reading, not only will your Hebrew not improve, it will likely deteriorate. The reality of the matter is that you either “use it or lose it.”

Tips for Reading the Bible in Hebrew

Here are some tips for your daily reading of biblical passages:

  • When you read the Bible in Hebrew, you don’t have to look up every single word in a dictionary or solve every single problem present in the text. What’s most important is that you just read!
  • There are many different versions of bibles in Hebrew (including the standard scholarly edition). Make sure you find the right bible for you. A Reader’s Hebrew Bible can be a great tool for beginning to develop your reading fluency.
  • If you’re just beginning, make sure that you don’t select texts that are too difficult. A Graded Hebrew Reader can be helpful in giving you some ideas of easier texts to read.
  • Don’t forget to read the biblical text aloud. You don’t have to do this all of the time, but reading aloud is a great way to engage with the Bible not just through seeing the text, but also through speaking and hearing it.
  • Similarly, many people find it helpful to listen to audio recordings of the biblical text as well.

Final Thoughts

Reading the Bible in Hebrew only every now and then is not enough to develop true reading fluency. You must read every single day (or at the very least, multiple times a week), in order to become comfortable with the biblical text.

Click here to read the follow-up to this post about how to develop a daily reading schedule.