When my kids were very small, they used to ask for the same stories over and over. A favourite was a board book called Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I pulled them on my lap and read that book again and again, pointing to the pictures of each animal. Before they could read, they had the words memorized and were able to recite along with me.
Not surprisingly, the tools we use with preschoolers to begin their journey of literacy are often the same used for Bible literacy. There are many wonderful tools for studying the Bible, all designed to help you know and apply God’s word. But the best tool for Bible study is so simple, it’s often overlooked. The best way of engaging with Scripture is to read the same passage over and over.
Repetitive reading helps us develop a familiarity with the text, and as we get into the Word in this way, the Word will inevitably get into us. Reading the same chapter multiple times will help us catch things we previously missed, increase comprehension around the storyline and the truths, and begin to develop a curiosity for the gaps in the text. It is also the first step towards Scripture memorization.
Recently, I heard a pastor challenge his church to read the same (short) New Testament book daily for 30 days. Can you imagine how well you would know the book by the end of the month! In fact, he said it was one of the most exciting bible study methods he had ever tried.
Repetitive reading is a simple, yet powerful and effective Bible study method and is the best place to start. And like my kids, who memorized a short story from hearing it again and again, you will begin to hide God’s Word in your heart as you read it multiple times.