A Barna study that looked at how many people were actually reading popular books found that around 20% of American adults reported reading the Bible from front to back at least once. Even if you haven't ingested the Bible from front to back in a straight run of reading, if you're a senior of faith, you've probably read through much of the Bible in here-and-there study or reading throughout your life.
But whether you've completed an annual reading plan religiously for a number of years or you tend to dabble in reading the red letters before bedtime in your assisted living apartment, you may have stopped seeing the Word in a new way. It's easy to get stuck in rhythms and ruts within our worship, prayer and Scripture-study lives.
Here are few ways seniors of faith at ViewPointe assisted living can make Bible reading more enjoyable or engaging.
One of the best ways to bring new life into your Scripture study is to change the version you're reading. There are dozens of versions to choose from, and you can always use a new copy alongside your trusted go-to version if you're worried about misunderstanding the Scriptures.
Changing from the KJV to the NIV or from the NIV to the CEB doesn't alter the big ideas or message of the Gospel. But it does change some of the phrasing and wording, which means you pay more attention to familiar verses you might otherwise gloss over automatically. A new version can also help you understand stories in a different light.
If you'd like to try a different version but you're not sure where to start, you might even consider the International Children's Bible. This isn't a kids' Bible that leaves out all but the most known stories: It's a complete Bible that simply uses easier-to-read language. Sometimes, getting hit with the simplified version of what God is trying to say is the best way to understand the Scriptures.
If you have a tablet or smartphone, download a Bible app. You can use these tools to read and study Scripture anywhere you have an internet or cell connection. Plus, you can set the fonts or zoom in on passages to create an instant large-letter edition that doesn't come in an inconveniently heavy hardback volume.
You can search your app store for a number of free Bible apps, or start with the option offered by the popular website Bible Gateway.
Seniors of faith have likely learned that you never read the Bible in a vacuum. The way you view Scripture is dictated by your life situation—just as the way you respond to life situations should be dictated by the Scripture within you.
One way to make Bible reading more enjoyable is to do it together so you can discuss the real-life applications and emotions with others. If you're on social media, such as Facebook or Instagram, you can find a read-along event where groups of people study and talk about certain books or chapters. If social media isn't in your comfort zone, invite a few friends or family members to read along with you and exchange emails or phone calls about what you're studying daily or weekly.
Alternatively, join in with nearby friends and neighbors. Ask about Bible study opportunities at ViewPointe assisted living, and if you don't discover anything that sounds right for you, invite some friends to join you in reading the Word in one of the common areas.