As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
In my family, and in my church tradition, we read Bible stories to our kids, at home and in our church meetings. We read the stories together and, where possible, take turns to share the reading. We ask questions about the stories to help teach them about God, His kingdom and His people.
This is usually a lot of fun and I often find that I learn more about a story by engaging with it in this way. Sometimes I pick up on a detail I’ve not seen before or I learn something new about an element of it that I’ve had to research to be able to explain it. Sometimes I learn something new from the perspective that the child I’m reading with has (and, of course Jesus tells us to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 18:3 NIV). Plus, the activity itself means I have to read the Bible – even when I don’t feel like it!
Sadly, this practice of reading God’s Word together in this simple way seems to fizzle out when we get older; passages from scripture are often read to us in church meetings, and smaller groups study the Bible together, but it’s far less common to experience it one to one.
Yet, reading the Bible with someone else enhances our experience of God through His written word; someone else’s perspective, experience, understanding, knowledge and their own relationship with God is something we simply do not have – their presence and input enriches us.
In fact, through the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes, God reveals to us that “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV) and Jesus tells us that, “when two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ (Matthew 18:20, New International Version). Given these truths, reading the Bible with someone else should be an even more engaging experience than when we read it on our own! If you’re not already reading God’s Word with someone else, why not invite a friend, give it a try and see what happens! Here are some brilliant reasons to read the Bible with someone – and ways to do it.
10 encouraging reasons to read the Bible with a friend
- Because two are better than one... (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
- To learn more about God – by deepening your understanding of the Bible itself, and who God is
- To get a different perspective and viewpoint
- Because Jesus is with two or more people when they gather in His name (Matthew 18:20)
- To encourage one another to keep going when it’s hard and you don’t want to read (Ecclesiastes 4:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- To challenge one another in your faith – “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV)
- To build a friendship around a common interest
- To keep being social and prevent loneliness – this could be a real lifeline for someone who is isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic
- To invite someone else to know who God is
- To help someone else read the Bible
7 ways to help read the Bible with someone
- Face-to-face. Sitting down together, reading the same passage at the same time and discussing it is probably the most enjoyable way, but not always possible
- Over the phone. As I write this, the COVID-19 pandemic rages around us, and prevents us from seeing many people face-to-face… so pick up the phone to them!
- Using digital media. Thanks to the modern internet and digital media, we can be ‘virtually’ present with other people and see them as well as hear them. Products such as Facetime, Skype, Facebook and Zoom (to name only a few) offer (free) ways to connect with people using a live video call. Of course, you’ll need a smartphone or computer connected to the internet to do this. You could even simply write your thoughts to one another, by text, email or by using a messaging app like WhatsApp
- You don’t have to read at the same time. If it’s too hard to read the passage together, then read it beforehand and then speak to each other later in the day to discuss your thoughts about what you’ve read – either on the phone, or perhaps whilst enjoying a walk together (if your situation allows this)
- Plan what you’re going to read. Rather than picking a part of the Bible at random.
- Read regularly, keep to the same day / time – and put it in your diary. It will be easier to keep to a regular appointment, as well as giving you something to look forward to
- Use reading notes to help guide you. If you find it helpful to use Bible reading notes (like Fresh from The Word [insert link]) to help you read the Bible on your own, then you’ll probably find them useful to guide and inspire your Bible reading journey together. We at IBRA believe that this is such a good thing to do that we’re giving you a special discount if you want to read Fresh from The Word with a friend.
So go on, if you’re not already reading the Bible with someone, invite a friend today! Here are some more of our Bible reading resources you may find useful and enjoy:
Kickstart your Bible reading in 2021!
If you’re looking for something new in January 2021, then sign up to our New Year’s Bible Reading Devotional – ‘Moving forward, moving together’! Purposed to help you get closer to God and others, we’ll send you inspiring Bible readings, prayers and thoughts about God to contemplate on – straight to your inbox!
Join us on this exciting journey from with an email each day from 4 – 31 January – Sign up here today!
10 Tips to help you read the Bible
It’s not always easy to read the Bible, sometimes there’s no space, no time and you don’t know where to begin. So here are our ten top tips to help you read the Bible and engage with God through His Word. Read them here
Want to go deeper into the Bible?
Keep going! It’s often just as hard to keep going at something as it was to start it. If you need some ideas to help you persevere, and keep going with your daily Bible reading then read our blog ‘5 ways to ensure you stick to your Bible reading plan’
Fresh from The Word 2021 – Bible reading notes
If you want to go deeper with God and have a new insight each day, with a reading plan to follow – try our Bible notes, Fresh from The Word 2021and become part of an international community of readers, all experience God’s Word together.