How Long Does it Take to Read the Bible?

Not very long. Someone who reads slower than average reads the entire thing in one year at just ten minutes a day.

See for yourself: www.howlongdoesittaketoreadthebible.com

There are 1189 chapters in the Bible, which means you read the Bible in a year at less than 3.3 chapters a day. Since a chapter is roughly a page in most Bibles, this means three pages a day and you’ve got it. Now, say you read eagerly, you know, the way you would if you thought the best-selling, most influential book in the history of the world was interesting and worthy of attention, not to mention God-breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit. This would increase your reading speed. You would also need to not let yourself get bogged down, but to read comprehensively first in order to get the big picture. Afterall, could you imagine the Ephesians telling Paul it took them two weeks to read his six page letter because they got bogged down in word studies in the first chapter? It’s great to get bogged down in word studies, but only after you’ve made your way through the whole thing. By then, you are going to get a whole lot more out of the word studies anyway, having a bigger context to process them in. So if you speed up a bit your reading, say to 400 words per minute, which is faster than average but not by much, you can read whole thing twice in a year. Kick it up a real notch to 600wpm, and you’re at three times. It’s almost hard not to do it.

Judge Not?

One of most commonly quoted and misquoted passages in the Bible comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where he says “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). This is routinely taken to mean don’t you ever take on someone ethically or stand against a person’s sins. Who do you think you are, God? Or what do you think you are, perfect?

First, we should always be eager to admit that we are not God, and only confront from a position of humility and love, knowing that God is gracious toward us in Christ loves us despite our many sins. But second, we should go on the next verse to see if this objection holds any water. “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (v2). Don’t use a standard for someone else that you are unwilling to meet yourself. An unrepentant thief can’t get in someone’s face about stealing or the kettle call the pot black. That’s what Jesus is saying. This is likely what is happening in John 8 when Jesus refuses to condemn the woman caught in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees caught her in the very act. Jesus says let those without sin cast the first stone. Really, can only those who have never sinned in any way stand against adultery? The text says “they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones” (Jn. 8:9). They were adulterous men who noticeably did not seem interested in the punishment of the guilty man involved. Their problem was not an over zealous desire for justice, but a deep hypocrisy that slowly dawned upon the eldest, the most experienced adulterers.

Jesus says not to apply a standard that you do not welcome to be applied to yourself. Far from drive us away from judging sin, he urges us to do so: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your borther’s eye” (Matt. 8:5). Action item for the hypocrite: get the plank out, and then talk to your brother about his speck. Even log-sized sin doesn’t excuse someone from judging rightly. He repents before God, gets his eyesight restored, and then must help his brother. Far from being an advocate of not judging, Jesus actually requires right, clear-sighted and loving judgment. He forbids hypocrites from judging, but he also forbids them to remain hypocrites.