Nine Reasons I Read the Bible Cover to Cover Every Year

by Guest Blogger Dave Dishman
[Note from Karen: Visit Dave’s blog to read his daily comments, sharing a few thoughts about what he reads each day. And let what he is doing inspire you to share with others what God is doing in your life!]

Daunting best describes the Bible. Thick, dense, full of arcane references and minute details. Loads of “begats” and shekels and odd names. However, beauty and wisdom and peace and insight overflow from the Bible as well. Every minute I spend in the Scriptures yields dividends. Below are nine reasons I read the Bible cover to cover every year.

  1. I gain an expansive view of God. Left to myself, I shrink God into my own image. I desire a God who reminds me of me, who approves of my lifestyle and choices, and who hugs me despite my subtle disregard of his ways. No such God exists in the pages of scripture, but how will I know if I don’t go take a look?
  2. The discipline of daily reading develops my faith. Regular reading creates a spiritual practice and builds spiritual muscle. I did not choose to live the Christian life on a lark. As a serious and devoted follower of Christ, I hope to continually grow deeper and fuller in my faith. Bible reading forms the foundation of that growth.
  3. I discover something I’ve never noticed, or thought, on a daily basis. This may be my the favorite part of reading the Bible. I discover new heroes and intriguing villains, new thoughts and challenging ideas, every day.
  4. God surprises me. Not always in a comfortable way.
  5. God wrestles with me. Or better, I wrestle with the God of the Bible. The Lord uses the scriptures to point out my pride or vanity or loose talk. I don’t like it. In fact, I despise it. But I appreciate the fact that words in the Bible roll me around in the dirt on occasion.
  6. I wrestle with the Scripture’s approach the world. I don’t understand many parts of the Bible. Why did the child born from David’s sin with Bathsheba have to die? Seems so unfair to me. But that’s what God wanted, and as a result I grapple with my understanding and beliefs about God. I believe questions fuel our faith, just as questions fueled the faith of many in the Bible.
  7. The Holy Spirit flows in my life with fresh wind. The Holy Spirit changes us, comforts us, challenges us and builds us, particularly paired with the wisdom of the Bible. The combination of Holy Spirit and Holy Scriptures transforms my heart and actions. Nothing else works in such a supernatural way. I fight temptation, I gain compassion, I get beyond myself when the Holy Spirit uses the words of God in my life.
  8. I brag to my friends. Let’s face it – not many people read through the Bible. Let the practice slip at a dinner party and notice the reactions.
  9. My soul swells. Psalm 1 tells us, “Blessed in the man who’s delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” I want such a life – it grows from meditating on the scriptures daily. Comfort and hope and peace grow in such an environment.

I encourage you to join me and make the investment to read the Bible cover to cover in 2021. You can do it. If you spend 30 minutes a day on social media, you can read the Bible through in a year. Start the journey – your soul will thank you.

Dave Dishman

About Dave Dishman:

I find the people of the Bible fascinating. I love digging into their stories and navigating the world guided by their wisdom. I hope you catch some of my enthusiasm. I read through the Bible every year, and always unearth something unexpected. Along with being a reader, I’m a writer, thinker, teacher, creator, observer, traveler, husband, father. I’ve worked in student ministry for 35 years. In my free time I enjoy the outdoors of Colorado, working in the garden, playing golf, and reading good books.


  1. Dave — I, too was strongly encouraged to read through the Bible every year. I am glad for the almost-stern direction, and also for the expectation that I’d actually do it. Having a reading plan has been the key to my consistency, and having a partner helps also. You are so right about the perspective correction that occurs. It is amazing how much we shrink our view of God without this habit. It’s so much easier to complain that it’s too hard, too anything, so that we don’t have to discipline ourselves. We don’t read it to answer all the questions. We read it to know God, and to make him known. Thanks for a really great encouragement for this habit.


    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments! So much good happens from consistency and accountability. I appreciate your thought – we read to know God and make him known, not to answer all the questions. Happy Reading!



  2. That is a good question, and as I mention on my blog post, I wrestle with the death of this child. While it does not seem fair, I have to assume that God in his wisdom had some greater purpose in mind. Remember, all die, and to the Lord death is not the ultimate tragedy like it is to you and me. Separation from God is the ultimate tragedy. So, this child was ushered into eternity sooner, which may be a good thing. David certainly suffered consequences for his sin and did not forget his actions.

    Still, a lot for us to wrestle with in this story.


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