The first time I finished reading the New Testament, I went to my mom and said to her, “I’ve finished reading the New Testament, now what?”
I laugh about that now. I was a new believer at the time. I didn’t understand I desperately needed to read the Bible over and over again for the rest of my life. I thought it was possible to finish reading the Bible.
And in a sense, sometimes, I still think that way. Too often, I read the Bible like the way I read a novel. Too often, I read the Bible because I want to finish my reading schedule for the day or the year. Too often, I treat the Bible like something I need to complete, instead of something I need to eat.
That’s why I’m grateful for Nate Pickowicz’ latest book, How To Eat Your Bible.
Nate Pickowicz is the of pastor Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire. He is also the author of Reviving New England, Why We’re Protestant, and The American Puritans. And he’s also one of the founding members of the ministry, Reformanda.
I’ve followed Pickowicz on social media for a few years, and I’ve always admired his humble and gentle commitment to biblical truth. His humility and gentleness are some of the reasons why How To Eat Your Bible is so refreshing and so good.
The book’s full title is, How to Eat Your Bible: A Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the Word of God. And from beginning to end, it really lives up to its title. In fact, my only criticism is, if there’s ever been a book that was too short: this is it.
I love the book’s title—and I think I like the cover even better. I’ve never really paid any attention to book covers. But this cover attracts my attention unlike any other book cover has. The cover is just as simple and great as the book’s content.
The book’s title and cover gives us a great picture of what the Bible is about. The Bible is manna—bread from heaven prepared for us by God. We can never finish eating the Bible. When we eat the Bible, God fills our plate with more. The Bible is bread that covers our entire plate. The more we eat, the hungrier we get.
So throughout the book, Pickowicz explains how God prepared the Bible for us, and how we’re supposed to eat it.
In the book, Pickowicz says:
“to neglect the discipline of Bible reading and study is to cut off the very source of spiritual food that you need to live a Christian life…if you’re a Christian, yet you’re struggling to read and understand your Bible, this book was written for you. It’s a book about how to not just read but truly feast on Scripture.”
In a simple and succinct manner, he shares how we should exegete and interpret the Bible, and he explains that God satisfies us most with the Bible when we hunger and thirst for him in prayer.
Then Pickowicz introduces his Seven Year Bible Plan, influenced by John MacArthur’s. Pickowicz’s Bible reading plan consists of reading every book of the New Testament one at a time—thirty times—for three years, followed by reading each book of the Old Testament one at a time—fifteen times—for four years.
This Bible reading plan is a good alternative to Bible-in-a-year reading plans that can keep us from taking our time to enjoy God’s word.
Pickowicz says: “instead of plowing through Bible-in-a-year reading plans, students should embrace a long-term approach and focus on delving deeper into individual book studies.”
And yet, he humbly adds that “the purpose of the Seven Year Bible Plan is to motivate whole-Bible study over long periods of time. And while it’s certainly possible to follow the order I used, I suggest you create your own plan.”
How To Eat Your Bible isn’t a revolutionary book, it’s just a reminder about what God says in the Bible. And for that reason, it’s a small book that gives me a big appetite for the word of God.
I’ve adapted my Bible reading plan because of How To Eat Your Bible. I don’t want to take small bites at the Bible. I want to eat it.
So at this time of the year, when many of us are making our new resolutions and Bible reading plans, consider buying this book.