These aren’t the only reasons to read the Bible—there are many more. And the order is not particularly important, because the reason that stands out most to you may depend on your personal background and circumstances. But, here they are. We hope you’ll be encouraged to start reading!
1. For education: College is all about getting an education, right? The Bible is unquestionably the most influential book in the history of mankind (or, for the sake of avoiding argument—one of the most influential books…). For this reason alone, it follows that an educated person ought to have read the Bible. Certainly a Christian entering into adulthood would do well to read his faith’s foundational book. If for nothing else, read the King James Version for the monumental literary achievement that it is.
2. For guidance: As we struggle to make our way in the world, considering this or that major, internship, career path, relationship…at some point we all could use some good advice. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet / And a light to my path.” Verse 130 says, “The entrance of Your words gives light; / It gives understanding to the simple.” If the way before you seems dark and you’re groping to find your way, follow the lead of generations of believers and turn to the Word of God to direct you.
3. For preservation: Does anyone running a race want to fall? College life is free from direct parental observation and replete with temptations. According to Jude 24, God is “able to guard you from stumbling.” One of the ways He guards us is through His Word. When we absorb God’s speaking in the Bible, it becomes a safeguard to us. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, / That I might not sin against You.”
4. For faith: If you haven’t yet heard a professor or classmate challenge the existence of God or question whether Christianity should have a place in 21st century society…get ready. You will be challenged. How will you respond? Will your faith be shaken or, worse yet, lost? Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” When we are under “the hearing of faith” (Gal. 3:2, 5) by reading the Bible, our faith is strengthened, enabling us to stand.
5. For spiritual food: What kind of Christian testimony do you want to leave behind when you graduate? That of a sickly, beleaguered believer who barely made it, or the healthy, shining testimony of one who is a light to the world (Phil. 2:15)? If you tried to pass through college without eating physically, your death would be the inevitable result. While we have no problem receiving our growling stomach’s message that we need to eat on a daily basis, we may not recognize the hunger pangs in our spiritual life.
A Christian’s food, the Bible makes clear, is the Word of God. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Your words were found, and I ate them, / And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). And the apostle Peter wrote to those who are young in the Lord, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Pet. 2:2-3).
So, don’t be a starving Christian; read the Bible!