Understand Scripture with the 3-Pass Reading Method

Glasses on Open BibleEven when studying Scripture with a reading plan, I often feel like I jump into the middle of the story and lack key information. A friend of mine taught me a technique that has greatly increased the amount I understand as I read each morning. It’s called the three-pass reading method—follow these steps to try it out yourself:

Skim—Start by getting your bearings. Quickly flip through the pages reading just the subheadings (called “pericopes”) and look for three major pieces of information—who’s speaking, to whom, and about what. Expand your scope to include several passages on either side your reading. If you’re reading 10 verses, skim three chapters. Do this fast—don’t get bogged down with details.

Read—Armed with knowledge of the passage’s context, read the section carefully on the second pass. Pay closer attention to the message’s details. Look for signs of the underlying principles, and keep an eye out for things that are immediately applicable, like promises and commands. Write down anything that leads to a question or that you don’t understand.

Investigate—On the final pass, search for answers to the questions you wrote down. This is where the Faithlife Study Bible shines. Layers of study notes let you dig as deep as you want. Theologians like Timothy Keller, Lee Strobel, Ed Stetzer, Randy Alcorn, N. T. Wright, and others contributed their expertise, so you’re sure to find helpful insights on every passage you approach.

Download the Faithlife Study Bible for free, and get started with the three-pass reading method today.


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