How can I become more biblically literate?

You need to be under the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. That begins in a local church with a pastor who preaches the Bible, who has nothing to say except the Bible. Then, you need to do your own personal study, which you can do through the various means that Ligonier has. There is a wealth of material that Ligonier has on how to be biblically literate.

You need to know the storyline of the Bible. You need to know the main movements of the Bible. You need to know the theology and the doctrine of the Bible, and you need to know those in church history who have lived it and proclaimed it.

We need to be like John Bunyan, who was the author of Pilgrim’s Progress. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said of Bunyan: “The man was a walking Bible. Prick him anywhere, and he bleeds Bibline.” We need to be walking Bibles. Our very vocabulary needs to be not just the truth of Scripture, but the very words themselves of Scripture. We need to answer with Scripture. We need to counsel others with Scripture. We need to sing Scripture. The Word of God is the key.

Biblical literacy is about getting the Word of God into your heart and into your soul. You might want to read through the Bible in a year—you could follow the M’Cheyne reading program or one in the back of a study Bible—and say, “For this year or for the next twelve months, I’m going to read through the entire Bible.” You can also take a book in the Bible and say, “For thirty days, I’m going to read again and again and again, depending upon its length, this book in the Bible.” I would suggest two in the New Testament, which would be Romans and the Gospel of John, and I would suggest at least one in the Old Testament, the book of Psalms. If you know those three books, you are well ahead to knowing how the rest of the Bible fits together.


This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Steven Lawson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit or message us on Facebook or Twitter.