Christian Living

Quantity Bible Reading versus Quality Bible Reading

Two Options for Daily Scripture Consumption

I’m a huge advocate of daily Bible reading. I encourage people to develop the habit of regularly reading God’s Word. It’s as important as eating. Just as we wouldn’t go a day without eating (unless we’re fasting), we shouldn’t go a day without reading Scripture. The question is quantity Bible reading or quality Bible reading.

Quantity Bible Reading

We offer resources to guide Bible readers into doing just that. There’s a plan to read the New Testament in the year, read the Old Testament in a year, and read the entire Bible in the year.

For those who aren’t ready to commit to a long term-plan, there are also monthly reading guides to help people ease into developing the practice of regularly reading God’s Word. A benefit of the monthly reading plans is that you can easily start anytime you want to throughout the year.

Each of these approaches involves reading at least one chapter a day up to about three or four, depending on the guide. The goal is to cover a lot of Scripture each month and each year. This is a quantity Bible reading approach.

The quantity perspective of reading God’s Word has much value, allowing readers to encounter large swaths of Scripture. This is ideal for giving an overview and methodically covering large sections of the Bible. It’s a great practice to pursue.

Yet this pace makes in-depth studying a challenge. For that reason, I switch back and forth between this quantity Bible reading approach to a quality mindset.

Quality Bible Reading

With a quality approach to reading the Bible, the emphasis changes from how much Scripture we cover to how well it’s internalized. To read for quality requires slowing down. It means immersing ourselves in a passage or even a verse. In doing so, we seek to gain as much insight as possible without feeling a need to rush on to what follows it.

In this way we take time to meditate on what the Bible says and internalize it to make it part of our lives. (Check out this post for some ideas for how to meditate on God’s Word.)


Neither approach to reading the Bible is superior to the other. Both have their merits, and both have their limitations. The key is to use whichever method works best for us for the season of life we’re in.

We may want to spend a year pursuing quantity Bible reading to absorb as much Scripture as possible. Then we may switch to a quality Bible reading approach to dig deep and mine truths buried within.

The goal is to know which approach is right for us at any given time and to have the freedom to pursue it. This means that if we’re going for quantity, we don’t feel guilty about missing nuances. Likewise, it means if we’re going for quality, we don’t feel guilty about not covering a lot of ground.

God honors both methods and both have merit. May we wisely choose the best approach for us at any given time.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

​Enter your info and receive the free Bible Reading Tip Sheet and be added to Peter’s email list.