Key #2: Readability

[This is part of the series: 5 Keys to Choosing The Right Bible for You.]

When I was in high school, I was required to read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Amazing books written by J.R.R. Tolkien.  They tell the story of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins who possess a ring created to rule the world.    Subplots include Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf.   The books have an amazing place in our society.  They have spawned movies, etc.

I hated every minute of reading them.

In fact, I didn’t read them.  I read the Cliff Notes.  Then in college, something changed.  I reread them and all of a sudden realized that I liked them.  Suddenly, they were the best books ever.  I finished the series and went on to read The Lord of the Rings series once a year for ten years. 


My reading level grew up.  Readability primarily refers to the level of words chosen for a work.  I found new levels of words that I could read.  I enjoyed these books because I knew the words I was reading more.   The Fellowship of the Ring exploded in my head as I read it.  I grew in maturity and so did my reading.

How does this relate to reading a Bible?   I think that reading and maturity go hand in hand.  I grew up hating to read the Bible. I believe that it had something to do with my reading level.  I could not fully comprehend the words because they were too old to be part of my vocabulary.

I know what you are thinking.  Seriously.  Think about this with me.  Should a first-grader grasp the concept of a virgin? If you think this is a funny question, mine asked what a virgin was after singing “Silent Night.” (Round yon virgin…)

Reading levels determine what we can read.  Picking a Bible that is translated to a specific reading level can help you as you grow.  This is not good or bad.  Doesn’t mean it can’t change.  Just let it be a helpful guide.

Ask yourself: What level am I reading at right now?

For our evaluations, we will use the Reading Level by Translation chart at Christians Book Distributors website. 

[This is part of the series: 5 Keys to Choosing The Right Bible for You.]

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One Comment

  1. Reading level no doubt steadily increases if we read more. Great thoughts on appreciating reading. Our media-savvy society is drifting away from the culture of reading. But reading the Bible is not like reading a John Grishom novel or reading Tolkien. Any ideas on how we can increase our ability to read the Bible?

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