Thoughts on Flipping the Bible Open and Reading Wherever You Land (and Recommended Study Resources)

By Randy Alcorn November 27, 2020

I don’t normally do the “flip the Bible open and put my finger down” method of reading Scripture. However, I used to mock that practice, and I don’t anymore. “Mock” is perhaps too strong of a word, but I used to think, Come on, don’t study the Bible that way. But I’ve often done it and been richly rewarded for it. It’s certainly not my usual way of opening God’s Word each day, but one real positive is that no matter what, you’re still going to end up in the inspired Word of God.

When you study Scripture long enough, you have a sense of the overall context for wherever you land. For example, it’s easier to start in Isaiah 44 when you have an understanding of the whole book of Isaiah. So just flipping open the Bible could be an issue for the young Christian who lands in a passage and doesn’t understand what it means or have any idea what the context is.

When it comes to studying God’s Word, sometimes I read through the Bible in a yearlong program. Other times, I do simply open to a portion of Scripture and meditate on it, asking God for guidance. I don’t mean that I stick my finger in the Bible and just read wherever it lands—although I have done and it actually can be fun—but my normal approach to Bible study is to pore over texts that relate to something on my heart or that I’m writing about. Also, if one of our pastors preaches from a certain passage, I might go back to that later and spend more time meditating on it.

So sometimes my Bible study is systematic, while other times I find myself going from place to place in my Logos Bible study software, wherever I sense the Spirit of God leading me. Logos Bible Software is an incredible resource I use nearly daily at home and in study. It’s totally portable, so I use it on my tablet and cell phone too. As the pastor preaches a passage, I check the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words in the biblical text. It’s an unbelievably helpful tool, particularly if you take the time to learn how to use it. See what endorsers, including me, have to say about it. (They offer different software packages. Pick one and dive in. Be sure you take advantage of their online training videos.)

Finally, in this video, I share about my favorite study Bible, another great resource:

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries