Nate Pickowicz is the pastor of Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton, Iron Works, New Hampshire. Before becoming a pastor and student of the Word, he also struggled to read his Bible. But in God’s providence, he stumbled upon John MacArthur’s Bible reading plan, and through practice, he discovered it was possible to learn and even enjoy God’s Word. He wrote this book for believers who are frustrated or overwhelmed with Bible study like he was.
He says, “if you’re a Christian, yet you’re struggling to read and understand your Bible, this book was written for you. It’s a book about how to not just read but truly feast on Scripture.”
The book has only six chapters, each expounding a crucial step in Bible study. They are: “Starving for the Word,” “Beginning with Prayer,” “Read: What Does It Say?,” “Study: What Does it Mean?,” “Use: How Do I Apply it?,” and “Eat Up!.” Pickowicz concludes the book with his unique seven Year Bible reading plan.
There are many other books about Bible study, but How to Eat Your Bible distinguishes itself with its emphasis on loving God’s Word. Pickowicz does not only want us to learn practical tips for efficient Bible study; he also wants us to love and hunger for it. He says, “Learning to love God’s Word is not just possible; it’s doable. And history is full of believers whose love for God manifested itself in their love for His Word.” And “Our real focus should be on developing a long-term understanding and love for the Bible.”
I love that Pickowicz encourages us to love reading Scripture. We are supposed to enjoy God’s Word and treasure it deeply. We must not only hurry to swallow it for nourishment but take time to chew it and savor its rich truths. And like the Psalmists, we should wholeheartedly declare, “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day!” (Psalm 119:97).
The book has many other notable strengths. First, it is easy to understand. Pickowicz addresses many convoluted words and principles of hermeneutics but breaks them down so well that readers of any level can understand.
Second, it is efficient. Pickowicz provides many practical tips to help us apply the concepts in the book. I particularly enjoyed the summary and study questions at the end of each chapter.
Last, the very detailed Seven Year Bible Plan. I love the idea of focusing on one book at a time and reading it repeatedly to get a profound understanding and knowledge of the book. Pickowicz also includes steps to help us design our own plans, and I am already changing my Bible reading plan to accommodate his method.
The only weakness of this book is its lack of recommended resources. Pickowicz explains the importance of using tools like commentaries, study Bibles, concordance, and using them, but he does not give any recommendations. It would have helped people who are new to Bible study, especially commentaries.
Nevertheless, How to Eat Your Bible is excellent, and I highly recommend it! You will not only learn how to eat the Word of God, but you will also learn how to feast on it and return for seconds day after day.
As Pickowicz says, “Make your end goal not merely to read the Bible but to know and understand it—to love and treasure it as God’s holy, sufficient, transforming Word.”
*Moody Publishers graciously gave me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review*