Can I Read the Bible All the Way Through? With Tara-Leigh Cobble [Episode 145]

GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book The Bible Recap by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!

Whether you’re brand-new to the Bible or grew up in the second pew, reading Scripture can feel confusing. Sometimes it might even seem boring. And understanding it? Well, that requires reading it thoroughly and repeatedly. But who wants to read something they don’t understand, right?

You can read the Bible all the way through. Here are some practical tips to help you. [Click to Tweet]

Well, on today’s 4:13 Podcast episode, you’re going to learn how to read the Bible all the way through. Our guest author and podcaster Tara-Leigh Cobble shows you how.

If you don’t already know Tara-Leigh, you are going to love her! Her zeal for biblical literacy led her to create D-Group (Discipleship Group), which has grown into an international network of Bible studies. She also hosts a daily radio show called The God Shot, as well as a daily podcast, The Bible Recap, which helps listeners read and understand the Bible in a year. The Bible Recap podcast has 30 million downloads, and its reading plan is used in over 20,000 churches around the world. Tara-Leigh lives in Dallas, Texas.

Friend, you don’t have to go to seminary to read the Bible all the way through. You don’t even need a special Bible. You just need 12 minutes a day. So, buckle up! This episode may be what God uses to absolutely change your life!

Jennifer’s Highlights and Take-Aways

What a great conversation! I hope you will listen to the whole thing or read the transcript. I can’t capture it as it deserves in these notes, and I don’t want you to miss out!!

3 Mistakes Made When Reading Scripture

Tara-Leigh describes the three mistakes she used to make when reading Scripture.

  1. She was reading as if the Bible was about her. Tara-Leigh says, “I was looking for myself.” She approached the Bible primarily to get application points, feel like a good and moral person, and move on. Tara-Leigh used it as her personal pharmacy, or the place to get what she wanted or she needed, rather than reading it as a story about God.
  2. She didn’t consider context. Tara-Leigh shares, “Since I was only looking for the steps I needed to take to appease God and have a perfect, joy-filled life, I hovered over the same passages of Scripture and disregarded the rest.”
  3. She drew quick conclusions about God before she’d read the whole Bible. “I was tempted to build a theology around one verse without knowing what other verses had to say,” Tara-Leigh explains. She describes how it was hard to be patient with the uncertainty and, consequently, she would invent her own solutions.

The Importance of Understanding Descriptive Vs. Prescriptive

Tara-Leigh summarizes the importance of understanding when Scripture is descriptive vs. prescriptive.

The more we look for God and His character in the Bible, the more we will fall in love with Him. [Click to Tweet]

For example, there are things in the Bible that merely describe situations or choices, like slavery or polygamy. We shouldn’t assume those are prescriptive, meaning they are a prescription for how we are to live. Just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is prescriptive. Some things are merely descriptive.

There are other places in Scripture that are clearly prescriptive. These are passages that tell us what to do and what not to do.

Practical Tips for Reading the Bible All the Way Through

A pastor friend challenged Tara-Leigh to read the Bible all the way through. She was in full-time ministry and had never done that. She was relying on piece-meal reading and what she learned from sermons and worship songs.

Before she read the Bible all the way through, Tara-Leigh shares she would have said she loved it because it was true. But, after reading it all the way through, she says she loves the Bible because it is beautiful. “My heart arcs toward the Word out of joy,” she says, “not out of obligation.”

If you want to read the Bible all the way through too, Tara-Leigh suggests:

  1. Acknowledge it is daunting. Lots of us feel intimidated about reading the Bible all the way through. It’s okay to just admit that.
  2. Eat one bite at a time. Tara-Leigh reminds us that we can break it down into bite-sized pieces. It takes 12 minutes a day on average to read the Bible in a year. One way to do this is to use an audio Bible to listen while you are driving to work or getting ready in the morning. My favorite app for this is the Dwell Bible app.
  3. Access resources to help you. Understanding what you are reading helps you keep reading. The Bible Recap podcast and book help you make sense of what you read. In just a few minutes or within two pages of The Bible Recap book, you get the info you need to understand what you are reading.

Questions to Ask When You Read the Bible

Tara-Leigh encourages us to be curious about God. She suggests that we ask questions when we read Scripture:

  • What does He say or do in this passage?
  • What does it reveal about what He loves or hates?
  • What does this say about His character?

She reminds us to look for God, not ourselves, as we read Scripture. It wasn’t until her second trip through the Bible when Tara-Leigh started looking for God. And, when she did, she fell in love with Him. When she stopped looking for herself in the Bible, she developed a high view of God. “The more I was looking for God and His character,” Tara-Leigh says, “the more I was going to fall in love with Him.”

If you’re reading through the Bible and you hit a speed bump, you may feel like quitting. Tara-Leigh says that she didn’t quit reading because she had people around her that she could talk to and ask questions about what she was reading. People also challenged her.

Tara-Leigh quotes Jen Wilkin, who says, “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” So the more we know of Him, Tara-Leigh says, the more it feeds our love and affection for Him.

Ways to Pray When Reading the Bible

She describes how she prays with her Bible reading:

  1. Teach me. Before she begins to read, Tara-Leigh prays, “Teach me something new about You today that I’ve never seen before.”
  2. Praise You. When Tara-Leigh is finished with her daily reading, she praises God for what she has seen about Him. She says He has revealed it because He wants her to know Him better. She describes this as a God shot. “It’s a picture of God and His character that you see in your daily reading,” Tara-Leigh explains. She says we need to always end with a picture of who God is and praise Him for it.
  3. Help me. Finally, she prays, “Help any knowledge I gain to help me to love You and others more, and not puff me up.”

Aren’t you inspired? Don’t you want to read Scripture now all the way through? It’s been a while since I have, but I want to do it again!

So, until next week, remember that what God is calling you to do, you can do it. You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength.

BONUS: Join Me, KC, and Phil for Lunch!

You heard me and KC  talk about eating hot chicken in this episode. So me, KC, and my husband Phil decided to have lunch together at Hot Cluckers—and we’re inviting you to pull up a seat and join us!


Related Resources


Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from Tara-Leigh Cobble

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Stay Connected

Episode Transcript


4:13 Podcast: Can I Read the Bible All the Way Through? With Tara-Leigh Cobble [Episode 145]

Jennifer Rothschild: Whether you are brand new to the Bible or grew up in the second pew, reading Scripture can feel confusing or even boring at times. Understanding it requires reading it thoroughly and repeatedly. But who wants to read something they don't understand? Not me. Well, that's why today is going to be a very good day, because if you have ever wanted to read through the whole Bible, or even just wanted to want to read it, our guest Tara-Leigh Cobble is going to show you how you don't have to go to seminary, you don't need a special Bible, you just need 12 minutes a day. This is going to be so good. So buckle up, my friends. This could be the very podcast that God uses to absolutely change your life, and I don't want you to miss a single word. So K.C., let's go.

K.C. Wright: Let me be the first to welcome you to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I can" life, because you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Now, your host, a woman who, like me, craves Chick-fil-A every single Sunday --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

K.C. Wright: -- Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Chick-fil-A.

K.C. Wright: Let's talk about it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah --

K.C. Wright: Christian chicken.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- Chick-fil-A.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my word.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. Anyway, welcome, people. We just had a little moment of chicken enthusiasm here, But I'm Jennifer here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I can" life. And remember, this "I can" life, based on Philippians 4:13, is based on God's power in you. He strengthens you to be who He has called you to be, and He has given you all the power that you need, because of Him, to do all He has called you to do. It's not a magic pill, my people. It is not the winning lottery ticket for you to get everything you want out of life. It is this supernatural ability for you to respond to God's spirit. Whether things are going great or whether things are going very difficult for you, you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. It's a good message. All right. Now back to the chicken.

K.C. Wright: Let's talk about chicken.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Let me just say this because you brought it up. I love me some Chick-fil-A. But I had something yesterday I had never had before, but is all the rage.

K.C. Wright: Do tell.

Jennifer Rothschild: Is this Nashville hot chicken?

K.C. Wright: Never heard of it.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. Well, it is all the rage. So we've got a couple places in our town now. One of them I think is called Hot Clunker's. That's where we went. OK, it's like this lightly breaded, deep-fried chicken.

K.C. Wright: Ooooo.

Jennifer Rothschild: But I'm telling you, I think they deep fried it in Tabasco sauce. It is so hot. But it was fantastic. But I'm telling you, K.C., when I'm done, my lips were like swollen. I'm like, who needs collagen, you know, just eat this chicken. Like, I had these pouty, beautiful lips. I mean, I couldn't feel anything, and I could barely talk, but it was so good. And I had fried pickles with it, too. So you need to try that hot, spicy chicken.

K.C. Wright: Well, Jen, ask me why I like chicken.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. Why do you like chicken?

K.C. Wright: Thanks for asking. Ask me again. Sorry.

Jennifer Rothschild: K.C., why do you like chicken?

K.C. Wright: Because. (imitating chicken) Sorry. That is a dad joke that I've been telling for about ten years now.

Jennifer Rothschild: That is a that is a dad joke.

K.C. Wright: Several months ago there was this big competition between who has the best chicken sandwich? Is it Popeye's? Is it Chick-fil-A? Right? They were at war with each other. Who has the best chicken sandwich? And I'm sitting here going, Hello, what about Wendy's chicken sandwich?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh.

K.C. Wright: The spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy's is delicious. Well, I went and had all three and -- not one day. This took me a while. And I'm here to say -- this is just my opinion. OK? I had Chick-fil-A, I had Popeye's, I had Wendy's. And I'm going to go right back to the old basic. I love Chick-fil-A.

Jennifer Rothschild: Chick-fil-A (singing).

K.C. Wright: I'm giving it ten stars.

Jennifer Rothschild: Awesome. I believe it.

K.C. Wright: And it is delicious, and that is my favorite, if you care.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. Well, good. You go, Chick-fil-A. All right. Now, here's the thing. We got off on chicken.

K.C. Wright: Well, now I'm hungry.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, me too. And there's literally no way to transition well into what we're about to talk about, because -- I don't know why we did this, but chicken has nothing to do with what we're talking about. But here's the thing. We're talking to this lady, who I want her to be my BFF now. OK? And you're going to feel the same way when you hear her. Tara-Leigh Cobble is her name. And hopefully you have heard her podcast. I love her podcast. It's called "The Bible Recap," and she started it just to help people, you know, read the Bible through. And, y'all, it exploded. And one of the things I love about her is at the end of every one of her podcasts, she always ends with the same phrase to remind her listeners that He is where the joy is. Don't you love that? And that's a good reminder for us. Chick-fil-A is not where the joy is, my people. Jesus is where the joy is.

K.C. Wright: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I can't wait for you to hear from Tara-Leigh.

K.C. Wright: Tara-Leigh Cobble's zeal for biblical literacy led her to create D Group, Discipleship Group, which has grown into an international network of Bible studies. She also hosts a daily radio show called "The God Shot," as well as a daily podcast, "The Bible Recap," which helps listeners read and understand the Bible in a year. "The Bible Recap" podcast has, get this, 30 million downloads.

Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't that amazing? I love that.

K.C. Wright: Thirty million. And its reading plan is used in over 20,000 churches around the world. Tara-Leigh -- wow, world changer -- lives in Dallas, Texas. And you're about to get so much from this power-packed conversation. So let's join Jennifer and Tara-Leigh. There's a seat at the table for you. Pull that chair up.

Jennifer Rothschild: Tara-Leigh, this book -- I call it a resource more than a book, because it really is, it feels like such a resource for reading through the whole Bible. But before we get into that -- because I know it's an outgrowth of your own experience of reading the Word -- I want us to start with something that I could really relate to, which was the mistakes you used to make when you read Scripture

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So many.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think you mentioned three specifically.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right, right.

Jennifer Rothschild: What are those? Because I could relate and I know that our listeners can relate.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: My primary mistake was I read the Bible as though it were about me. So I was looking for what's my application point, what -- I treated it like a pharmacy. So what do I need today? I need to go in -- and here's the problem I'm having today, so I need to get this. Or here's what I want from God, and so what does Scripture say I need to do to please God in order to get Him to give me what I want? So I treated it like a pharmacy, and it was all about me, and it was not an opportunity to learn about God and the relationship that He has invited me into. So that was my first mistake.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Ditto

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And just reading it kind of backwards.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. About me.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. What was another mistake you made as you were reading it early on?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I didn't consider the context of things. And so on my first trip through Scripture. Now, mind you, I was in full-time ministry before I ever read through the Bible the first time. And I'd been standing on stages saying things to people, having plucked them out of context or having only heard them secondhand from other people, and I had never read them in their original context. And I had also never really considered the historical or cultural context to whom it was written, by whom it was written, all of those things. So what I found on my first trip through Scripture was that I had been misrepresenting Scripture.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep. Ditto. OK, guilty.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, yes.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: It's so humbling and also humiliating at times. Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So to see these passages that I had used to breed entitlement in my own heart was so -- first of all, it was just it was frustrating, because my heart wasn't yet in the place where I wanted to learn about God. It was still in the place for what can I get for me. So when I have always said Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," and I'm like, Yes, Lord, this is great. And then I read it in context and I see, oh, seven years of exile is -- what's next.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And some of the people he's saying this to are going to die in exile.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: That is a whole different lens on Scripture.

Jennifer Rothschild: A different kind of prosperity, isn't it?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So my second mistake was not considering context.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK. What was your third one?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: The third mistake was as soon as I started discovering all of these new things, I wanted immediate answers. I had no patience to bear uncertainty and no patience to get the end of the story, and so I would try to invent my own solution. Oh, here's what's going on. Here's what's happening. So there are all these places in the margins of my Bible -- which I've had this Bible for many trips through Scripture now -- and very frequently I will come to a place where I have marked through something that I had written in the margins before --

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- or because as I continued through Scripture, I realized, oh, that was not actually what was happening there. So, you know, when you read through Scripture and it's the story of God and His people, there are some of the questions that you have in Leviticus that aren't answered until Hebrews, and you have to bear uncertainty in this. And so my unwillingness to not have the so-called right answers meant that I tried to invent my own --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Wow.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- yeah --

Jennifer Rothschild: Ditto, girl.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- instead of letting God be mysterious. Sometimes there are things I still don't have answers for, and I've now read through it -- I'm on my 14th trip through. And so there are things I still don't have answers for, and that's OK.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, secret things belong to the Lord. What is it, Deuteronomy --

Tara-Leigh Cobble: That's right, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- 29:29. Well, when was the first time that you actually did finally read through the entire Bible, and how did that impact your faith?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Well, I believe -- if I recall, I believe it was 2007 to 2008, and I think 2008 was when I finished it. A pastor friend of mine just challenged me. And he said -- he asked me one night, Have you ever -- I was in full-time ministry, as I mentioned, and I had been at an event the night before, and he had been at that event. And so the following day I was at his church, touring the church, you know, meeting people, and we were having a conversation and he said, "Have you ever read through the whole Bible?" And immediately I thought, what did I say on stage?

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I said, what has revealed that I have not done this? But, I mean, I have been in church my whole life. I've been a Christian since a very young age, and I figured that I had kind of pieced it together over time.

Jennifer Rothschild: Sure. Like a patchwork quilt, you've done it, right?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Exactly. So I was relying on this piecemeal understanding of God, this secondhand information that I would get from sermons and worship songs and devotionals, and all of this other information that I was getting was how I thought my relationship with God was existing. And so when I began to read Scripture -- Jennifer, when I read it all those years of my life -- I mean, I was in ministry. Obviously I loved the Word, but I would have said I loved it because it was true. And now I love it because it's beautiful. Like, now I know this person, I know His story, I know his character, I understand things about Him that show me His personality, and He is beautiful. He is just so delightful. And my heart arcs toward the Word out of joy. Not out of obligation and not just because it's right and true, but because I love Him.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. That's one of the most compelling reasons that I've ever heard. Because I love the Word too. I've never heard it put quite like that, and I think that is a beautiful and compelling testimony to what God's Word is and can be and is designed to be for us. I think that's beautiful. Thank you for saying that. One of the things also that I really appreciate is how you make the distinction between how Scripture is either descriptive or prescriptive. And I think this could really help a lot of people who are reading Scripture. So tell us what the difference between those two are, and maybe even give us some examples.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: One of the first things when reading through Scripture, one of the first things I've noticed when I read through it with other people is that they encounter the question of, OK, so David is a man after God's own heart. Why is it OK that he has, like, a thousand women? Or they'll ask things like: Why is God OK with slavery? And they will assume that just because Scripture is talking about these things and they're happening, that God is endorsing it; whereas, it's merely just describing what is happening.

Jennifer Rothschild: Interesting.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And if we follow the storyline of what happened with slavery, what happened with David and his wives, we see that those things don't end well, and they actually contradict other things that God does say to do. Those things would be prescriptive, where God is prescribing to us how to how to obey His laws. And so when people encounter those things, it's very confusing unless you read it and you go, OK, this is just describing what's happening. It's not telling me that God is OK with this.

Jennifer Rothschild: And that's super helpful also because it nods back to the importance of context, the importance of reading Scripture correctly. I remember somebody one time -- I wish I could remember the exact verse -- but they were quoting something from the Book of Job, and it was actually -- and they were saying, this is what the Bible says. Well, it was actually one of the incorrect statements of Job's friends.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yes. One of the friends that got corrected --

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- by God, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. So talk about the importance of context. I mean, wow. But I think we've all -- and so grace, grace, grace, because I think we've all, as we're stumbling through the early processes or even just because of our own naiveté or ignorance, we all make those same kinds of mistakes. And that's OK. We can continue to go through the process of learning these things and applying them. And so if -- you know, if you were going to talk to somebody who's never done this before, never read through the entire Bible before -- OK, like my grandmama, she did it every year for as long as I could remember. And I remember sitting in the back seat -- it was always on the front seat between her and my granddaddy -- and thinking, how does she do that? You know, as a little girl, I just -- how does she do that? And I think a lot of us have felt that way. When you look at that whole Bible, you think how do you do that? So how would you encourage somebody who wants to read the whole Bible but they've never done it before?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I would tell them a couple of things. First of all, it is daunting. You're right, it is a big undertaking. So you're not wrong to think that. However, the way you eat a steak is one bite at a time. And you can read the whole Bible in a year in just 12 minutes a day on average. And 12 minutes a day is -- I mean, if you're an audio person -- so, for instance, whoever's listening to this podcast likes audio, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: They engage with audio. You can have the Bible app read it to you. For free it will read it to you. So you have really no excuse not to find 12 minutes where someone else can read you the Bible while you're in the shower, driving to work, brushing your teeth, cooking dinner. So really that helps us get over our excuses.

Jennifer Rothschild: Brilliant.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: But also for people who -- I have so many friends who have reading disorders and things like that, or they're slow readers or English is their second language, and so this is a bit more of a challenge for them. But there are so many options for free reading to you opportunities. And the other thing that I will tell you is that a lot of the things that kept me from Scripture, even being in church three times a week my whole life, being in full-time ministry, blah, blah, blah -- and my family owns a Christian bookstore. I grew up in the aisles of a Christian bookstore, it was my first job, and I had all the resources at my disposal, and I still found Scripture challenging to understand. And so with the Bible Recap podcast, the Bible Recap book, what we want to do is come alongside you every day to help make sense of what you just read.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I love that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So the podcast is eight minutes, the book is two pages, you know. Two pages a day is what you take in to sort of make sense of what you just read. Because a lot of what would stop me -- I tried -- every year would try -- just like, you know, your grandmother, I would try every year to do it and I would get bogged down in Exodus, Leviticus --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh yeah, right.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- because it didn't make sense. I didn't know -- who are these people? Why is this important? What are these laws? Why all the genealogies? And I didn't understand. And so I try to come alongside the listener and say, here's what you just read. Here's why it's -- here's what matters, here's what we see about God. I want to end each day's reading with what we saw about God to sort of -- I had to do that to reverse what I had set up in my brain about how I read Scripture of looking for me, so --

Jennifer Rothschild: Right. Well, and you do that well.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And it's totally double.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And I love that about your book because it really does do that, it makes it feel accessible. Like you said, eating a steak one bite at a time. Yeah, if we hold that whole big fat Bible in our hands, we go, I can't do that.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: But when you know 12 minutes a day, or two pages in your Bible Recap book, you're right, it is so doable and all we have to focus on is one day at a time. So here's something else I thought was important. Because lots of us, we read the Bible, you know, to get our questions answered. But you suggest that we ask questions when we read. So what are some of those questions that we should ask as we read?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. So when I started trying to look for God, I had to know how to do that. How do I look for God? He's invisible. So unless He's showing up as a burning bush, how do I look for Him?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So I just trained myself on how to be curious about God. What does God say or do in this passage? What does this passage reveal about what God loves, what He hates, what motivates Him to do, what He does? Those are the things that I wanted to look for because those were the things that were going to reveal His character to me. And I'll tell you, I didn't do this on my first trip through Scripture. And my first trip through Scripture, Jennifer, was really hard. Not hard because of the discipline of it, but hard because, like I said, I had not read it. I had been hearing about God secondhand, and a lot of the things I thought I knew about Him, I was finding out weren't accurate.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And so I felt very disillusioned. I was in full-time ministry and I'm like, Do I walk away? What do -- am I going to be a barista? Like, what now? Because I'm not sure I like this God that I've built my life around talking about and singing about and worshipping, you know? And it wasn't until my second trip though Scripture when a mentor suggested I start looking for God, leaning -- looking for His character, and that was when I fell in love with Him truly. It was when I stopped looking for me. I mean, I had such a high view of man. I had such a high anthropology and a low Christology, and this high view of man and this low view of God, it revealed the entitlement that was in my heart. I thought I deserved something from him. And so I was -- even on my first trip through, I was looking for that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And so that made it really hard because I was still reading it as though it were about me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So asking those questions, being curious about God, those are the questions that really helped me understand -- read the book as it was intended to be read and see God as He has portrayed Himself to us, revealed Himself.

Jennifer Rothschild: How did you -- when you were going through it the first time and you were getting a little disillusioned, confused, et cetera, how'd you push through? Why'd you push through?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: I was talking -- I had good people around me, first of all. I had a few good mentors who I would take these questions to, and I could be very honest with my frustration with what I was seeing and misunderstanding. And they would challenge me. And not in, like, a harsh, aggressive way, but just -- one of them, in fact, said, hey, that thing that you don't like about God, keep looking for it, It's in more than just that one chapter. And I was like, you just told me to look for the thing that makes me not like God? How does that make sense, right? But my pastor said, look for what is motivating that behavior, look for what is underneath all that. And, you know, when we drop down in the timeline and we just read one little bit -- I mean, I used to just flip my Bible open and be like, "What do You want me to read today, God?" and just drop down in the middle of a story. We don't treat anything else in life that way. We don't ask for a happy meal at the restaurant. We don't show up in the movie five minutes, sit down and walk out and expect to understand the movie and love the characters. We don't expect that of anything else. And so I think for me, having somebody say, "Keep looking for that," I think that what they knew about me as a human is that I saw that as a challenge. I was I was like, OK, give me more reasons to not like God. But they knew that the more I started looking for God and His character, the more I was actually going to fall in love with Him.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. This is a paradigm shift for many. And I'm personally challenged because I love the Bible, I study the Bible. And one of the things that I get caught up in, Tara-Leigh -- I'd be curious if this happens to you, because I think it happens to some of my listeners, too. I can have this grandiose plan that I'm just going to read Scripture -- and I do this. And I will read Scripture just, Lord, just for the devotional aspect of it, just for the relational aspect, and then I'll get caught on a verse and I'll want to study it, and I'll want to look up the cross- reference, and I want to know what this word means, and I get -- those speed bumps for me are the wanting to understand more instead of just devotional and relationally reading through. Does that happen to you?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: It does. But let me ask you, because I'm so intrigued by something that you said because I relate to it, but also I'm curious your lens on it. Do you think that that is bad? Because -- as far as if you're not looking for how can I teach this, if you're just like, oh, this sparked some curiosity, God --

Jennifer Rothschild: Because I want to understand it.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Right. Because to me that's almost like if you and I were having a conversation and you're telling me a story and you were like, Well, back when my grandfather passed away, and then you continue on, and I'm like, Wait a second. Can you tell me more about your grandfather passing away and, like, how that impacted you, and what was your grandfather like?

Jennifer Rothschild: Interesting.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: And I'm just digging in deeper to know you and your story better.

Jennifer Rothschild: If the goal is to know me and my story better, yes. And so where I find that I get a little confused -- and it's kind of a tightwire for me -- is I love knowledge. I love learning --

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Me too.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- and I love knowledge. And so sometimes I believe I can be more satisfied by the knowledge than what that knowledge is revealing about God. And so that's just a heart issue, I know that. So I guess that's just another opportunity, you know, to proceed humbly through Scripture. Because you're right, the seeking to go deeper and to know more is not wrong as long as it leads to deeper relationship rather than just satisfaction of knowledge.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yeah. One of the prayers that I pray every day before I read Scripture is: Teach me something new about You that I've never seen before." And so I'm always asking Him to teach me something new, because -- you know, Jen Wilkins says the heart cannot love what the mind does not know. And so the more I know of Him, the more it feeds my love and affection for Him. And that I think that's true even of people who don't love knowledge like we do. Because I love knowledge, too. So what I always try to do at the end of my time is praise Him for what I have seen about Him, knowing that He is the one who has revealed that to me. Because if He's showing us something new, I think He wants us to know it --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, yes.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: -- and so, you know, like I think -- I'm like, I want to praise You for that. I want to turn this knowledge -- and another prayer that I pray is: Help any knowledge that I gain prompt me to love You and others more and not puff me up.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen. That is such a healthy prayer. And, yeah, because truth is exhilarating. And it should be because it is a revelation of who God is, and so we should be exhilarated by that. But you're right, for it to become the springboard rather than the well we fall into and can't get out of, it needs --

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Oh, that's such a good illustration. That's so good.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, love God more and others more. And I think -- I wonder, Tara-Leigh, if that's kind of what you do. And, in fact, this will be our last question. You end each day's reading with a God shot, right?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: So give us an example. What is a God shot?

Tara-Leigh Cobble: God shot is the -- so don't think of it like a drink shot, think of it like a picture shot, like a camera shot.

Jennifer Rothschild: Gotcha.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: So it is the picture of God and His character that you see in that day's reading. So some days this is harder to find than others, because on some days it's genealogies or things like that. So maybe you're in the pages where you're reading the genealogies like in Matthew and in Luke, and you're like, oh man, all of these genealogies, what is this about? And all you have is that he's got these five women in here, he's got these Canaanites in here. So there were women in the genealogies; that's culturally unusual.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: They're Canaanites, not God's people. Like not -- you know, like are not Jews. What does that reveal to me about God? That He has placed women and Canaanites in the genealogy of Jesus reveals a lot about His heart. It reveals a lot about the fact that God is for -- He adopts enemies into His family. He crosses enemy lines and adopts these people into His family. That He esteems women in a culture that did not, that He values these people. That is what I see about God. Even on the days where you don't really see what He says or does, there's no words of God, there's no actions of God, it's just a genealogy, but it's like, look at this.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: These women, these Canaanite women, a prostitute. I mean, you've got like these --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: What on earth? It shows you the beautiful grace and mercy of God in that genealogy.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. OK, girl, you are my kind of girl. This is so good.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: Likewise.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love this, Tara-Leigh, and I highly regard and appreciate what you have done and how you've encouraged me today. And I know how it's going to encourage my listeners too, so thank you so, so much.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK, aren't you inspired? I mean, don't you just want to read Scripture all the way through? Don't you feel like you can? You guys, you do need to listen to her Daily Recap Bible podcast. It will really help you. And of course, yes, get her book. But I'm just saying to you, her podcast is the bomb. So we're going to link to it and, of course, the book at And we're also going to connect you to my Instagram there so that you can enter to win her book.

K.C. Wright: Or you can just go straight over to Jennifer's Insta profile right now. Look for Jen @jenrothschild on Instagram to enter to win this book. She really does give us so much today. And I hope our 4:13'ers will get her book and listen to her podcast. Let's be people of the Word because there's life in the Word. Amen?

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

Tara-Leigh Cobble: The Bible isn't about somebody, the Bible is somebody.

Jennifer Rothschild: And you know what, she mentioned that it only takes 12 minutes a day to listen to Scripture. And that is incredibly doable, our people, and you can do that, right? You can read it, but you can also do it, as she mentioned, with audio Bible. So I want to remind you -- I talk about it all the time because I love my favorite Bible app, Dwell. So if you've never checked out Dwell Bible app, I can connect you real easily. You go to to find out about that Bible app. It is my favorite, and that is what I use. I listen to that while I'm getting ready in the mornings. So we'll also, of course, have a link at the show notes to the Dwell Bible app. OK. This was just so good, our friends. I'm so thankful. My heart is full, my coffee cup is empty, so that means until next week remember that what God is calling you to do, you can do. You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. I can.

K.C. Wright: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

K.C. Wright: And my brain is empty.

Jennifer Rothschild: And my bladder is also full.

K.C. Wright: Oh.

Jennifer Rothschild: And all that talk about that hot chicken. We should go get some hot chicken together, K.C.

K.C. Wright: Oh yes, let's do.

Jennifer Rothschild: It'd be fun.

K.C. Wright: OK. Have you ever had a Popeye's Chicken sandwich?

Jennifer Rothschild: No, I literally never have.

K.C. Wright: OK, you need to do that.

Jennifer Rothschild: OK, I'll try it.

K.C. Wright: I want you to do the taste test, because I did. You need to do a Popeye's, a Wendy's, and a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich test and then you come and tell us what you think.

Jennifer Rothschild: Which is better? OK, I might need to do that. I will try that. That's really bad for my eating plan.

K.C. Wright: Oh, yeah. Oh, sorry.

Jennifer Rothschild: But for our people, I will do it.

K.C. Wright: I'm sorry. I'm not holding you accountable very well.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, you're not.

K.C. Wright: Eat more chicken.

Jennifer Rothschild: Just take me shopping, buy me bigger jeans, I'll be fine.


Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!