Have you ever picked up your Bible, read it, put it down, and walked away feeling like you didn't read it? I have. What happened there? The Bible is just like any other book and, at the same time, unlike any other book. Like other books, there are printed words, sentences, and paragraphs that are intentionally arranged to communicate specific ideas. You should read the Bible literally, in that it is a piece of literature. Yet, at the same time, it is utterly unlike any other book. The Bible claims to be the divinely inspired revelation of God to fallen humanity (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, when we approach the Bible we are not merely approaching a piece of literature (though it is that); we are approaching a piece of literature that is God's direct revelation to us. Given this dual nature of the Bible it is possible, if not all-too-common, to read the Bible without really reading the Bible. In so doing we harm ourselves by cutting off God's primary means of grace in our lives. How do we read the Bible without reading the Bible?
#1 Do not pray.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading it, then do not pray before you begin. Do not ask the same Spirit that inspired the writing of the Scriptures to open your eyes, soften your heart and give you sense of expectancy as you approach God's Word. Do not ask him to peel away your callousness and ambivalence so that you can approach the Bible afresh. Do not seek conviction of sin that may keep you from seeing, thinking and reading rightly.
#2 Think of reading the Bible as earning God's favor.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading it, then also be sure to consider your reading as something that earns you additional favor, merit and acceptance from God. Do not consider the gospel of Jesus Christ, which reveals we are fully loved, fully accepted and fully approved by God through Jesus' life, death and resurrection - and not on our Bible reading (Eph 2:8-9). Do not consider that, in Christ, God loves you apart from your Bible reading.
#3 Do not look for Jesus.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading it, then do not look for Jesus as you read. Jesus tells us that all of the Scriptures are about him (Jn 5:39-40; Lk 24:27) so to keep your Bible reading stagnant and shallow do not look for him (e.g. types, themes, prophesies, etc). Do not read the Bible as God's unfolding story of redemption, within which Jesus is the key to the whole. Do not look to Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of all God's promises. (2 Cor 1:20)
#4 Focus on the rules.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading the Bible, then be sure to focus on God's rules and laws. Do not reflect on the fact that God's people, throughout the Bible, are never made right with him by following these rules. Skip that part. Do not consider that we are only made right with God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Do not think too deeply on the great truth that it is the grace of God that trains us to live godly, Christ-like lives - not rules (Titus 2:11-14). When conviction, guilt or shame arise, promise to do better and try harder. Do not run to Jesus as your only source of saving and sanctifying grace.
#5 Assume the Bible is a dead book.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading the Bible, then it is important to approach it as a dead book and not one that is living and active (Heb 4:12). Do not approach your Bible reading with faith and expectancy. Do not expect the Spirit to convict, encourage, rebuke, or speak to you through the Word. Assume that you know everything you need to know and will not learn anything new. Do not consider that God can apply the same passage in a hundred different ways in your life, if only you had eyes to see and ears to hear.
#6 Read individual verses in isolation.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading the Bible, then be sure to read individual verses in isolation. Do not read individual verses in light of their immediate context. Do not seek to understand the author's original intended purpose. Do not look for the author's overall argument. Do not reflect on how individual truths fit into the overarching storyline of the Scripture. Rather, let the Bible mean whatever you want it to mean and view it as a collection of haphazard, disjointed virtues.
#7 Read as quickly and sporadically as possible.
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading the Bible, if all else fails, then read as quickly and sporadically as you can. Do not stop to reflect. Do not ask questions of the text. Do not slow down. Read as fast as you possibly can. Even better, multi-task. Read to get through it. Do not read intentionally, thoughtfully, and fully engaged. Do not slow down enough so that you notice anything that may encourage or convict. Further, do this as sporadically as possible.
#8 Think through the lens of "Me"
If you want to ensure that you read the Bible without reading the Bible, then keep questions like, "How does this apply to me?" or "What do I feel about this?" at the forefront of your reading. Only look for things that immediately apply to you. Do not consider that God may have something for you that you don't have in mind. Do not look for what the Bible is saying about: God's character, God's promises, God's covenants, the good news of Jesus Christ, examples to follow, sin to avoid, or all that is true of those who are in Christ (see an example of that here).