Basic Guide to Reading the Bible
There is nothing personal about principles that work, but just in case you are doubting if it will work for you, I am glad to let you know that it has worked for me and it is still working for me, and I think if you want to get acquainted with the word of God, you should take these basic steps. These steps are designed for beginners.
Some times a christian, feels overwhelmed when it comes to reading the Bible. Maybe, even now, you’re shaking your head in agreement, thinking, Yes. That’s me. After today, I hope that changes for the better.
Can I show you how to find the bible so easy to read? I have helped a number of people even in reading other books apart form the bible. May I reach across the computer screen and help you, too?
These are my top suggestions for beginners to the Bible:
1. Choose a Bible version that’s easy to read and self explanatory.
One of the reasons for reading is understanding. Here’s the flat out truth: If we don’t understand it, we won’t read it.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend the New Living Translation (NLT), or a study Bible in the English Standard Version (ESV) or New International Version (NIV).
The NLT version of the Bible is most readable while still being literal in its translation; the Study Bible contain footnotes that explain difficult to understand passages of Scripture.
2. Start Here.
The Bible contains 66 separate books compiled into one book. The 39 books of the Old Testament are the story of God and his people before the coming of the Messiah—Jesus. The 27 books of the New Testament pick up the story beginning with the birth of Jesus.
If you’re new to the Bible, the best place to start is the Gospel of John. This book (the fourth book in the New Testament) is John’s eyewitness account of the life of Jesus. As one of Jesus’ closest disciples, John’s account is both riveting and informative.
3. Pick a book of the Bible and work your way.
If you’re anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or you’ll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps.
If you read one chapter of John a day, (which will take no more than 5-10 minutes) you’ll read John in it’s entirety in 21 days.
After reading John, move on to the other gospels – Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life.
Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
4. Read a little every day.
Choose a time and place that’s convenient for you. Many people read their Bible first thing in the morning, choosing to spend time with God before daily distractions get in the way. But if mornings aren’t your thing, don’t sweat it.
That you read God’s Word is more important than when you read God’s Word. Personally, I love to read my Bible at a local coffee shop, but I once read through the entire Bible while waiting in carpool lines.
5. Pray before you begin.
Ask God to help you understand His Word. Ask God to use His Word to teach you, to direct you and even to re-direct you, when necessary. Ask Him to use His Word to help you know Him and love Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart.” God loves to reveal himself to those who seek Him.
6. Write it down.
As you read the Bible, ask two questions:
What does this teach me about God? What does this teach me about how I should live?
No doubt, as you read you’ll find one or two verses that seem to leap off the page. Maybe they speak to an issue you’ve been grappling with; maybe they answer a long held question; maybe they give you comfort or encouragement; maybe they provide an example to follow or avoid.
When a verse resonates with you, stop and write it down, word for word. Pause to let the message sink in because these words are God’s words to you.