Are You Wanting To Start Reading The Bible But Arent Sure How To Begin
When I started attending Bible college at age 19, even having grown up in a Christian home, I found it hard to know how to gain the most out of my time in the Word. I hadnt made personal devotions a habit up until that point, although Id learned plenty of verses in Sunday school and youth group, so it was a challenge to me at first.
I wondered if I was doing it right.
Should I just start reading through the book of Genesis?
Was there a particular version I should choose over another?
And what did all that Old Testament stuff about animal sacrifice really mean, anyway?
If you are like me, and didnt have a personal devotional time growing up or just didnt grow up in a Christian home, it can be intimidating to figure out where or how, exactly, you should start reading the Bible.
Now that many years have passed, I have learned much about the essentials of reading and learning Scripture, whether as a new believer or a long-time Christian who has not read the Bible much lately. I want to share with you five key practices to keep in mind as you seek to spend more time in Gods Word.
These practices will give you a process that you can follow at all times to give you confidence that you are reading the Bible according to the way it was written and in its proper context. Through reading the Bible, your heart and mind will be changed by the beautiful, life-giving Word of God!
Remember That Scripture Has One Meaning And Many Applications
Sometimes I hear the words, this is what this Bible verses means to me. However, thats not an entirely accurate way to describe Scripture. Each verse we read means one thing. The beauty of the Bible is that these verses can apply to our individual circumstances in many ways.
A verse such as delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart , does not mean when I want something, I ask God for it and hell give it to me. It means just what it says: when we draw closer to God and read His Word, Hell show us what the true desires of our heart should be and give them to us! And then, since all of us have many different experiences and situations, we know that the verse can apply to our particular situation .
I hope that these key truths of reading Scripture as a new believer have been helpful to you! Dont allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the idea of starting to read the Bible, and dont let Satan discourage you. Gods Word is available for anyone, and the Holy Spirit will teach you! Just ask Him for wisdom!
Recommended Beginner Bible Study Books
Two books Ive read and recommend for learning more about studying the Bible are:
We all know its important to study Gods Word. But sometimes its hard to know where to start. Whats more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible? This book will equip you to engage Gods Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.
In a simple, step-by-step fashion, this book explains how to glean truth from Scripture. It is practical, readable, and applicable. By following its easy-to-apply principles, youll soon find yourself drawing great nourishment from the Wordand enjoying the process!
Read Also: What Does Bible Say About Antichrist
Best Bible Recommendations For Beginners
There are the bible translations that I recommend for beginners based on their accuracy level. Ive also included a sample of the same scripture from each translation.
Word for Word Translation
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God John 1:12
How I Studied The Bible When I First Started Out
My own interest in Bible study first began about 20 years ago with the desire to read the Bible from cover to cover.
After several failed attempts to complete a read the Bible in a year plan, I decided to try something different. The 90 Day Bible came to my attention, and it perked my curiosity. Maybe, if I really dedicated myself to it, I could read the Bible through in 90 days?
On one hand, its a lot of reading to do each day, and I didnt have much time to do a deep dive into many Scriptures. However, I did get a great overview of the Bible, and 90 days wasnt too long for me to keep my commitment. It seemed more manageable than the typical 365 days, at least for the stage of life I was in at the time.
Before I knew it, my husband had decided to join me. We ordered not one, but two copies of the 90 Day Bible and began setting our alarm to wake up super early each morning so we could each do our reading and discuss it together.
Oh, how I loved our Bible time in the mornings! Since his degree is in Theology, and he was already well versed in Bible study and understanding Scripture, our conversations were rich and wonderful. I learned so much during those 90 days.
We loved completing that plan together, and did it again the following year. It was a great foundation. From there, I began to focus on other Bible study methods and continued to grow.
And Im still learning, even after all these years!
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Pay Attention To The Context
Paying attention to context is extremely important if you want to accurately understand what the Bible is saying. Some people just search its pages for an individual verse that speaks to their need of the moment, without paying much attention to the verses that surround it. Reading this way is kind of like treating the Bible as a fortune cookie or as a collection of inspirational memes. As you read the Bible, sometimes a verse will stand out and engage your heart in a very personal way. But when that happens, its important to see how that verse relates to the verses around it. If you dont pay attention to the context, you are in danger of trying to make the Bible say something that it doesnt actually say.
Every verse of the Bible is part of a chapter, and every chapter is part of a book, and every book of the Bible is part of one larger God-inspired message that unfolds across its pages.
Many people dont realize that the Bible wasnt originally written in chapters and verses. Each book was one continuous text contained in a scroll, and it was not until the late Middle Ages that someone came up with the idea of dividing it up into chapters and verses to make it more convenient for readers and as a tool for helping people locate specific passages that they wanted to remember. One should keep that in mind before pulling a verse out of its context and applying it to your life.
How To Study The Bible: A Master Toolset On Bible Study For Beginners
When I first became a Christian, I had no idea how to study the Bible.
Thatâs why I went on a wild quest to understand this book.
I abandoned my previous lifelong goals of attending West Point and instead applied last-minute to a Bible college, where I learned Greek and Hebrew in order to read the Bible in the original languages. And add onto that an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in theology and, 14 years later, it was very clear to me:
Bible study doesnât have to be complicated.
Yes, of course, the Bible is a bottomless ocean of mystery, historical complexity, and documentary fragmentation. However, its divine author preserved it in exactly the form he desired across millennia of authors and scribes, jumping parchment to parchment, from Paulâs parchment to our smartphones.
Here, I am going to explain to you a very simple way of reading and applying the Bible in a way that you can understand, which will grow with you as your understanding of Scripture grows.
Letâs dig in!
Why Should I Even Care About Going Deeper In Bible Study Isnt Surface Knowledge Enough
No, its definitely not enough! The Bible says that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. If you only study on the surface, you will only gain a surface understanding. But, God has so much he wants to show you. Gods word will literally illuminate your life and bring hope to dark places. But you cannot receive that light and hope if you do not seek for it. Personally, sometimes in-depth study of a particular passage in the Bible would be my key to breakthrough. Plus, why would you not want to have the fullest possible understanding of your Savior and Creator?
Read The Bible Patiently And Precisely
Weve already addressed several obstacles to effective personal Bible study: busyness, distraction, aimlessness, and prayerlessness. One other subtle challenge we face is familiarity. Many seasoned Christians have read the Bible for years and heard numerous sermons or Sunday school lessons. Its easy to fall into bad habits or allow personal Bible reading to become routine because we are already familiar with the story and content of the Bible. We need to slow down and read patiently, lingering and meditating on Gods Word. We must also read precisely, noticing the details, logic, and nuance of the text. We need to be stirred up and reminded afresh of what Gods Word says as we seek to believe Gods promises, fight against sin, and follow Christ each day . When we look or observe what Scripture says, we want to know exactly what the text says and to see more than weve seen before.
Read Also: What Does God Say About Saving Money
How To Start A Bible Study Group
Many churches offer Bible studies for women. All you have to do is sign up. But, a lot of churches do not offer Bible studies for women because the churches are too small or have no one to lead the way.
What if you really want to do a Bible study and would rather do it in community with other women rather than by yourself? Maybe you have been thinking about starting a Bible study and inviting others to join you, but that thought terrifies you. Now may be the time to step out in faith and just do it. In this article, I will take you through the step-by-step process for launching a Bible Study group.
Provides Instructions On How To Live
If you read my previous post, Reading the Bible for Beginners, then youve heard this one already. But it bears repeating.
Studying the Bible will give you a better understanding of how you should live as a Christian.
Jesus said to the Jews that believed in him, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
As a disciple of Christ, you are to live according to his teachings. This proves to the world that you are one of his disciples.
As you study the word of God, you will get a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and how you should live as his disciple.
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Read The Bible With A Plan And Purpose
The phrase inductive Bible study has various connotations. In this brief article, it refers to purposefully and systematically studying Gods Word on its own terms, observing what the text says in its context, interpreting Scripture with Scripture, and applying the truth of Gods Word to our lives. I like to explain this process using three Ls: Look , Learn , and Live .
I find it most helpful to study inductively through entire books of the Bible, to see how each verse, paragraph, and chapter builds upon on each other and contributes to the biblical authors flow of thought and theological message. While its possible to work through the inductive Bible study process with a short book like Philemon or 3 John in one day, we need a plan to study longer books over a period of days or weeks. Whether we follow the MCheyne daily Bible reading schedule or choose to study through one book at a time, a plan gives order and direction to our personal study and helps us develop good habits for consistent, purposeful time in Gods Word.
The Beginners Guide: How To Read The Bible For Beginners
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where do you even start?
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where does one even begin?
Do you start at the beginning and read straight through to the end? Should you jump around and read whatever strikes your fancy?
Is there a version of the Bible thats better than another version?
Speaking of versions, how many versions are there and what is the difference?
But reading and studying the Bible is an important part of every believers life and is one of the core spiritual disciplines.
Today Ill address the most common questions that beginners have about the Bible and how to read it.
How To Study The Bible For Beginners
JaimeBible StudyAugust 6, 2021
Grow closer to God and deepen your faith as you learn how to study the Bible for beginners. Well show you how to get started in this handy guide to studying the Bible!
If youve wondered how to start studying the Bible when youre a beginner just starting out, then you should know: Ive been there, too, despite having grown up sitting on a church pew.
Sure, I knew a few feel-good Bible stories, and had memorized a handful of popular bible verses over my childhood, but it wasnt until I was an adult that I began to really dive into Gods Word. Did you know, its possible to know Bible stories, yet totally miss the Bible story? Many of us who grew up in church experience this, not just newcomers. If this sounds like you, youre not alone. Keep reading, because Im going to break down how to study the Bible for beginners.
When we pastored, I saw this same dilemma among the precious people there. Whether youd grown up in church all your life or were totally new to Christ, over time you came to the realization that you needed to enrich your understanding of the Bible and get rooted in your faith.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to items I think may be helpful to you.
Tips For Studying The Bible For Beginners Or Experienced Believers
How to study the Bible for beginners – tips & ideas for beginners and experienced Christians. We are not taught in church how to read the Bible, but studying the Bible is an essential activity of Christianity. It is easy to learn to study the Bible with these 10 practical tips.
I received an email last week from a sweet mom of five boys. She is a new believer, and she is trying to find ways to fit her walk with Jesus around her already busy life.
I responded to that email and told Amanda that I understood a little of her dilemma , and hopefully I could help her to figure it out.
I remember being a new believer. I was introduced to the Bible as a child, but I never read or studied any of it until I came back to the church as an adult. It was not all that long ago that I opened at The Word, knowing I was supposed to read and study it, but not having a clue what read and study really meant.
I was intimidated by the Bible and, if I’m being totally honest, completely overwhelmed by it. I had a King James Bible, and it didn’t make any sense to me at all!
If you are there, my friend, read on. Even if you have been a believer for years and years, if you don’t have a strong Bible study habit, this post is for you, too.
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How To Get The Most Out Of Studying The Bible
The Bible is a book unlike any other book. It is, in fact, a whole library of books, all bound together in one volume. These individual books were written by many different authors over an extended period of time. What makes the Bible so unique, though, is that its many human authors were all inspired by its one Divine AuthorGod Himself! The Greek word for inspired means God-breathed. These words that carry Gods breath are words that can change and transform our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that all of Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness .
If we want to understand who God is, what His purposes are, and how He has made Himself known to the human race, we cannot afford to ignore the Bible.
Whenever you purchase a complicated gadget it is usually accompanied by a set of instructionsa manufacturers handbook. Without this handbook youll find yourself having to just guess how it works. In a sense, the Bible is the manufacturers handbook for life. The One who created us has plans and purposes for us. If we dont know the content of His manufacturers handbook we wont know what these are or how to live as He intends for us to live.
Here are some things you can do that will help you to get the most out of your biblical study