What Book Of The Bible Should I Start With
The first thing a lot of people want to know is where you should start. With the Bible being a collection of texts, you could technically start anywhere.
It might sound obvious, but one option is to start at the beginning, in Genesis, and read it from front to back. One benefit of this is seeing the full arc of the Bible story unfold in front of you.
Yes, thats right, although the Bible is a collection of different texts, with different authors, themes, and mini narratives, its actually one big story. A larger meta-narrative which covers creation, fall, exile, redemption, the start of the church and new creation. If you want to read more about this six act structure and how we fit into this overarching Bible story, have a read of this.
Theres a lot of benefits to doing it that way but its not for the faint hearted. Particularly if youre new to the Bible you might get stuck on some of the meatier bits of the Old Testament.
For first time readers, a popular option is to start with the Gospels and more specifically the Gospel of Mark. The shortest of the four Gospels, its also thought to be the earliest account to be written. As such theres a helpful urgency to the way it tells the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection.
Another great place to start is Ephesians, one of Pauls letters. This relatively short book perfectly encapsulates the good news of Jesus Christ and how that should impact our lives.
The Printable Chronological Bible Reading Plan
I have put together a short eBook outlining every chapter in the Bible chronologically. You will find a deeper overview of this process in the opening pages.
For me, its helpful to simply print the two pages with the chapter breakdowns and tuck it in my Bible.
Feel free to print it, copy it, or share it.
How To Develop A Daily Bible Reading Plan For The Year
You can develop your own Bible reading plan, starting with Creation on day one and working through Genesis, the story of Noahâs Ark up to Abrahamâs journey.
As you proceed through the Scriptures each day, make sure you highlight verses and make notes in the margins. You may also want to cross-reference other passages of the Bible. By the end of the year , youâll be reading the Book of Revelation, predicting the Second Coming of Christ, which is the logical end of the Bible.
While reading Abrahamâs journey, consider the promises God made to him and the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery during the Exodus. The struggles of the Hebrews are well-documented by the prophet Jeremiah in Lamentations 1-3.
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New Testament Era Order
The New Testament Era Order centers on the life of Jesus of Nazareth from the different accounts of the authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John, to the events after his death & resurrection, and ends with the book of Revelation.
- Luke 1 2 John the Baptists Birth
- Mathew 1 The Taxing of the Roman Empire
- Matthew 2 Magis Visit
- John 1 Jesus Early Life
- Matthew 3 John The Baptist Makes Preparations
- Luke 3 John The Baptist Makes Preparations
- Matthew 4 Jesus Temptation
- Luke 5 Jesus and his First Disciples
- John 2 4 The Wedding at Cana
- Matthew 5 7 Sermon on the Mount
- Matthew 8 Jesus Ministers in Galilee
- John 5 Pool of Bethesda
- Matthew 12 Jesus, Lord of Sabbath
- Luke 6 Jesus, Lord of Sabbath
- Matthew 11 Jesus Answers the Messengers from John the Baptist
- Luke 7 Jesus Answers the Messengers from John the Baptist
- Matthew 13 The Parables of Jesus
- Luke 8 The Parables of Jesus
- Matthew 9 Jesus Heals the Paralyzed
- Matthew 10 Jesus Sends out his Apostles
- Matthew 14 Beheading of John the Baptist
- John 6 Jesus Feeds 5000
- Matthew 15 On What Defiles
- Matthew 16 Peters Confession
- Matthew 17 The Transfiguration
Reading Through The Bible A Plan I Can Stick With
Reading Scripture was both an Old Testament practice and a New Testament practice . It was performed by Jesus Himself , and prescribed by the Apostle Paul .
“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:13
Today, it seems more important than ever for us to be in the Word of God.
“Read with an earnest desire to understand it. Read with simple childlike faith and humility. Read with a spirit of obedience and self-application. Read Scripture every day.” J.C. Ryle
What Bible reading does for the reader:
- Bible reading will bless us .
- Bible reading leads us to know God’s plan of salvation .
- Bible reading brings us to an understanding of God’s will for our life .
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Chronological Order Versus Canonical Order
The standard order of the books of most Bibles today is the canonical order:
The canonical order of books does not follow a chronological order all the way through the Bible. Rather, it follows the order of books found in the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate translated by Jerome in the 4th century A.D.The canonical order groups books together according to their type of literature:
The chronological order groups books together according to their historical date and content.Today, the order of the books in most Bibles is basically in chronological order from Genesis to 2 Kings, but after that chronological order of events often disappears. In the New Testament, Matthew through Acts is basically in chronological order, but after that the chronological order of events once again is gone. The majority of printed Bibles today arrange their books canonically rather than chronologically.
To place the books of the Bible in chronological order three kinds of rearranging must be done:
Start Reading The Bible Today
Theres no one right order to read the Bible. Reading the Bible from cover-to-cover is also an option, especially if youre not new to the Bible. For most people, Id recommend the list above.
Dont feel limited by the order or the details. If you find something really interesting, feel free to stay there. Read the same book again. Keep reading and encountering God in His Word. Let Him lead you on this exciting journey.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Tim. 3:16-17
Diagram of the Big-Picture Overview of the Entire Bible
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Who Wrote Most Of The New Testament
The Pauline letters are the thirteen New Testament books that present Paul the Apostle as their author. Paul’s authorship of six of the letters is disputed. Four are thought by most modern scholars to be pseudepigraphic, i.e., not actually written by Paul even if attributed to him within the letters themselves.
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Bible Context On Steroids
If you are looking to read the Bible in chronological order then chances are you want to better understand the context of its writings and how they all fit together. Most chronological Bible reading plans do this a little bit, but the plan created by Bible Study Together takes this to a whole new level. This reading plan puts the Old Testament timeline in chronological order and then inserts New Testament parallel passages alongside the Old Testament chronology. The result is that you get to see how the Old Testament is explained and fulfilled in the New Testament while you daily read through the Bible. All this is done without breaking up the context of Pauls letters so that you can still follow his logic. Some examples are the story of Abraham and Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So if you are looking to better understand the context of the Bible, Bible Study Togethers Chronological Cross-Reference Bible Reading Plan is the best one for you!
Best Chronological Bible Reading Plan Printable
Ultimately, the order you read the Bible in is up to you. There are many different methods and plans online that can help guide your study time each day for a deeper understanding of Gods message to us through His word.
However, I would encourage you to read the Bible in its entirety at least once for a big picture overview of what the Bible says about Jesus Christ. There is no one right way to read the Bible however if you do choose to read the Bible chronologically, be sure to to keep track of your daily readings.
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How Do You Read The Bible In Chronological Or Historical Order
While there is more than one way to read the Bible in chronological order, most methods begin with the books written by Moses and end with the letters of John and the book of Revelation. While the first and last book of the Bible are in correct chronological position, some books require a shuffling of order so that they follow the historical timeline.
The first major difference in reading the Bible chronologically as opposed to its normal order is the placement of the book of Job. In most Bibles, Job appears before the book of Psalms. Bible scholars generally place the events of the book of Job in the antediluvian era. Therefore, to read the Bible chronologically, Job is read after reading Genesis chapters 8 through 11, the account of the flood.
After Job is inserted into the order, the Bible can be read in its normal order. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the other poetic books have no fixed historical setting, so different methods use different placements. However, these are usually grouped by writer that is, the psalms written by David are read during the accounts of David in 1 and 2 Samuel, while the proverbs of Solomon are read during either 1 Kings or 2 Chronicles.
Another major difference in reading the Bible chronologically is the placement of the books of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah. While in the Bibles normal order, these books appear before Job and Psalms, reading the Bible chronologically requires these books to be among the last Old Testament books read.
The Best Chronological Bible Reading Plan
If you have looked at chronological Bible reading plans then you know they are not all the same. You may be wondering why a Bible in chronological order could be different if theyre all supposed to follow the biblical timeline. Well, here is the big news they dont all follow the Bible timeline. Keep reading to find out what is the best way to read through the Bible chronologically or check out our favorite chronological Bible reading app.
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How Can I Study The Bible Daily
Using this guide, you will read the Bible daily, and you will always be inspired to read more! This is another reason why this method is the best order to read the Bible for the first time. This is what the plan will help you do:
The First Quarter
- You will read from the Old Testament and from the New Testament every day.
- Beginning in , you will read about Adam, Abraham, and Job. Read all about the story of Jacob and Joseph. Furthermore, find out everything you want to know about the birth of Christ, Christs youth, and how He started his ministry.
- Then, in , you will read about how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt during the Exodus. You will be right there as God gives the Law to His chosen people. Likewise, you will read about how Jesus selected His 12 disciples and about how he trained them for the ministry.
- Read all about the preparations for the Tabernacle in In addition, you will experience its actual construction! Learn about the offerings and about the religious observances of the nation of Israel. Be there as Jesus feeds 4,000 and 5,000 and then as Jesus is transfigured on the mountain!
The Second Quarter
And the year is only half over! Were sure you can already see why this is the best order to read the Bible for the first time. You will learn even more about the Bible in the second half of the year.
Why You Should Consider Reading The Bible Chronologically
A few weeks ago, I recommended various Bible reading plans and laid out the strengths and weaknesses of each.
One increasingly popular approach is chronological. This plan takes you through the Bibles grand narrative, so that you follow the storyline chronologically, helping you see how the Bible fits together to tell one big story that points to Jesus Christ.
I am currently making my way through the CSB Day-By-Day Chronological Bible, which features daily guided readings from George Guthrie, professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. I love the look and feel of this Bible, and Ive benefited already from single-column design and the expansive margin space for note-taking. There are two versions of this Bible, a paperback edition and a simulated leather.
Guthrie has long been a champion of tools that help people get into the Bible to read and discover Gods Word for themselves and in their communities. Today, Ive invited Guthrie to answer a few questions about this new release.
Trevin Wax: When did you read through the Bible chronologically for the first time?
George Guthrie: I dont really remember exactly, but I have found this to be an important part of my own ongoing growth as a follower of Christ. I continue to be amazed at the beauty of the fact that God wants to communicate with us, and I am constantly astounded at the beauty of Bibles amazing Story.
More By Trevin
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Why Is The Bible So Important To Christians
The Bible is the Word of God and the ultimate declaration of His love, mercy, and ultimately, the gift of Salvation to mankind.
The Bible contains truths and commandments that, at times, prove challenging for us to obey however, they are written in order that we, as Christians, may live an abundant life, free from the bondage of sin, and filled with spiritual victory .
How Is The Bible Organized
The books of the Bible are organized by what type of literature they arehistorical, poetic, prophetic, or letters of instruction. Then within those categories, they are in chronological order.
For example, Genesis through Esther are primarily historical they tells us what events happened among God’s people during a period of time. Yet Job, which may have been written as early as Moses’ time, is placed much later in the Old Testament because it is considered poetry and thus gets grouped in with Psalms and Proverbs.
Books of the Bible with Categories
- Genesis through Esther: Historical
- Job through Song of Solomon: Poetry
- Isaiah through Malachi: Prophecy
After Malachi, we flip the page and get into the New Testament. Between the events of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament, there were 400 years of silence during which God did not speak to the Jewish people. So everything in the New Testament does take place after the events of the Old Testament. With everything included in the New Testament, the authors assumed that the audience was already familiar with the Scriptures we find in the Old Testament.
- Matthew through Acts: Historical
- Romans through Jude: Letters to churches or individuals
- Revelation: Prophecy
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What Else Will I Learn When I Use This Plan To Read The Bible
The Third Quarter
- In , read about Solomon, the king of Israel. Watch how he builds Israels magnificent first temple. You will be there as Saul of Tarsus meets the Lord on the Damascus Road. You will also witness the beginning of Pauls missionary journey.
- In , the nation of Israel splinters and Elijah does battle with King Ahab and Jezebel. You will learn about Joel, Hosea, Jonah, and Isaiah. As we turn to the New Testament, we will read 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.
- witnesses Hezekiah bringing revival to the nation of Judah. Whats more, at the same time Assyria conquers Israel. You will read one of Pauls greatest works, the book of Romans. And you will be there as Paul is warned not to travel to Israel.
The Fourth Quarter