Faith : Where Should I Start Reading The Bible
Salt& Light // May 28, 2019, 1:50 pm
An overview of the entire New Testament of the Bible in pictures. This is one of many charts created by The Bible Project which produces animated videos. Photo by The Bible Project.
The Bible is the worlds best-selling book of non-fiction, according to Guinness World Records!
That, in itself, may not be a compelling reason to read the Bible. But more compelling is this: The Bible is where you can encounter God.
Literally speaking, the Bible is a collection of 66 separate books 39 books under the Old Testament, and 27 books under the New Testament. These books are ancient scripts of different writing styles, including narrative, poetry, songs, and prose, in forms ranging from letters to laws. They were originally written in Hebrew and Greek, but have since been translated into a multitude of languages.
You will find timeless wisdom in the Bible for living, and a treasure trove of truths about God and the world we live in, both seen and unseen.
To find out more, check out The Bible Project an animated video guide to reading the Bible.
Being Transformed By Gods Word
Why do we study the Bible? Seriously. Think about it.
Growing in our knowledge of the Bible is how we grow in our knowledge of Jesus. Its about our relationship with Him.
The meditation or interpretation aspect of Inductive Bible Study should lead us to apply Gods Word to our own lives. How can we live it out? How does this change me?
Thinking about what youve learned from the passage, you might ask questions like:
- How does this affect my life?
- How does it apply to me?
- How should this change the way I think/speak/act?
- What actions do I need to take?
- Is there sin I need to repent of?
Bible Studies For Women That Are Worth Doing
Are you looking for a Bible study for women? When youre just getting started studying the Bible, sometimes it helps to have a good Bible study guide. Here are 10 Bible studies worth doing!
Whenever I write a new post, I always research the web to see whats already been written on a topic. I do this for several reasons.
First, I dont want to duplicate what someone else has already written, and second, I want to know what it is people are recommending or teaching on a certain topic.
For example, in todays post Im sharing some of my favorite Bible studies for women that I think are worth doing.
As I researched for this post, I kept getting more and more frustrated. Every single search of Bible study for women didnt turn up Bible studies at all. What I found were books written by women for women on a specific womens issue.
Read Also: What Is The Chronological Order Of The Bible
Look Through Bible Commentaries
Another exercise that can be incredibly helpful as youre learning how to study the Bible for beginners is reading through various Bible commentaries on the key verses youre reading.
Basically, Bible commentaries are big books where really smart theologians explain a lot of background on the text and what it means in the original language. This is where you can find some of the words in the original Greek or Hebrew, along with expanded word definitions that help you really capture what the full extent of what the author was trying to convey.
You can , borrow them from your library, or just do your research online on Bible Hub while youre looking up various verse translations. Just scroll down and youll find a bunch you can read and compare.
This is SO helpful when youre first learning how to study the Bible for beginners, because theyre easily accessible and free!
For example, one of the most helpful commentaries I looked up was on Exodus 20:3, which says You shall have no other gods before me.
At first reading, the text looks pretty straightforward. God is telling Moses that the Israelites should put God first on their list of priorities. But this isnt actually what the text means at all.
Instead, if you , particularly the second half of Ellicotts Commentary for English Readers, youll see that God wasnt asking to be our FIRST god. Hes asking to be our ONLY God. Thats a pretty big difference!
Need Help Studying The Bible
At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, we believe Bible book studies are important. Thats why our Biblical Studies degree requires students to take courses in the following Bible books: Genesis, Daniel, John, Romans, and Hebrews. We believe these books are significant in understanding the Christian faith and doctrine.
Were here to help you study the Bible. Consider taking our How to Study the Bible course. We offer it tuition-free every quarter . The course is taught on campus Thursday mornings and evenings. We also offer the course online regularly. Check it out here.
Or, if youre ready to dive inconsider taking some of our Bible book courses. For more information, visit us online at www.ccbs.edu or give us a call at 323-5614.
Also Check: Maryland Bible College & Seminary Baltimore Md
Genesis: Where It All Began
In the Old Testament, Genesis, which means origin, is a good starting point too. Reading this narrative about the beginning of the world, how sin came to be and the impact it had on the world, gives us a reference point to start understanding the context of the New Testament.
Many famous Bible stories like Adam and Eve, Noahs ark, and the story of Joseph are found in Genesis.
Introduction to the book: The Book of Genesis tells us how everything began from humanitys history to become the world we know today. It reveals a dramatic prologue of Gods love for us, the tragedies of sin and the human race, and God initiating a brilliant plan to win us back from the clutches of darkness.
He does this by passing down a covenant blessing through Abraham and his family, including Isaac, Jacob, and other individuals, in order to bless all the families of the earth.
These descendants will become the foundation for the nation of Israel and Jesus the Messiah, who brings salvation for all of humanity.
Choose Where To Begin Studying The Word
The first step to learning how to study the Bible for beginners is to choose the topic or passage you want to study.
The key is to choose a topic youre really interested in or curious about, rather than just picking a segment of the Bible at random. Learning the Bible is easier and more interesting when youre motivated to learn more.
After all, you want to enjoy learning how to study the bible for yourself. The last thing you want is to find yourself struggling to read the Bible for a topic you dont even care about!
Not sure where to start your Bible study for beginners? Here are a few ideas:
- Doctrinal disagreements with friends/loved ones
- Various religious opinions/beliefs you encounter online
- How Christians should respond to various life situations and events
- Issues you struggle with, such as pride, selfishness, vanity or poor self-esteem
- Things you aspire to, such as love, gentleness, compassion or patience
Read Also: Chronological Order Of Old Testament Books
Milk Chocolate A Close Translation That Is Easily Understandable For Modern Readers
ESV A translation that tries to combine literal translation with being easy to understand in everyday modern English. This translation is common with mainline protestant communities.
NIV A translation that tries to combine literal translation with being easy to understand in everyday modern English. This translation is common with evangelical communities.
HCSB A translation that tries to combine literal translation with being easy to understand in everyday modern English. This translation is common with evangelical communities.
How Do You Study The Bible
Thats all Ive got for now. I hope that these methods will guide others in how to study the Bible for beginners out there. May it inspire you to find what works best for you in your own Bible study. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide to how to start studying the Bible. If you have any questions or comments, please dont hesitate to comment below. Let me know: how do you do your Bible study?
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Search Blogs And Online Articles
Another one of my favorite Bible study methods for beginners is to simply see what other writers, pastors, and bloggers have to say on the topic.
Now, you do have to be very careful when studying the Word in this way.
While you can learn a ton reading online articles, keep in mind that not everything you read online is Biblically sound, even if its written by a Christian author. And its very easy to get false information from a source that looks reputable, especially if youre just learning how to understand the Bible for the first time.
Some bloggers do have formal Bible training and actually care about getting the messages of Jesus Christ right. But unfortunately, many others simply want to spout off opinions or write something encouraging without first checking to make sure their message is Scripturally sound.
And again, were all just humans. Even when we do our best, were not infallible.
So, while you can certainly learn a lot this way, you DO need to make sure you also learn how to study the bible for yourself.
Read what they say, examine it against Scripture, and see if it makes sense. Read multiple, reputable sources. Dont simply take one persons word for what the Bible means. They could be wrong.
Also, whenever Im trying to figure out how to understand the Bible on a particular topic, I always save this step for last, because I want my beliefs to be formed by Scripture first not how other people interpret it.
The Gospel Of Mark Is The Shortest Gospel
You will ask, If you recommend a Gospel for a new believer, couldnt Matthew or Luke or John suffice? The answer is yes, of course, it will. But at 16 chapters, the book of Mark is the shortest of the Gospels, making it less intimidating than, say, Luke, which is 24 chapters long. You can read Mark in less than 90 minutes. Its a book that you can read in one sitting over and over again.
Recommended Reading: Does The Bible Say About Cremation
Study It By The Verbs In The Verse
For example, if you were studying John 3:16 you would find the following verbs: loved gave should not perish have
You could make a comparative list like this:God loved Humankind believesGod gave Humankind shall not perish Humankind has everlasting life.
Or simply take the nouns in this wonderful verse: God world only begotten Son whoever everlasting life.
Gospel Of John: Learning Who Jesus Is
Start with one of the four Gospels in the Bible. They give an account of Jesus life and teachings here on earth, and central to our faith is the historical figure of Jesus Christ, who is God Himself who became flesh, and dwelt among us .
Seven times, Jesus answers I Am when people question His identity.
The Gospel of John is a great place to start because it was written to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that by believing you may have life in his name. .
Introduction to the book: Throughout the Gospel of John, we see that Jesus is God.
Not only is Jesus the Messiah , Hes also the Son of God who gives eternal life to everyone who believes in His name. We see this reality through the signs and miracles He performs, and seven times He answers I Am when people question His identity.
Recommended Reading: What The Bible Says About Isolation
Best Study Bible: Interpretive Or Application
First, let me say that both interpretive and application study Bibles are wonderful resources, and calling one type the best study Bible probably isnt the most helpful way to think about the subject.
However, if push comes to shove, Ill always recommend an interpretive study Bible.
Because I believe that the Holy Spirit is primarily responsible for helping us apply Gods word to our lives. He is the one who makes convicts us of sin and righteousness. He is the one who reveals Christ to us. He is the one who comforts us in our afflictions and encourages when were downtrodden.
Additionally, I dont want someone else doing the hard work of wrestling through how to apply various verses. I want to prayerfully grapple with the text, seeking Gods help to pull out the various meanings and applications.
Bottom line: When it comes to choosing the best study Bible, I would recommend one that focuses on interpretation rather than application.
In Service Of The Main Point
But in fact, this is one of the key parts of studying the Bible! If your divisions follow the authors flow of thought, youll be swimming with the current of the book, making it easier to see the main point of each passage.
And if you can understand and apply the main point of a Bible passage, genuine change in your life is next!
Read Also: Chronological Order Of Books In The Bible
Bible Study Through Biography
The Bible is a record of Gods revealing Himself to people and through people. The Old Testament as well as the New is rich in such biographical studies. Here are a few:
- Noah: Genesis 5:3210:32
- Deborah: Judges 4 5
Let us summarize various methods for studying the great Bible biographies:
How To Start Bible Study: What To Expect From Bible Reading
I heard this great anecdote from a video a few months ago. We often come to the Bible hoping or even expecting to get that amazing, awe-inspiring feeling of connection with God. But that moment is like going out to your favorite restaurant on your birthday its exciting, memorable, and you look forward to it all year. By comparison, most of the time, our everyday meals are simple, unmemorable, or even boring. Our everyday meals may not stand out, but our bodies notice if we skipped them.
By the same vein, we may not have an incredible moment of connection with God every time that we open our Bibles. But we still benefit from the everyday moments of Bible study that may feel less memorable. Every time you open your Bible, youre opening yourself up to a deeper connection with God. Youre nourishing your mind and soul. Youre strengthening your faith, even if it doesnt feel like it. Just because you dont feel much, dont give up.
Also Check: Bible Against Race Mixing
Nasb Zondervan Study Bible
From the publishers website:
Over 20,000 notes, adapted from the bestselling NIV Zondervan Study Bible, draw on the knowledge of todays leading experts to provide valuable commentary right where you need it. No need to flip pages to obtain important insights on biblical words, verses, and passages. An exclusive, center-column reference system guides your study with over 100,000 references. In-text maps give you an instant feel for biblical geography.
Looking For A Simple Bible Reading Plan To Get You Started
Ive created a Book of John Bible reading plan to help you get into Gods Word right away! Just read through each set of verses and after about a months time, youll be all the way through one book of the Bible!
I love to share resources for helping you understand and apply the Bible to your life with my readers, and so when you subscribe via email to my blog in the box at the end of the post, Ill send you the Book of John Bible reading plan straight to your inbox!
12 Comments on The Best Way to Start Reading the Bible as a New Believer
Recommended Reading: What Is The Chronological Order Of The Bible
Do You Have Other Suggestions Or Questions
Maybe you have some suggestions or question regarding the best place to start reading the Bible. Feel free to leave your comments below.
The Holy Bible, New International Version
YouTube: Bible Books by Bigsby
Ive been confused for most of my life. Ive always believed in God and that Jesus is the Son of God born of a virgin. I believe that He died for my sins and rose on the third day. And that He ascended to be with the Father. So where is my confusion? When I was a child my sister kept telling me that if I didnt go forward I would go to hell. I did that. Then she said that if I didnt get baptized I would go to hell. I did that. Then as an adult I came under conviction and realized I never was saved. I made it right. Then people were happy for me and left it at that. Now Im desperate to learn all about the Lord and dont know hot to go about it. I feel as though Im living a phony life. People will ask me to pray because they believe Im a strong woman of faith. Why do people feel that you suddenly know it all once you get saved? I dont know how to study my Bible. No one has ever taught me. I dont really know how to pray. I give advice when people ask for it and fail to tell them to go to the Bible where all the answers are. Mainly because I dont know how to find answers there myself.