Where To Start Reading
Like any great story it makes sense to start at the beginning, but perhaps if you are like me, skipping ahead to the climax of the story is also very attractive.
Its up to you where you start, and hopefully as you read, study, discuss and digest Gods truth, you will learn that every new page is God speaking to you and into your life. Enjoy every pageits a book that youll never get tired of.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, the passages found in Jesus on every page: Reading the Biblical narrative in Five Acts can be a good place to start as you seek to understand the overview of Gods story. Once you have read through these, dig deeper into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ starting in the book of John, in the New Testament.
Jesus The Ultimate Word Of God
Jesus is not only called the Word of God but also demonstrated in His life that He spoke with authority and power as the God of the Old Testament.
He spoke with authority over creation , people , spiritual realm and concerning the future .
The first four books of the New Testament recorded Jesus words for us to read and understand for ourselves, much like those first disciples who originally heard the words from Jesus own mouth.
Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, wrote to a young man named Timothy to encourage him to look to the Bible to grow and become wise in Christ.
His instructions show us the early churchs understanding of the nature of Scripture. Paul writes,
you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:15-17
Books Of The Bible In Canonical Order
GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomyJoshuaJudges1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesJobPsalms
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Level Five & Six: The Letters & A Prophetic Book
The next section contains epistles, or letters, written by early church leaders to various congregations or individuals. They struggled with and celebrated the same things we do today.
The final section of the New Testament is also prophecy. Its primarily about Jesus second coming, and how to live in the interval between His two appearances.
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.
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Books Of The Bible You Should Read Again And Again
- Betsy de CruzCrosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 201927 Jul
Growing up, I thought the Bible was a real snoozer. I had no idea it contained the living, breathing Word of God. The only Good Book I had ever seen was my great-grandmothers original King James Bible, the 1611 version, and it put me to sleep. I didnt know why Jesus was so important, but I had an inward longing to know God, so Id pick up that cracked blue leather Bible with crinkled pages and read page one of Genesis…
…until drowsiness overtook me. Then Id put that antique Bible back on the shelf until next time. I read the first chapter of Genesis about fifteen times as a teen, but that was as far as I got.
When I came to faith as a college student, I discovered the power of Gods Word. Reading a modern translation, I began to understand Gods love for me. As a desperate young mom years later, I discovered that Gods Word gave me peace and encouragement. When I began to parent teens, I learned Gods Word imparted wisdom and strength. In todays world, against the backdrop of grim headlines in the news, I find hope on its pages. I find joy that sustains me in my weak moments.
The Bible is a living book with a timeless message. The more we read it, the more Gods words get into us. We get to know God better. We find wisdom and guidance for how to deal with our crazy lives. We find peace for our troubled times and hope for our hard moments.
Level Three: The Prophetic Books
The last section contains the writings of the prophets. They wrote about a great deal of things, but mostly they spoke about two major catastrophes in Israels history.
In 722 B.C., Israel was destroyed by Assyria, and then in 586 B.C., Babylon attacked and captured Jerusalem. These events were incredibly significant in the life of Israel. By and large, the prophets wrote to warn of, or explain, these events.
The final prophet, Malachi, wrote about 400 B.C., and then there was silence until Jesus arrival.
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Whats So Important About Reading The Bible
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of the Creator God .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said, and you might wonder how?
While God is not one to be boxed in and limited by our understanding of His ways, one channel that God speaks to us is through His word, which is described by the writer of Hebrews as alive .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said , and you might wonder: How?
In the book of 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul tells his disciple, Timothy, that all Scripture is God-breathed. One translation translates it more simply as inspired by God .
The purpose of the Bible? To prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
No one enters into a new relationship without communication as a child of God, our relationship with God is no different.
God desires to speak to us and He often does it through what He has already revealed in the Bible, the word of God .
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.
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Know What Type Of Writing It Is
Different people use different categories for the types of Biblical writings but I am just going to share the broader types to help you get started.
The broad writing styles of the Bible are these:
Are you going to read poetry differently then you would American laws? Would you read a persons memoir differently than a letter from a friend?
Yes, you would! You would be reading it differently expecting different messages and ways of translating. The same is true for Scripture.
For example, Leviticus is a book of law while Psalm and Proverbs are poetry. They are written differently, for different purposes and we must approach Scripture according to those differences.
After choosing a book to set up camp in, determine what kind of writing it is!
Where Should I Start Reading The Bible
A lot of new and seasoned Christians have a story about their attempts to read the Bible cover to cover that goes something like this: It was going great as they read through Genesis and Exodus, but somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers, they started to get bogged down in details they didnt quite understand. And by the time they hit Deuteronomy, they were done.
While its true that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness , we need to recognize that the Bible is not like any other book. It isnt necessarily meant to be read from front to back. In fact, the Bible is actually a library.
The Protestant Bible is comprised of 66 books, and many of those books are written in a variety of different genres or types of literature. These genres all need to be read a little differently. Starting at Genesis and trying to read straight through without a strategy can get frustrating if you dont know how these books and their literary genres work together.
There are a few ways to classify the genres of the Bible, but they typically fall into these categories.
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Ground Level: The Historical Books
The bulk of the Old Testament primarily covers a period of time from about 2500 B.C. to about 400 B.C., in the area of the world known by scholars as The Ancient Near East. It specifically focuses on Gods historical and prophetic interactions with the Hebrew people. There are 39 books or sections written by a number of different authors.
The Old Testament is divided into at least three major sections. The first part contains the history of the Jewish people. Its roughly chronological, and all the narratives fit into the times described in these history books.
Unlike Most Books Dont Start At The Beginning
The Bible is the Word of God, and every word is holy. However, once you get into the book of Genesis, you will notice a lot of genealogy and it can be a little intimidating as a beginner.
Plus, unlike typical books, you dont have to read the Bible from cover to cover to get started. Honestly, you dont even have to start at the beginning!
Instead, choose a book of the Bible thats easier to understand, such as one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When I first started reading the Bible I enjoyed the book of Luke for the way it described the life of Jesus.
Plus, starting at the Gospels will help you grasp the sacrifice of Jesus, identify with His time on earth and relate to Him in a more personal way.
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Other Names And Titles
The New Testament uses several titles to refer to Jesus. However, some terms that are commonly used in the Christian tradition rarely appear in the New Testament, e.g. the exact term “Savior” appears only once, and is uttered by the Samaritans in John 4:42. The title “Nazarene” applied to Jesus has been also used to designate Christians in Syriac and Arabic traditions.
The title “Chosen one” or “Elect one” is used twice in Luke’s gospel: eklektos is used in 23:35 when the rulers mock Jesus, while eklelegmenos is used in 9:35 when Jesus is baptized. James R. Edwards notes that the phrase is used repeatedly in 1 Enoch, but was associated in Jewish thinking with triumph and glory, rather than with suffering.
Christian theologians such as Thomas Aquinas have produced significant arguments analyzing various names and titles for Jesus. In John 8:58 Jesus says: “Before Abraham was born, I am.” The phrase “I am” was considered a name for Jesus by Aquinas who considered it the most proper of all divine names, for Aquinas believed it to refer to the “being of all things”.
One of the titles preceded by an “I am” assertion of Jesus is the “Bread of Life” title in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life: he who comes to me shall not hunger.” The Bread of Life Discourse takes place in the Gospel of John shortly after Jesus feeds the crowds with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Learning How To Read The Bible Can Be Fun And Enjoyable
PinBy the way, if youre truly interested in learning how to read the Bible for beginners, Id love to invite you to check out my brand new book: Fall in Love with Gods Word: Practical Strategies for Busy Women!
Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Fall in Love with Gods Word has everything you need to learn how to:
- Overcome 7 common obstacles preventing you from spending time in Scripture
- Discover the personalized Bible-reading routine that works for YOU
- Learn 15 easy ways to make reading the Bible for beginners more meaningful and enjoyable
- Use Scripture to conquer sin, false beliefs, and negative thought patterns
- Experience fresh spiritual growth and passion for Gods Word.
Please visit Amazon.com or your local bookstore to learn more and grab your copy of Fall in Love with Gods Word today!
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Listen To An Audio Bible
For a lot of the churchs history, people listened to Gods Word instead of reading it. Sometimes it can be helpful to purchase an audio Bible, then take a walk and listen to the Bible instead of reading it. If you find that youre struggling through your daily reading, consider supplementing it with an audio Bible.
With the NIV 50th Anniversary app , you can read or listen to the full Bible textand its free!
If You’re Wondering How To Start Reading The Bible Here Are My Top Five Places To Start Reading The Bible:
1. The Gospel of John – This is the best place for new believers, especially, to start reading. This book will give you a good understanding of who Jesus is and what His ministry is about. Although the other Gospel accounts do this, the book of John particularly focuses on who Jesus is rather than just what He did.
2. Romans – This is a good place to start if you want a clear understanding of the Gospel. I suggest every Christian read Romans to build confidence in the faith they profess. Since the entire Bible points to the Good News of Jesus Christ, this is certainly a good place to start.
3. Psalms – This is a great place to start if you’re looking for encouragement. The Psalms offer hope, and healing, and help us to better understand that God is with us no matter our circumstances. I often suggest reading Psalms if stress and anxiety keep you up at night because the poetry style of writing is not only relatable but also very comforting.
4. Proverbs – This book is packed with wisdom. It offers biblical knowledge and instruction to help guide us in our day-to-day life. It’s a great place to start if you want practical direction on how to live out this Christian life. The brevity of each verse also makes it an easy and light read.
Use this free PDF for prayer in addition to reading scripture – Praying Through the Psalms: A 30 Day Prayer Guide
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