Where Biblical Knowledge Comes From
The most important element when reading the Bible is to not be in a hurry. Stop and meditate on the words. And pray for the Holy Spirit to open up the meanings and understanding of the Bible It is the Father that reveals spiritual knowledge through the Holy Spirit and He reveals these truths to those whom He calls. If you are wanting to read the Bible, believer or not, this may be strong evidence that God the Father is calling you . Spiritual truths are not actually acquired by human thought alone but as Jesus told Peter, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven . The point is that biblical knowledge is not gained by rote memorization or from academic head knowledge but by God the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said in John 16:13, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
New American Standard Bible
Poised as the most literal and most readable Bible version, New American Standard Bible has gained such a loyal following through the years. The reason why it is more popular than the other easy to read ones is that it combines the literary beauty of the King James Version Bible, and the simplicity of how verses should be shared in this modern world. Using standard language and simple sentence structure, beginners will have a great start in Bible reading with this version.
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Literal Translations Of The Bible
Based on Functional Equivalence or Literal here are the 5 most accurate translations of the Bible:
1. New American Standard Bible
The NASB holds the title of Most Accurate Translation due toits strict adherence to Literal translation methods. It wasoriginally published in 1963 and was revised in 1995.
Another thing that makes it so accurate is the NASBs use of the text from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum critical text.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the oldest of Old Testament texts. They are regarded by scholars as among the best original texts.
The NASB is not too easy to read, due to the strict adherence to literalism. The translators wanted to stick to the structure of the source language as closely as possible.
This gives the NASB the title for most accurate English translation at the expense of readability and comprehension.
There are quite a few people who love reading such an accurate translation, so the NASB has a strong following.
But there are other translations that are easier to read than the NASB. .
2. English Standard Version
The ESV is a revision of the Revised Standard Version .It is also very close to the NASB. It was originally published in 2001.
A new edition was published in 2009 including thedeuterocanonical or apocryphal- books. This makes it suitable for reading forCatholic believers.
It is written in very modern English, yet readers still find that it reminds them of the KJV and RSV.
3. New English Translation
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So Why Isnt The Bible In Chronological Order
The books of the Bible are not listed in chronological order, as they are divided by different forms of literature.
There are 66 books in the Bible that cover a time span of 1500 years the Old Testament consists of 39 books and the New Testament consists of 27.
The following is a division of the books of the Old and New Testament as we know it:
Best Place To Start Reading The Bible For A New Christian
The Bible is composed of 66 books written by 40 authors. So where does a new Christian begin when they start to read the Bible? Do they read it from Genesis to Revelation? What do pastors, theologians, Sunday school teachers, and even seminary professors recommend a new believer to start reading the Bible? Are there better places to start than others and some books to be avoided at first? Here are my recommendations for the best place to start reading the Bible for a new Christian and an unbeliever.
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How To Read The Bible: Pray Before You Begin
Pause before you open your Bible and ask God to speak to you. Remember, the Bible is Gods Word it is Gods love letter written to His people, which includes you.
Ask God to help you understand His Word. Ask God 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.
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
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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.
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Why Isnt The Bible Arranged Chronologically
Its important to remember that the Bible is a collection of writings. No one sat down and said, Lets write the Bible from start to finish. The scrolls that make up the books of the Bible were written by more than 30 authors and accumulated over thousands of years.
These books were laid out by literary genre:
- The books of Moses
- Final prophecy
At the beginning, the Bible is in chronological order. If you read the books of Moses in the order that they appear, youre reading biblical history in its proper sequence. And of course, the Old Testament is chronologically before the New Testament. But eventually youll come to places where timelines weave together or overlap. And there is benefit to this arrangement, as for example stopping to read a prophet can give you insight into a historical narrative, and reading one of Pauls epistles can clarify events in the story of Acts.
How To Read And Understand The Bible
Reading the Bible on your own is a great start to growing in your walk with Christ.
However, if you want to understand the Bible, you have to learn how to study the Bible.
Attending your local churches weekly bible study is a great place to start.
Bible studies are less formal than Sunday service. Usually, you can ask the Pastor or group leader questions and gain insight from other members of the congregation.
There are also ways to study the Bible on your own, but thats a topic for another day.
I hope answered all of your questions about the Bible and how to read it.
Dont forget to download a copy of my Bible Reading Plan for Beginners!
As always, remember to keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your Sister in Christ,
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How Much Of The Bible Should You Read A Day
There really isnt a right or wrong answer to this question. It really depends on what your goals are.
Do you want to read through the Bible in a year?
Do you want to read it in chronological order?
Are you trying to make reading the bible a daily habit?
Are you studying a specific topic?
Is there a specific book of the Bible you want to focus on?
No matter what your goals are there are plenty of Bible reading plans available online for you to choose from. Most bibles have a yearly reading plan already in them.
If you dont want to follow a reading plan, I would suggest you read a chapter a day.
How To Read The Bible: Read A Little Every Day
Getting Gods Word into your life doesnt have to take long. Start smallfive or 10 minutes is better than none. Sometimes less is more, especially when reading less means youll actually remember more.
Chose a time and place thats 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 arent your thing, dont sweat it. That you read Gods Word is more important than when you read Gods 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.
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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!
Pray Before You Read Scripture
Pray that God allows you to see Christ in the passage. Pray that He allows you to understand the true meaning of the text. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind. Ask the Lord to give you the desire to read His Word and enjoy it. Pray that God would speak directly to you with whatever you are going through.
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
Remember that Hes the same God
God hasnt changed. We often look at passages in the Bible and think to ourselves, well that was then. However, Hes the same God that revealed Himself to Moses. Hes the same God that led Abraham. Hes the same God that protected David. Hes the same God that provided for Elijah. God is real and active in our lives today just as He was in the Bible. As you read, remember this incredible truth as you apply different passages to your life.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Look to see what God is saying to you in the passage that you are reading.
God is always speaking. The question is, are we always listening? God speaks through His Word, but if our Bible is closed we dont allow God to speak. Are you dying to hear Gods voice?
Do you want Him to talk to you like He used to? If so, get in the Word. Maybe God has been trying to tell you something for a long time, but you have been too busy to realize.
Write down what God is telling you.
Look in the commentary
Pray after you read Scripture
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How Should I Study The Bible
The best method to learn materials is to quickly skim or read like a novel, then study everything a second time, finally reread in a regular repeating pattern that covers the entire bible. Heres a suggested order of reading:
Read the epistles the most. Read the Gospels the next most. Then, in order of frequency, I recommend Psalms, Prophets, Proverbs, the books of Moses , and least often the history books.
Everything in the Bible is important, but this type of order will build up foundational knowledge and understanding the quickest.
Benefits Of Reading The Bible Chronologically
1. We understand the story better.
The Bible is a huge and rather complicated book, and it holds a lot of information. How does one even begin? This is where the concept of reading the Bible chronologically comes in. The Bible is made up of 66 different books that are grouped mainly by genre. Some books are primarily narrative, others poetry, others personal letters, others prophecy, etc. So just reading the it from cover to cover will not be the same as reading the Bible chronologically, or in the order the events actually happened or were written. Purchasing and reading through a Bible that is specifically chronological, in other words, a Bible where the books have been arranged in the order that the events took place, or taking classes where the Bible is being taught in chronological order, will help you immensely in your journey of understanding the Word.
2. We have a clearer and broader picture of the main character of the story, God Himself.
Gods character is revealed progressively throughout the story of the Bible. Just as we do not fully know someone upon meeting them for the first time, nor do we fully understand the Lord when we only read bits and pieces of His story. Studying or reading the Bible chronologically will help bring clarity to His character, and provide a more full comprehension of who God is.
3. We avoid major gaps in our understanding of Gods plan for mankind.
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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.
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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