The Best Order To Read The Bible For The First Time
Now I am not going to make a blanket statement and say you HAVE to read this book first and then give you an order.
I am going to give you a few different book ideas since its your first time reading the Bible.
If you dont want options and are just ready to be told where to start reading the Bible, Ive made a seven day video course just for you. Join right here!
Go check your email now!
Before that lets dive into a few facts about the Bible so you can understand the book a little better.
As You Read Keep Context In Mind
Context is key, the saying goes. And thats true for all situations including reading Scripture! Before you begin doing any type of Bible study, remember that all Scripture must be read in context.
Studying the Bible in context involves not just reading an isolated verse, but reading the verses around it as well. Another way to practice this is to learn the history behind the book of the Bible you are reading, find out who it is written to, and learn to see the verse as it relates to other verses in the Bible.
**If you are just starting out reading the Bible, dont let this overwhelm you. The idea of studying in context is simply something to keep in mind as you read, because it keeps us from misunderstanding what God is saying.
Heres an example of not reading in context :
The story is told of a man who wanted to find out what God had for his future, so he closed his eyes, opened the Bible randomly, and stuck his finger on the page. He opened his eyes and read Matthew 27:5, Judas . . . went away and hanged himself. Not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time, his finger landed on Luke 10:37, Go and do likewise. Again, not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time his finger landed on John 13:27, What you are about to do, do quickly.
Obviously, what those verses seem to be saying arent what they are saying at all!
Heres an example of how to read in context:
This Book Will Change Your Life
OK, so thats a substantial start. Get the tools, pull together your blueprints, and start building your love for Gods Word. There are several ways to begin reading Scripture these are just what Ive found over the years to be the best, most realistic steps to begin and keep reading it daily.
And dont just think that you have to study every time you open the Bible. Its great if you set aside thirty to forty-five minutes every day to begin studying, but that doesnt mean you cant flip through the pages in other books like the Psalms, Proverbs, Sirach, Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, or in St. Pauls letters youll be blessed by all of them.
I also strongly recommend the Book of James in the New Testament. Romans is a gorgeous and extraordinarily well-written book but is sometimes a little too deep for the biblical beginner. While Romans teaches us how to get to heaven, James teaches us how to live on earth . Its great.
All I can tell you from my own experience is that the Word of God has changed my life. It has deepened my experience of the Eucharist, both at Mass and in Adoration. It has deepened my love for our Mother Mary and my gratitude for intercessory prayer and the communion of saints. It has deepened my love for the Church, the papacy, and basic human dignity. It has fueled a fire within me for truth, the need to proclaim it, defend it, and uphold itespecially in this morally relative culture. I pray it will do the same for you.
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Closing Thoughts On Where To Start Reading The Bible
This post focuses on where to start reading the Bible, but its not the sum total of what you should do when read in the Bible. The above will give you a good foundational understanding of the Bible to launch from. But dont stop there.
Ive written many blog posts about how to read the Bible. These posts are what you should do once you know where to start reading the Bible. You can find more under the category:How To Read The Bible
Here are some of the top posts:
To Know God And His Plan Of Redemption
Beginning in Genesis, you are immediately catapulted into the great love-story of a sovereign, merciful, loving Creator God who makes himself known. The Bible contains the very words of God, which means they are real, they are true, they are trustworthy .
The Bible also exposes us, showing us who we are in light of a holy God: sinful and broken, separated from God. But the great news the Bible tells us is this: redemption and restoration is possible through faith in Jesus Christ.
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Fall In Love With Gods Word
Reading Gods Word truly CAN be fun, enjoyable, encouraging, inspiring, and so much more.
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!
Psalms: An Expression For Every Feeling
This book of poetry is a great place to find encouragement. In it, you can find the entire spectrum of human feelings expressed in song and poetry unto God. Find comfort in knowing that God values your feelings and has given the expression a significant portion of His Word. Often, many people find comfort in praying through the Psalms.
Introduction to the book: Part of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Book of Psalms is a remarkable collection of poems from David, Moses, and other Jewish writers. Through the Psalms, we learn about the importance of prayer and the acknowledgment of pain, as well as the power of praise and fulfilment of prophecy.
Here are some Psalms that are frequently spoken of:
Psalm 1: Psalm of wisdom Psalm 23: Confession of trust Psalm 46: Song of praise Psalm 51: Prayer of lament Psalm 91: Confession of trust Psalm 139: Prayer of lament
The introductions to each book listed here have been republished from The Bible Project with permission. Videos of most books of the Bible are also available in Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi and Telugu.
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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.
What Is The Best Bible For Beginners
Most people are familiar with the King James Version of the Bible, which also is the first authorized English translation of the bible.
However, I wouldnt recommend it for beginners.
When choosing a bible you should consider these two things:
- Readability & Understanding
Which Version of the Bible Should You Choose?
There are roughly 450 English translations of the bible.
The most popular translations are:
- King James Version
Why Are There So Many Bible Translations and Which One is Best?
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek .
Since the original Bible was written in several languages, it had to be translated into English. The English bible versions that we read are all translations from these original texts.
However, there are several ways that bibles can be translated.
The most accurate way is a word-for-word translation .
The King James Bible and the English Standard Version are examples of formal equivalence. While these versions are accurate, they are harder to read and understand.
Then you have retelling or paraphrasing the scripture which attempts to paraphrase the original text in a way that is easier for modern readers to read and understand.
The New Internation Readers Version and the Good News Translation are examples of dynamic equivalence.
There is a happy medium between the two called functional equivalencethat balances word for word and paraphrasing. The New International Version and the Christian Standard Bible are translated this way.
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Need A Way To Keep Track Of Your Bible Reading Plan For Beginners
When I was learning how to read the Bible for the first time, I loved checking off each book and chapter as I read them, so I could easily see my progress.
My NIV study Bible came with a built-in reading plan checklist right in the front. If yours doesnt, youre welcome to print off this Bible Reading Checklist to keep track of your progress.
It comes straight out of my Fall in Love with Gods Word WORKBOOK, but youre welcome to have it for free.
Print it out and stick it in your Bible, or hang it on your fridge where youll see it often as you work your way through your Bible reading plan for beginners.
Pauls Letter To The Romans
Another good place is St Pauls letter to the Romans. Here Paul explains the human condition and our inability by our own efforts or by observing the law to live up to Gods perfect standard that is Jesus Christ.
He explains how Jesus death and resurrection brought about our freedom from sin and death, as well as emphasising that salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ alone and not our works.
For a new Christian wanting to gain a better understanding of the basics of the Christian faith, Romans is an excellent place to start. It cuts straight to the point and explains everything systematically. If you didnt fully understand the significance of certain events in the gospel, Romans sheds light on that.
From there on, you can progress to the other letters such as 1 and 2 Corinthians, or jump about to Galatians, Ephesians or Phlippians.
I would definitely recommend reading through all the New Testament letters to get started, but beginning with Romans to understand the central message of the gospel.
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To Know Jesus And Freedom From Sin
God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for those sins that separated us from God. Through Jesuss sacrificial death and on the cross, and his resurrection, our sins were forgiven and our lives restored back into harmony with God.
The Bible was given to us so that we would believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life . And in knowing Jesus through the Bible, we would be set free from sin and death .
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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How To Pick A Version
Now that you hopefully have some reassurance about the trustworthiness of the Bible, you may be asking, There are many English translations of the Biblewhich one should I read? Thats a good question.
Bible translations land somewhere on the spectrum between word-for-word translations , and thought-for-thought translations. There are also paraphrases available, like The Message, which seek to bring the meaning of the text to life.
If you are new to the Bible, usually a thought-for-thought translation like the New International Version or, farther along the thought-for-thought continuum, the New Living Translation , is recommended since it is more readable.
Afterwards, you could pick up a more literal translation like the New American Standard Bible or the English Standard Version for more in-depth study.
Check out One Bible, many versions for a deeper dive into the history and types of Bible translations.
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.
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Be Cautious Of Devotionals That Are About The Bible
I dont know how many times Ive seen quotes from devotionals posted on social media that do not actually represent what Scripture is saying! They are sometimes complete lies, twisted to make the Bible passages say what the devotional writer wants them to say. They are devotionals about the Bible but not actually based on the Bible.
That is why I firmly believe it is SO incredibly important when you are a newer believer to read the Bible for yourself first with minimal commentaries. Using a reliable Bible translation with a simple commentary that helps you understand context, etc, is just fine.
When you know the Bible for yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit to instruct and teach you first, then you can begin to see which devotionals represent Gods Word in the right way and which are simply the ideas of others with a few verses thrown in for good measure.
I would also highly recommend doing a Bible study with a more mature Christian if at all possible. I would also recommend finding a resource that will give you a simple tool to write or read through Scripture verses without a lot of additional ideas so you can form a Spirit-led understanding of the Word.
Use A Topical Bible Reading Plan
One of my favorite ways to explore Scripture is through a topical Bible reading plan. These spiritual growth resources offer bite-size pieces of Scripture for you to read, write, and pray through each day in an organized way.
Once youre finished with one, youll be very familiar with what God has to say about a certain topic or subject. This is helpful to anyone wanting to create a Bible study habit and make a quiet time a cornerstone of their life.
However, you may want to read the verses before and after the passage, too. Or, youll want to clarify how this passage fits with the rest of Gods Word. If not, you may take the verse out of context or think it means something it doesnt. But thats a common mistake many believers make, and you wont be alone if it happens to you a few times.
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