Where Not To Start
I have actually had non-believers ask me this more than new Christians and this is a great question.; The Bible is not strictly written in chronological order.; For example the book of Job belongs in the time frame of the book of Genesis.; Some have tried to start at Genesis and begin through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, then Deuteronomy, but when they get to certain sections of the Old Testament they can get bogged down in the lengthy genealogies.; A good example is found in I Chronicles 9:11-12:; Azariah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God; Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah; and Maasai son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer.; You get the idea.
You Are Part Of The Story
The Bible is an amazing story. It pulls no punches in portraying the good, the bad and the ugly of the human condition, yet before, between, and beyond, is the matchless God and Saviour who is actively working to put it all right. It truly is the greatest story ever told.
And you are part of the story.
Enjoy reading it, digging into it, wrestling with it, reflecting on it, and putting it to use in your own life. It will change you forever!
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.
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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!
More Than A Good Book
The Bible is more than just a good book, it is the Book of Life, which leads to life in Jesus Christ. It enables us to know God in all his majesty and glory, to know ourselves in all our sinfulness and brokenness, and the way of redemption and restoration.
How will you, today, read the Bible and begin to mine its riches, finding God and Jesus, redemption and restoration, for your weary, sin-sick soul?
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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
|Before you go, you might find this explanation and summary of the Bible helpful: The Bible Explained for Beginners The diagram below is from that article.|
Diagram of the Big-Picture Overview of the Entire Bible
Get A Bible You Enjoy Reading
Bible reading isnt very fun when you dont understand what youre reading. Its incredibly helpful to have a Bible that can help you understand whats happening .
If youre looking for a helpful resource, the NIV Student Bible will provide a lot of insight. Built specifically for students of the Bible, it gives you just the right amount of help without overwhelming your time in the Word. And it has its own three-track reading program!
Another great resource is The Books of the Bible. Broken into four-volumes and by many of the genres mentioned earlier, this Bible is free from chapter and verse numbers that provides a seamless reading experience. When done with a partner or group, this approach to reading the Bible can be very enlightening and meaningful.
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How To Start Reading The Bible: Come With A Humble Heart
Before we talk about the nitty-gritty details of where to start and how much to read every day and all that jazz, lets talk about how you should read the Bible.
In other words, the sort of attitude you should have when you open the pages of Scripture.
The primary attitude you should when you read the Bible is one of humility. The Bible is no ordinary book. It is not a novel. Its not even a great work of antiquity.
No, its far more than that. The Bible is the word of God. It is Gods very words to you. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
Did you catch that?
All Scripture is breathed out by God. In other words, its from the living, holy, all-powerful, righteous God. The words of the Bible are not ordinary, human words. They are the words of God.
Because the Bible is Gods word, you should approach it with humility. With a heart that says:
God, I want to learn from you. I put aside all my notions of what my life should be like and I submit to your word. I humbly listen to you and will seek to obey whatever you tell me in this book.
When we read the Bible with humility, God does great and amazing things. He speaks to us, transforms us, makes us more like him, and helps us grow in godliness. When we read with humility, God meets with us.
A Guide For New Or Non
When believers and non-believers ask me where to begin to read the Bible, my recommendation is my own personal preference.; Others may give you other books to start with in reading the Bible.; I would recommend that they do not start in the book of Revelation or in Genesis and start reading it through from start to finish.; For a seasoned Christian, reading through the Bible is an excellent learning tool but for a new believer, it can be cumbersome and confusing.; Revelation is difficult to understand, so for a beginner to start out in that book; is asking for confusion and mistranslation of the verses since much of it is written in symbolic language.; Here is a preferred order for a new believer or a non-Christian who wants to start to read and understand the Bible:
John emphasises the love of God as found in Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John
Now where you go from there is wherever you like.; I suggest that you repeat the four gospels at this point because you can never go wrong with the very teaching of Jesus Christ Himself.; And the book of Mark, written by John Mark, is actually what can be termed as the gospel of Peter since most theologians agree that the Gospel of Mark is actually the work of Peter.; The words represent Peters eyewitness accounts as transcribed by John Mark.; Remember that John Mark was not an apostle and was never a witness to the living Christ while on earth or the resurrected Christ and that by definition is what makes one an apostle.
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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
Where To Start Reading The Bible For The Beginner
If you are asking Where do I start reading the Bible? this post was written for you. There are so many ways we get to this question like maybe we are seeking direction from God, or we want to grow closer to Him, or we have questions about who He is. Well I love sharing my passion for Scripture with others and this is a simple guide to get you started reading the Bible.
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When I Was A Kid I Had The Notion To Read All The Encyclopedias From A To Z
My beloved Encyclopedia set lined the bottom of my closet, and I would curl up in there with a flash light and read until someone told me to go to bed.
No matter how many times I set out to accomplish this goal, I never made it past Johnny Appleseed.
I sometimes wonder how far I would have made it if I hadnt insisted on starting at the very beginning of the set every.single.time. If I had just picked up where I left off the first time, I might have finished the As at least.
Nevertheless, I was a perfectionist, and I like things done the right way if its going to be done.
If I say Im going to read through all of the Encyclopedias, then I should read through them all front to back, cover to cover, never missing a line or getting out of order.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when I became a Christian and wanted to get to know the God I served through His written word, I thought starting at the very beginning and reading straight through was the only way to do it right.
Genesis to Revelations here I come!
Time and time again, Id set the goal of reading the entire Bible beginning to end, and no matter how many times I tried, I never made it past the list of Noahs descendants in Genesis 10.
I felt like such a failure. What sort of Christian cant even read the Bible let along study it?
In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney says:
What Book Of The Bible Should I Read First
Start with a Book of the Bible such as John.
Part of the reason I would recommend starting with the book of John, and not a book like Genesis, is that John gives you an overview of the story of salvation: the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
Genesis, though an extremely important book in regards to creation and also salvation, can sometimes be overwhelming to a new believer because of the geneologies, Old Testament practices and other details interspersed throughout the 50 chapters.
All of Gods Word is inspired and without error, so certainly you will want to get to Genesis at some point! But starting with John, which is shorter and easier to understand if you do not have a background of reading the Bible , will bring the rest of Scripture alive and give it deeper meaning as you continue to learn and see how all Scripture goes together to paint the beautiful story of Gods love for us!
Another great book to move on to after John is the book of James. It is practical, full of wisdom and able to be easily applied to your life.
Overwhelmed? Just read 5-10 verses each day. And then think on them for a couple of minutes and pray over what youve read!
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Bible Reading Plan For Beginners
If you are ready to commit and dive into the whole Bible then you need a Bible reading plan. Then you dont have to think of where to start reading the Bible, you read it all!
When reading the Bible all the way through there are two main ways to do it.
One way is just from cover to cover. This is often the easiest place to start.
*Sometimes Bible reading plans include the books in a different order to break up some of the longer story sections and make it easier to read!
You can also follow a chronological order of reading. The way the Bible is currently published is not necessarily the order the books were written in.
When looking at context we realize a few books actually repeat stories of others.
This kind of Bible reading plan is often as a way to go deeper after reading it through at least once cover to cover.
Its good to mix things up and read the Bible both ways!
This year Ive read the entire Bible all the way through for the first time. It taught me so much about the bigger picture of the Bible and how Gods plan was happening throughout.
I even took on a challenge that is only for those who are really ready for a big commitment I read it through in 60 days. Check it out here!
If you are looking for a Bible Reading Plan for the entire Bible here it is! This one will go back and forth on the Old Testament and New Testament everyday!
Books Of The Bible To Read First
People often ask me, where should I start reading the Bible?
This is a good question because the Bible is not one book, it has 66 books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
But the question remains, where should you begin? At the first book of the Bible, Genesis? Or should you begin in one of the Gospels in the New Testament?
I want to give you my top 5 Bible books to read if you are starting to read the Bible for the first time. I will list them in my order, give you a little overview and then tell you why I think its a good place to start.
Feel free to jump down the list. But I believe that once you finish reading these 5 books, you will have a new grasp on this wonderful book God has given to us.
1. The Gospel of John in the New Testament
Why this Gospel? John is doing something pretty significant. He is telling us why Jesus came and how His coming to earth has an eternal effect on all of us.
If you want to understand the Mission of Jesus, John lays that out for you in a very nice manner. John tells us the purpose of his Gospel in John 20:30-31.
John is a great book for someone new in the faith or exploring Christianity. He gives us some of the basic teachings of Jesus and places the emphasis on His mission to earth.
John, the author of the Gospel, wrote so that his readers would place their trust in Jesus as Savior and find eternal life.
2. The Book of Genesis is the First Book of the Bible
3. The Book of Psalms
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Some Books Have Multiple Genres
Theres definitely some genre-hopping going on throughout the books of the Bible. Daniel is both historical narrative and apocalyptic literature, and Acts works as both history and Gospel. Proverbs is a wisdom book that includes poetic elements. But the point is that learning to see these books through the lens of genre can help make Scripture reading a lot easier.