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I rounded the corner and saw her. She stood frozen, open-mouthed in front of the rows of Bibles in the religion section at Barnes and Noble. Her facial expression said it all: I have no idea where to start reading the Bible. Scores of people feel overwhelmed when it comes to reading the Bible.
How in the world do I know where to start reading and making sense of the entire Bible? She looked even more relieved when I showed her where and how to start reading the Bible. May I reach across the computer screen and help you, too? These are my top suggestions for those wondering how to start reading the Bible.
It is my prayer that this beginner's guide to reading the Bible will encourage you and help you reach your goals! These six simple steps will help you start to read the Bible today. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. Some translations focus on being more precise and are best for Bible study, while others focus on readability and are great for devotions. The NLT version of the Bible is most readable while still being literal in its translation; the Study Bibles contain footnotes that explain difficult to understand passages of Scripture.
You can also download a Bible app or read the Bible at biblestudytools. These are great tools for beginners and veterans alike. One of the best places to start is in John and then Romans, following John. The Bible contains 66 separate books compiled into one book. The 39 books of the Old Testament are the story of God and his people before the coming of the Messiah—Jesus. The 27 books of the New Testament pick up the story beginning with the birth of Jesus.
So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps. After reading John, move on to the other gospels — Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
Start small—five or 10 minutes is better than none. Many people read their Bible first thing in the morning, choosing to spend time with God before daily distractions get in the way. 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.
Pause before you open your Bible and ask God to speak to 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. When a verse resonates with you, stop and write it down, word for word. Sometimes I keep the verse with me throughout the day. Sometimes I ask God to help me remember it when I need it.
Sometimes I memorize it. After all, isn't that the whole point of reading the Bible! Her story is our story. We all begin somewhere in our relationship with God. And we all need someone to show us how. Let us know in the comments below how you've been able to begin reading the Bible and what is has done for you! The Beginner's Guide to Reading the Bible. Follow Crosswalk. Who Determines Your Identity?How to read the bible verses
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