Where Do I Start To Read the Bible?
Where do I start? No, literally, where do I start? So I want to read the Bible. That’s great. Should I read the King James Version, the English Standard Version, or the New International Version? I’ve heard that The Message makes it simple, but I’ve also heard that the New Living Translation is also easy to read.
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Old Testament or New Testament
Once I select a version, should I begin in the Old Testament or the New Testament? Does it matter what order I read it in? What if I just randomly pick a book and start reading? Do I need a commentary to understand what I am reading?
What Keeps You From Starting To Read the Bible?
I don’t know about you, but making the choice to read the Bible was one of the easiest in my life. The hardest part was every decision afterward being a confusing mess distracting you from starting the task of reading God’s word.
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter where you start, just start. While it is true some of the books of the Bible are easier to read than others, you can find reading plans all over the internet and plenty more at any local church. There are endless study groups both virtually and local to many locations in the United States which can help you start your journey through the Bible.
Can I read the Bible online?
I use and recommend biblegateway.com. There are several different translations available, and they even have a feature which lets you search and compare those translations using a single verse or group of verses.
Reading the Bible online is exceptionally beneficial as it gives a virtually unlimited amount of material to cross-reference. It also allows the reader to bounce from book to book with a simple click of the mouse, and provides links in the footnotes to read similar or referenced verses within other Bible books.
All of that information can also distract the reader from the overarching message of God's love for his creation. Some web versions have audio capabilities which allow the reader to listen to the Bible. This can be good if the reader is driving, but there is something to be said about actually reading the text.
In what order should I read the Bible?
There is some merit to reading a book of the Bible from start to finish, but there is also merit to looking up Bible verses related to a specific subject. You can learn a lot about who Jesus is by reading one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). You can learn a lot about yourself by finding a verse relating to issues you are going through.
Develop A Plan To Read the Bible
Both of these methods of reading God's word are valid. The first step to tackling this achievement is to develop a plan. Developing a plan requires you to name specific goals. Do you want to read the Bible within 6 months, 1 year, 2 years? Would you rather just develop a daily habit of reading God’s word?
Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to lay out specific small way points that will help you achieve your goal. If you want to read the Bible within a specific time period, divide the number of chapters by the amount of time you want to finish the task.
Commit to Read the Bible
If you want to have a daily regimen of Bible reading, pick a day and start with a 10 minute reading session. Gradually work up the time to where you want to be. Try to find a quiet place to read and remove distractions like TV or games. If you choose to read the Bible on the internet, close all other windows and tabs.
Where can I find a Bible reading plan?
There are many tools such as apps and websites offering Bible reading plans for free. As a member of the BloggerGrid at Bible Gateway, I recommend browsing their free Bible reading plans. Of course, there are others, as well as a great number of Bible apps for mobile devices. I use YouVersion and Bible Gateway apps on my phone for quick reference or for easy access to the Bible.
Pray Before You Read the Bible
No matter what you choose to do, you should pray before reading every day. The Holy Spirit is a great interpreter and not only make the verses make sense to you, but also brings His Word alive in your very soul (John 14:26). Asking for this may also help keep you on track to achieve your goal (2 Peter 1:20-21).
A Closer Relationship With God
Remember, this is the first step for a Christian to develop a closer relationship with God. Treat it like the foundation it will be, with all of the attention and affection it deserves. Get committed to giving time everyday and actually spend time reading the Bible. Eventually you will be doing it without even thinking!
So whats your plan for reading God's Word? Leave a comment below and let me know!