How To Start Reading The Bible
It can be difficult to start off reading the Bible on a daily basis if you have never done it before. It is a big book. It can be intimidating. After all, there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions about how important the Bible is, what it means, and how we should use it. It can all feel a little daunting, but hopefully, these tips will help get you started on your way to a lifelong love of the Bible.
1. You need a Bible. I recommend finding a good study Bible that can help you with notations on verses that can help clarify the context of a passage. I recommend a good NIV (New International Version) Study Bible or The NLT (New Living Translation) Study Bible. The NLT is a little easier to read, but both are good study Bibles that are informative and pretty easy to read.
2. Get a good book that will help you understand how to read the Bible well. There have been a number of different books that have been put out that are helpful. My favorite has always been How to Read The Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. This will help you with all the different genres of literature in the Bible, understanding the time and place the various books of the Bible were written and will help you dig deeper into the meaning of the text.
3. Get on a reading plan. Find a way to read your Bible on a daily basis. There are a number of different plans that can help you stay on track. With a little effort, you can read the Bible in a year. There are devotional plans, topical plans, and plans for dealing with specific issues. A quick google search will help you find a daily reading schedule. One of the tools I use can be found at https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/. There is a variety of short term and long term plans to choose from.
4. Get a Bible Handbook. One of the best tools I found when I first started reading and studying the Bible was the Zondervan Bible Handbook. I still have my copy on my bookshelf in my office. I highly recommend it. A good Bible Handbook will help you by providing timelines to help with dates, history, information about culture, how the Bible was translated, and specific information that will help you understand each book of the Bible. There are usually all kinds of pictures and graphics to help you too.
5. Ask questions. Seriously, ask questions. Ask your pastor, Sunday school teacher, small group leader, or others that you trust. That’s what they are there for. They want to help you understand what you are reading and why it means something to your life. The Bible is meant to be read in community and we need each other and the wisdom of those who have come before us to help us understand it.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help get you started reading the Bible. I know they have helped me.