Committing to spending more time with God and more time in His word is an exciting endeavor. But if you’re new to reading the Bible, it can also feel overwhelming. With 66 books in the Bible..where does one even begin?
In the beginning… #christianhumor
No but seriously. Reading the Bible can feel daunting, and even if you can stay committed (amen!) to your reading plan, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by not having some solid resources available to help further your understanding of what you’re reading.
So keep reading, because this post will share some of our top favorite Bible study tools perfect for beginners.
Best Bible Study Tools for Beginners
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Pick Your Best Bible Translation for Study
The first step in assembling your Bible Study tools so you can become the warrior God intended for you to be is to figure out which translation of the Bible would be most beneficial.
Deciding on a Bible translation is a personal choice. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to picking their ideal translation.
In order to help you figure out which Bible translation may be the right one for you, you have to first understand the different options and some of the most popular Bible translations:
Word for Word Bible Translations place high priority on translating Scripture from the original language in which it was written so that the reader can see the form, structure, and meaning of the original writings. A few well known examples of Word for Word Bible Translations include Amplified, King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), and English Standard Version (ESV).
Thought for Thought Bible Translations prioritize translating the message, or thought, behind the scripture in order to provide the most understandable wording to the reader. Some popular Thought for Thought Bible Translations include New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT). (I personally have this One Step Closer NLT Bible).
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a translation that falls right in between word for word and thought for thought, making it a popular selection and some consider it to be among the easiest version of the Bible to read. She Reads Truth is a popular CSB Bible.
Paraphrased Bible Translations are often the least accurate translations, with priority on interpreting themes and messages from the original text. Examples including The Living Bible (TLB), and The Message. These translations often face a lot of criticism since the writers are free to include any interpretation they’d like from the passages, making it an often inaccurate translation of the Word.
Decide How to Study the Bible
The next step is deciding how you want to study the Bible. Some people opt for starting at the beginning and going straight through, book by book. Others choose chronological Bible studies to help them read the Bible in order of events, and in a year.
Selecting an actual Bible study by topic to follow is another way of diving into the Word.
There’s really no right or wrong way. If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly where or how to start, I recommend following along with a Bible study; either an online Bible study or purchasing a study.
You can opt for free online Bible studies (like this Book of James Bible Study), or purchase a Bible study. I’m a big fan of The Daily Grace Co.
A great starter study is Faith Foundations: A Study on the Basics of Christianity, or they even offer a Bible Study Essentials Bundle.
Tips for Studying the Bible
When it comes to diving into the Word, here are some tips for reading the Bible.
Related: How to Read the Bible for Beginners
Pray Before Reading the Bible
Pray before starting a new study, and get into the habit of praying before you begin your daily reading. Prayer is the number one way to connect with and spend time with God.
Take notes! This can be in your Bible, or in a Bible Journal. Write down questions that come up during your reading, scriptures that stand out to you, parts you may want to circle back to, or observations that you make.
It’s also helpful to get into the habit of cross-referencing what you’re reading. This can be done by referencing different translations, reading commentary, or utilizing a Bible Concordance to look up unfamiliar words and further your understanding.
Here are some other Bible Study tools:
Read the Bible Daily
Make your study part of your daily routine. Do not get discouraged if you sometimes you find what you’re reading is difficult to comprehend. Instead, take a deep breath, write down your questions, and pray about it.
What are some of your must-have Bible study tools?