The Bible is made up of 66 books, with 39 in The Old Testament, and 27 in The New Testament. The Bible is the most read book of all time, so if your goal for the new year is to read and understand the Bible, then that’s an amazing thing to strive for. But, it can feel overwhelming when you’re first starting out. Check out these tips for how to read the Bible for beginners, so you can get started on your spiritual journey today.
How to Read and Understand the Bible for Beginners
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Services LLC Associates and RewardStyle affiliate, S+S may earn a small commission for any purchases made through affiliate links (at no extra cost to you). You can read our full disclaimer and disclosure statement here.
Even though I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember, reading the Bible is still something that.. if I let it, overwhelms me just a little bit.
There are so many messages and opportunities to learn, that I’m afraid I’ll miss an important theme. Also, it’s complicated.
There are a lot of hard-to-pronounce names, and sometimes, the stories can feel a little boring (Lord, please forgive me). Anyone who has made it through the Book of Numbers may understand this feeling.
But that shouldn’t be a reason to hold back from studying the word on a daily basis. In fact, I’ve made it my personal goal this year that I will read the Bible in a year. Even if it’s difficult to understand, and even if I can’t pronounce all the names, or my eyes go a little cross-eyed when reading through descendants lists.
So whether you want to read the entire Bible in a year, or you just want to start slowly immersing yourself more in the word, this is a great starting point for learning how to read the Bible.
Pin this for later…
Pray About It
Just like in anything you do, starting with prayer should be step number one. Ask God to help you understand His message, and ask for it to further develop your relationship with Christ.
You can pray that God will help you understand, help you stay focused, and even help you know where to begin.
Spending time with God daily is the ultimate goal, and what better way to do that than by talking to God and reading His word?
Select an Easy to Read Bible Translation
The more difficult something is to do, or to understand, the harder it’s going to be for us to stick to it. By selecting a Bible translation that’s easy to understand, you can help eliminate this problem from the start.
While the King James Version (KJV) is one of the most widely recognized and earliest translations, it’s often the most difficult to understand. Why? Because it’s the translation that stemmed from the original works in Greek and Hebrew.
Today, we have a wide variety of various translations.
Start with a Bible Study
Some people may choose to begin their Bible reading journey at the beginning… with Genesis. Others may choose to start with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
If you’re feeling lost and don’t know which book to begin with, consider pairing your reading plan with a Bible study. This can be booked focused (like our free James Bible Study), or by choosing a topic that will include various books and scriptures (like studies on anxiety, prayer, gratitude, etc).
Keep a notebook next to you and keep notes on what you’re reading and learning. This can include scriptures you want to remember, questions you have about what you’re reading, points you want to remember or revisit, or even prayers.
There’s no right or wrong way to keep a prayer journal or Bible study notebook. I personally use this Ask, Seek, Knock journal for my Bible studying.
Read the Bible Daily
Get into the habit of making reading the Bible part of your daily routine. Even if you can only set aside a few minutes each day, dedicate that time to prayer, and focusing on your reading plan.
The more often you do something, the quicker it will become one of your habits. So committing to even just a few minutes daily can have a big impact on your reading plan long-term.