How To Read the Bible for Beginners
Do you feel like a beginner when it comes to Bible? Are you intimidated by everyone who posts pretty pictures on Instagram of their Bible study/reading space? Is the Bible confusing, collecting dust, or creating in you a deep sense of guilt?
The expert in anything was once a beginner. – Anonymous
Everyone started somewhere – even me! There is no shame in beginning, in fact I salute you for wanting to start reading the Bible! Bible study is different than Bible reading, but I would rather help you develop a Bible reading HABIT rather than learn the ins and outs of studying the Bible. You could spend your whole life just reading the Bible, never open a study book, and I think you would find God nearer, closer, and more available than if you never opened the book at all.
Let me encourage you to find hope in this blog post. There is so much you COULD learn, but I want to share with you the things you SHOULD learn when it comes to reading the Bible, especially if you are a just starting out. So why should we read our Bible? Here are three truths for why you, a beginner, should read the Bible.
Three Truths for Why You Should Read the Bible
- The Bible was written for you. Don’t think the words on the pages were written for other Christians who are “more spiritual.” If you are a Christian, the Bible was written for you. Believe it and claim this word as a word just for you.
- God wants you to understand. No, we cannot know everything about the Bible, but we can what needs to be known. The Bible might not make sense everywhere you read, but that doesn’t mean you give up. Keep going!
- It will change your life. You can do this. It might be hard, it might be confusing, it might feel like effort, but it is worth it. Learning to read the Bible is worth it. You know this. I just wanted to remind you.
Now that you’ve seen these truths, I want to offer three steps for how to start reading your Bible, especially if you are a beginner. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read or its been a long time since you’ve read the Bible. God is waiting in those pages and you start implementing these steps today!
How To Read the Bible for Beginners
Step 1. Get a Bible you will read. There are a hundred different Bibles to choose one. I would recommend one of these translations and pick one you will read. You might read better on an app, that’s ok too! There is something special, though, of having a hard-copy of God’s word to hold in your actual hands. You can mark it up, highlight, underline, and go back and see where you’ve grown over time. (The translations I recommend are the English Standard Version, the New King James Version, the King James Version, and the New American Standard Bible. *
Step 2. Get a plan. I cannot stress this enough. Find a reading plan that works for you. Do you want to read entire chapter at a time (which takes 15-20 minutes a day)? Do you want to read more or less? Are you looking for maybe 5-10 minutes a day to read? You might want to download one of my writing/reading plans.
Step 3. Have a place to write down your favorite verses. I guarantee as you read you will find verses you love or maybe familiar verses you’ve heard before. Get a notebook, use the notes app on your phone, or simply get a piece of paper. Write down the entire verse so you can look over those verses later.
Step 4. Don’t get bogged down into what you don’t understand. I know it is hard to not know the background, or feel like you aren’t “getting it” when you read a passage. But that’s ok. Don’t get bogged down with that. Don’t focus on what you don’t understand, focus on what you do understand. Trust that the more you read the more you will understand. That’s why the next step is so important!
Step 5. Keep going. The best advice I can offer is for you to keep going. Don’t stop reading because it gets confusing. Find help (see below) and keep going! If you want some encouragement, and gentle reminders to read the word, I have a 41 Days of Hope Reading Challenge here.
How to Find Help in Bible Reading
Let me offer a couple of other suggestions for things to look at. Reading the Bible can be confusing, but I want to offer these resources as a way for you to get a better grasp on the Bible and what it is about.
The Jesus Storybook Bible (for kids, but adults love it too!)
[Video] How to Read the Bible
[Video] How to Read the Bible: Biblical Story
[Video] How to Read the Bible: Setting
*This post contains affiliate links. You can find my statement here.
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five who all serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is the author of several Bible study resources for women. She share tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/sarah_e_frazer) and join her free prayer challenge at sarahefrazer.com/prayer