How to Start Reading the Bible

Q: My New Year’s resolution is to start reading the Bible, but I don’t know where to begin. Can you help me?
A: There is no wrong place to start reading the Bible. The book of 2 Timothy says that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). While the Apostle Paul wrote those words specifically about the Old Testament, they apply to the New Testament as well. Regardless of where you begin reading, God guarantees that the words on the page are true, sent from Him, and powerful to change your life.
Still, different Bible reading plans are better suited for different people. So here are a few methods to consider as you launch into the new year.

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year using a reading calendar. You can find many plans online for covering every single verse in one year. Here is one popular reading calendar by nineteenth-century Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne, which has you read the Old and New Testaments each day. Here are some other popular reading plans.
  • To read at a slower pace, use a one-year plan but only read half of the assignment each day. This helps some people understand and apply what they read more effectively. And it will take you through the Bible in two years.
  • Start in one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and read a chapter each day. These books tell the story of Jesus’ life on earth and are a great place to learn about following Him.
  • Start at the beginning. Begin with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and read Scripture in the order it is presented. Go at your own pace.
  • Have the Bible emailed to you. With this resource from Bible Gateway, you can have daily Bible readings sent directly to your inbox. Without having to tote around a hard copy, it allows you to read through either the New Testament or the entire Bible in a year.
  • Use a chronological Bible to read Scripture in the order it occurred. Though standard Bibles are roughly chronological, some events happened in a different order than they are presented. For instance, the events in 1 Chronicles happened before the events in 2 Kings even though standard Bibles place 2 Kings first. A chronological Bible helps you understand the timing of Scripture’s storyline.

Beyond these, there are many other ways to approach the Bible—some of which you should be able to discover by a quick Internet search. Any of them will help you experience the blessings that come from studying the greatest book ever written. In 2012, may it be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).

1 thought on “How to Start Reading the Bible”

  1. There are so many people in the world who don’t read the bible because they simply don’t understand the bible or don’t know where to start reading. The bible is a comprehensive work of literature that can appear overwhelming at first glance. Many people make the mistake of opening the bible to the book of revelation where the complexity and symbòlism quickly discourage them fròm reading the other parts of the bible. And, if they do read other parts of the bible, what they do read seems bòring and requires too much backgròund to understand it.  

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