Where does one start reading in the Bible?
The answer to this would be: What's your background?
Have you ever opened the Bible before?
Are you familiar with the Bible?
Are you brand-new and don't have any idea where to begin, don't know what a book is or a chapter is, don't know anything about it?
If You Have Never Read The Bible
Some parts may be be completely uninteresting for some - your eyes may begin to glaze over - you're going to dislike it and you’re going to want to go to sleep.
Probably not the book of John and that's why I recommend the book of John. Other parts of the Bible are very difficult to interpret ...some more so than others. That's going to be on a person-to-person basis. Some people may find some parts uninteresting, and others exciting to learn about.
Start Reading The Books in the New Testament; John, Matthew, Mark, Luke
The Gospel of John
It is one of the four "gospels" at the beginning of the New Testament. The four gospels tell the life of Jesus. The Gospel of John is the fourth book of the New Testament.
Read Book of John at BibleGateWay.com
The Gospel of Matthew
Tells the story of Jesus' life and teachings written mainly for the Jewish people, to show them that Jesus is really the Messiah. Matthew's gospel also talks about Jewish scripture.
Read Book of Matthew at BibleGateWay.com
The Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark moves quickly, and the story shows how much Jesus worked during his short 3-year ministry. Mark's gospel tells many things about the story of the life of Jesus.
Read Book of Mark at BibleGateway.com
The Gospel of Luke
Tells the stories of the life and teachings of Jesus, Luke wrote the gospel mainly for non-Jewish people, (who were called Gentile by the Jews), and to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.
Read Book of Luke at BibleGateway.com
Recommendations How To Start Reading The Bible
1. Spend a minute or so looking at the table of contents.
- The Bible is split into two halves, they're not actually halves but two segments; Old Testament, New Testament.
- In each of those, you're going to see the books of the Bible.
2. Starting in the book of John and reading that.
- It's going to give you an introduction into who Jesus is.
- As you read the Bible, I want to encourage you to listen.
You'll find the boring parts to the minimum and the exciting or good parts are more to maximum. As you're minding the good parts, listen with your heart, have your ears open and some parts will stand out to you on a personal level. Other parts may irritate you they may even provoke you, and other parts will provoke your curiosity and you'll be wondering many questions.
Questions You May Ask Yourself During Reading
- I wonder why?
- I wonder how?
- Why did he do this?
- Why did he do that?
- Why did this happen?
You'll get provoked and other parts are going to just speak to you. They're going to nudge you but they're going to speak to you and you're going to hear, you're going to feel, and you're going to experience it. So don't learn the Gospel the same way you'd go through a math book or a dictionary.
Read it at a level that's going to engage your whole entire being.
This is for people that have never opened the scripture before: start in the book of John. Learn the word of God with your ears and eyes open...
...your spiritual ears and your spiritual eyes.
People That Have Read The Bible Before
If you've been viewing the Bible or you've been to church and anywhere, it doesn't matter the duration, however long that is.
Two recommendations for previous readers:
- One, the books that irritate you.
- Two, the books that inspire you.
They're probably the flip side of the same coin. Stuff that afflict you that has kind of a clash. There's like a dissonance that's happening there. You're injecting some kind of truth and it's not lining up with you. There is an idea and a mindset that you have inside of you and when it encounters the stricture and the written word, there's a bit of a confrontation and that's why it's irritating you.
And so, you want to interpret those things so that you can shatter that and be free of that. Okay, it might not feel that way. It might feel offensive and irritating.
Once you get over that hump, once you get over that personal offense, personal aggravation, something that disagrees with your worldview or your culture or your ideology or the way you were raised, you'll be liberated from that and that's exactly what's happening. There's a little bit of a provocation going on right there and it will do you good. That's maybe not the popular way to do it because it doesn't feel good but that's where your growth will be.
Read those parts that irritate you.
Read the parts that fascinate you, that touch you, that inspire you, that awaken you even if you don't understand them.
There will be parts of the good book you won't understand. You may understand pieces of but won't understand what it means. But you may love to refer to that specific Gospel. You don't understand what it's saying - and won't mind - but that is where further reflection and research will help you.
In fact, most of the Bible, you may claim to not understand what it's saying.
Our intellect is the full experience of what God has for us; so if we don't understand the word, it still has value, it still changes us, grows us and feed us. So if something moves you, makes you curious, inspires you, feeds you, awakens you, go through that and do it the same way.
5 Points To Keep In Mind When Reading
Follow these steps to study the Bible more easily
- Do it with your ears open.
- Do it with your eyes open.
- Do it with your heart open.
- Do it with your mouth closed.
- Do it in a receptive state of mind.
Have a conversation with God about it and let him fill your ears.
Let him fill your eyes, let him fill your emotions, let him fill your whole being with who he is, in the revelation that he has for you.
How To Read The Bible
Now if you begin from Genesis to Revelation in order and you plow through this stuff that's boring and you spend a lot of time on the stuff that you don't understand and you bang your head against the wall. You're going to lose your inspiration, you're going to lose your perspective, and you just kind of quit going through the Gospels, probably what's going to happen.
Pro Tip: Download or print a bible reading plan. The PDF's contain guides that will help you to stick to a structure... which will focus and keep you organized to get through from cover to cover - daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
So don't do that. Gather the parts that stick out to you that stands out to you. Based on what I just described, I think that's the best way to start.
- Read the books and don't skip parts, talk to God about it.
- You will begin to find other materials, other things to read not interesting..
- Read the Bible with open ears, with receptivity and then the parts that provoke you or inspire you or intrigue you or fascinate you.
- Read both of those extremes but do so with the open receptivity and then let God speak to you. You will find the Word of God is so alive and it transforms you.
- Read those things that stand out to you. Either they're going to provoke you or they're going to repel you or they're going to draw you in, they're going to attract you.
They won't be terrible, they're just not going to be as exciting, they're not going to be as worthwhile. We only have 24 hours and every day you're going to find that you're going to want to stop opening those other books.
That's the best way you will find it to be so exciting so encouraging so transformative. You're going to quit watching so many videos on YouTube, so much time on social media, so much time reading your other books, other hobbies and things will become less important.You will apply a certain amount of effort in the beginning but after a while, probably within the first encounter, the first time you study scripture, it will take on its own inspiration and it won't feel like labor.
You might have to labor initially but it won't take very long to where you're enjoying this. It takes over your imagination and your enthusiasm.
And not only is it a lot of fun, it's also really weird.
Like there's a lot of stuff that will intrigue you and fascinate you, stuff that will confirm things to you and it will touch every aspect of your human existence.
So that might sound like a lot of hype that's exactly what the Bible will do for you. So that's what I would recommend if you've never studied the Gospel or if you have a little bit of foundation.
If you've read the Bible before that's what I'd recommend even over commentaries.
Commentaries are evil or bad but you'll find that it will be quite the exciting ride for you.