DON’T BEGIN IN THE BEGINNING!
The Bible is HUGE!!! Where in the world do you begin? Well, not in the beginning. With the Bible, it’s ok to start near the back. Don’t you love that? The part at the end….called the NEW Testament, provides the clearest understanding of God’s plan.
And I ALWAYS recommend starting in the Gospels. Those are the “books” written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That is where you will read about what Jesus said and what He did. There you will see God’s love most clearly.
TELL SHAKESPEARE BYE-BYE
And, we don’t have to read the “Shakespearean” style version (King James with “thees” and “thous”) any more. Hurray for us in the 21st century! The Bible can be confusing enough without adding 16th century language! We have really wonderful, common language versions nowadays! So I go with that. Try the New International Version (NIV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and New King James Version (NKJV). And…..
There’s a fairly new version call “The Message” version. It’s the Bible in everyday language! The way it is written sounds like a good friend telling you a great story. It makes me think. Sometimes it cracks me up! Passages that had tripped me up for years, are easily understandable in this version. Love it!
My Favorite? If you’ going to buy a Bible, I would get a Parallel Bible that has both the Message and NIV, side by side. Here’s a sample.
YOUVERSION FREE BIBLE APP
Download the Free YOUVERSION Bible App and you will have every version of the Bible to read anytime, anywhere, literally at your fingertips! It has a Reading Plan built in, to help you stay on track with your goal. Some versions even have audio so you can listen to God’s Word as your rolling down the road. What a great use of traffic! No more excuses for not having time to read your Bible!
“BibleGateway.com”—FREE online Bible in any language and any version!
YouVersion Bible App for Smartphones. FREE! In any language! Includes Reading Plans!
BIBLE READING PLAN
NewTestament Reading Plan – 10 minutes a day to read the New Testament in a year!
BIBLE BOOK SUMMARIES
Want to know what each book of the Bible is about? Click here
“The Action Bible” by Sergio Cariello. This is the Bible in cartoons – Super Cool! I gave this Bible to a friend’s son for Christmas. (Not an avid reader) In February, I asked how he liked it. He told me he had read the entire thing…TWICE!!!
If you get to parts you don’t understand, just ask the Lord is clear this up in time. Trust me and millions of others… He is faithful and loving. It will start to fit together over time. There are some things we might never fully understand. So we trust His heart. Don’t give up. Keep reading.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
After you read the Gospels, you might venture out to Psalms and Proverbs and Acts and the Epistles. What in the world is that?
Psalms are prayers that were sung back in the day. You will find them in the middle of a Bible. There are psalms (pronounced “salms”) for every situation, and many start at a point of trouble, and end in victorious faith. That sounds like something we could use!
Proverbs is a 31 Chapter book of wisdom for every situation. Who couldn’t use that?
Acts is the history of what happened after Jesus rose again and physically went to sit at the Father’s right hand of power. What the disciples did, how the news about Jesus spread through the Mediterranean.
Epistles are letters written to the new believers. They had lots of questions, just like we do. So the “apostles” wrote “epistles”. Huh? The first followers of Jesus wrote letters to the new followers, answering their questions. There’s a letter to the Romans – uh, those are the folks who lived in Rome. And 2 letters to the Corinthians – the folks who lived in Corinth. You get the idea. Further in the back are a few letters written by Peter and John to everybody. Those letters are called 1st Peter, 2nd Peter, 1st John….you get it.
After that, you would be ready to take the plunge into the Old Testament. Genesis is going to give you the story of Creation, the Fall of Man (basically, how we got into this mess), and how God began to work His plan to rescue us, through Israel. If you get stuck, or just feel the words are not “speaking” to you, it’s ok to go back and sit in the Gospels. There’s no big rush.
Of course, I would highly recommend being a part of a Bible Study. There are plenty at local churches, and the internet has tons of online resources. (See the Online Messages button.) So you can get all the help you need. You don’t have to go it alone.
Always, as we study, this is our prayer.
I know that You want me to know the truth. You promise to guide me into truth, so I ask You to do that as I read and study. Guide me to those who teach Your truth from Your heart. Whatever I do not understand, I trust You will reveal to me in Your time and in Your way. I trust Your loving heart. Thank You for sparking my heart to seek You.
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.