Get Started Reading the Bible

The Bible can be intimidating and difficult to understand, but it doesn't have to be. Here are five easy steps to get you started.

1) Choose a version.

Choose a “version” of the Bible that you find is “readable.” Many people find the New International Version, New Living Translation, or Contemporary English Version to be fairly easy to understand. The websites bible.com, biblegateway.com, and studylight.org all offer many different Bible versions for you to choose from.

2) Start somewhere.

Option 1: Choose a book of the Bible. You may be intrigued by a certain book or perhaps a friend has suggested a particular book. Once you do choose a book (Mark or Philippians or Proverbs are great “starter” books), simply begin by reading the first chapter or section. The next day/time you read, pick up where you left off.

Option 2: Follow a “reading guide” that assigns a passage to read each day. You can Google “Bible reading guides” and find topical guides, New Testament guides, longer readings, shorter readings, etc. The website bible.com also offers Bible reading guides.

3) When you read...

  • Read a shorter passage slowly (and even a couple of times), letting it “sink in” rather than a longer passage that might not sink in. Generally, we get more out of a Bible passage if we read shorter and slower.

  • Read for “transformation” rather than for “information.” As you open your Bible to read, a good prayer is, “Lord, I want Your Word to change me. I may not understand everything but direct me to at least one thing You would like to teach me today.” Remember that it’s okay to not understand everything you read. The important thing is to read the Bible for “transformation.”

4) Persevere.

Most people find it hard to stay committed to regular reading of the Bible during the week. If you struggle with consistency, remember that you’re not alone. Ask God for help, ask a friend to keep you motivated, and always be willing start up “again.”

5) Remember the promise.

Reading the Bible will help you in your walk with Christ!

In Joshua 1:8 God says, “Do not let this Book of the Law (the Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”