How to Read the Bible – The Ultimate Beginners Guide
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably tried to read the Bible on multiple occasions. You most likely started in Genesis, trying to work your way through the entire Bible. That’s the most common mistake people make when reading the Bible. Maybe you’ve never picked up a Bible and are just looking to start. No matter your reasons, or mistakes, this beginners guide will equip you with the resources you need to jump into the Bible for all it’s worth!
Disclaimer: Please know that there are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. This means, that if you click on a product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you! You will be directed to ChristianBook.com to make your purchase!
1. Know What the Bible is
The Bible isn’t your traditional book. It was written over the span of 1500 years and has about 40 different authors! The Bible is split into two main parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. Both the Old and New Testaments are made up of ‘books’; These are also referred to as “the books of the Bible”. Each book of the Bible contains chapters and within these chapters are verses; More on that later. The Old Testament consists of 39 books and the New Testament consists of 27 books. The Old Testament takes place before Jesus Christ and is about a nation and The New Testament takes place during and after Jesus Christ and is predominantly about Him.
2. Know Why Reading The Bible is Important
Now that you know a bit more about the Bible itself, let’s move on to the importance of reading the Bible. The Bible is essentially the official Christian guidebook. We – as Christians – read the Bible to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord. Other reasons why we read the bible are to gain a greater understanding of our history and to learn the things we are called to do (or not to do). The Bible lays out commands for ways of acting, thinking, speaking and so much more. Above all else, we read the Bible for comfort. The Bible has an answer to anything you could possibly think of. It’s filled with love, hope, peace, encouragement, and about a gazillion more awesome things. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
3. Have the Right Bible
before I can get into how to read the Bible, It’s important that you A) have the right Bible and B) have a translation that best suits your needs. There are thousands of Bible translations out there, but as a beginner, I recommend the NIV (New International Version). I own a couple NIV Bibles and they’re great because they’re easy to understand while still providing accurate information.
Amongst these translations are different genres of Bibles; From Study Bibles with footnotes for hard to understand passages, to Journaling Bibles with wide margins for notes or doodles! The possibilities are endless, and you can make your Bible reading experience your own!
I personally use an NIV large print journaling bible! I’m new to the whole journaling Bible world but I do love to take notes in the margins. If you think you may be interested in a Journaling Bible, be sure to check mine out! – I’ll have it linked below. Who knows, maybe we can be Bible Twins!
If you need a Bible or are looking to try a new version or genre, ChristianBook.com is a GREAT place to start. They are your one-stop shop for Bibles! You can realistically get Bibles anywhere, but only ChristianBook.com has the variety and selection you need when finding your perfect one!
A Bible isn’t just another book, so you want to make sure you find one that really speaks to you because you’ll be spending a lot of time with it. My Bible has quickly become one of my closest companions and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Find your companion at
If you’re more into digital books, there are TONS of Bible apps for your phone, tablet or kindle that you can download instantly. Just search Bible in your app store and choose the one that looks suitable for you. I personally try to stay away from the digital versions of the Bible just because I know that I’ll be tempted to get on social media or reply to text messages. Reading your Bible is meant to be time devoted to the Lord. So I only recommend the digital versions of the Bible if you’re sure you won’t get distracted.
4. Know Where to Start
This was perhaps where I struggled the most when wanting to read the Bible. Thankfully, my mom pointed me in the right direction. (Thanks Mom!) I highly suggest you start with the book of John. It’s the fourth book of the New Testament and is one of the most powerful in my opinion. Let me tell you, the book of John blessed me wildly. It was the first full book of the Bible that I have ever read and you will not be disappointed. It is all about the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and is the best place for a beginner to start. In fact, if you were to do a Google search for where to start reading in the Bible, John is the book most resources recommend.
After John, I went through and read Matthew, Mark, and Luke; The first 3 books of the New Testament. It may throw you off, thinking about reading John before the first 3 but as I’ve mentioned above, the Bible is not a traditional book. Skipping around in the Bible is normal and highly encouraged. After reading these chapters, I just explored the entire New Testament.
How you read the Bible is up to the reader, but I highly recommend that you read one chapter each day. As I mentioned at the very beginning of this article, each book of the Bible is made up of chapters and each chapter is made up of verses. This just makes it easier for you to find specific passages in the Bible. So if you are starting in the book of John, you would read chapter 1 or John 1, for the first day. John 2 for the second and so on. You would do this for each book of the Bible you read.
Of course, you can read more than one chapter a day, but I wouldn’t recommend reading less than one chapter a day.
5. Write Things Down
It is very important that you have something to write in when you’re reading your Bible. Sometimes you come across a verse that really stands out, have some questions about a word you don’t understand or maybe you just want to jot down things you feel. A Journal or a pad of paper is crucial to your Bible reading experience. You can find some super neat journals at ChristianBook.com too! Find yours here!
6. Never Stop!
Read the Bible every single day! The Bible is not meant to be a book that you read once to check off your list and then never touch again. Reading the Bible becomes a part of who you are and it equips you with everything you need to go through your journey of life. The books of the Bible are meant to be read over and over because each time you read it, you’ll gain something you didn’t gain before. Make reading your bible a habit and do it at the same time every single day for 21 days straight. That’s exactly what I did, and now, reading my bible is like breathing!