Reading the Bible is not as complicated as people make it. You do not have to spend hours reading the Bible. Just thirty minutes every day will get your day started.
There are so many things that God wants to speak to us in His Word, and in order to know what God wants us to know, is by getting in His Word.
Unfortunately, our Bibles are on shelves and in desk drawers. Although this post is titled “how to read the Bible for beginners,” this post is for all believers.
We, struggle needlessly when it comes to reading the Bible, and it should not be. God wants us to know Him. And what better way to do that is through the Bible.
You may possibly have been one of those who have found the Bible difficult to comprehend. If the thought of reading the Bible overwhelms you, you are not alone.
Perhaps you wish you knew how to better apply its timeless principals and use it to build a right with God. Even those who consider themselves to be the master of the Bible, struggle, at times, with reading the Bible regularly.
If we want to understand who God is, what His purposes are, and how He has made Himself known to the human race, we cannot afford to ignore the Bible.
By being a new beginner, and do not know where to start. Or you have stopped reading the Bible over the last few years and would like to start reading it again.
No matter where you are at on your spiritual journey, we have all got to start somewhere. So, here are some things that I do which have helped me read the Bible and helped strengthen my personal devotional life.
I pray that it produces amazing blessing and fruit in your life and in your walk with the Lord!
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 ESV
The Bible is a big book with a lot of pages.
- Sixty-six books in the Bible
- 1,189 chapters in the Bible
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Where to Start Reading the Bible?
One of the most powerful ways to grow in your faith and in your relationship with God is to read His Word. It is through His Word that God reveals Himself to us that we might know Him personally.
The Scriptures grant us guidance on how to live in this Christian life and provide comfort when we face hard times. In addition to that, it is the very Word of God that protects us from evil. Ephesians 6:17 calls the Word of God the Sword of the Spirit and urges believers to pick it up and use it to fight against spiritual attack.
When you begin to study the Word of God, you will see the power that is in the Word. You will see when Jesus spoke the Word, He spoke it with power.
Everything you need it is in the Bible. Healing, peace, joy, freedom, strength, and hope. I have yet to face an issue God did not address in His Word. For this reason, I have made every effort to ensure I make reading my Bible a daily habit because I know how desperately I need God’s Word and Truth to make it through each day. Now, I’m eager to open up the Word of God that is alive and active as Hebrews 4:12 tells us and hear from Him.
However, once you start hearing God more clearly, increasing your spiritual strength, and finding the type of encouragement only God’s Word can provide, you will not want to put your Bible down.
The first four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry and are often referred to as the gospels. Reading the gospels tell many of the same stories but from four different perspectives.
Psalms and Proverbs are always a great choice to begin reading because they are simple and full of encouraging verses.
It is usually not hard to comprehend the context and meaning behind these verses and they are beautiful when applied to our lives.
Other great books to start with are Romans and the gospel of John.
For example, here is a quick (oversimplified) overview of what you will find when you are learning how to start reading the Bible for beginners:
Old Testament Books:
- Genesis – Exodus: Bible stories of the first people God created. Easy reading.
- Leviticus – Deuteronomy: Long lists of Old Testament law that we are not required to follow today. Very difficult reading for beginners.
- Joshua – Job: Longer, more complicated stories of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) and their “on again off again” relationship with following God. Moderately difficult reading.
- Psalms – Ecclesiastes: Quick, general Biblical advice for godly living. Easy reading.
- Isaiah – Malachi: More stories of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) and their “on again off again” relationship with following God with plenty of prophesy mixed in. Fairly difficult reading.
New Testament Books:
- Matthew – John (Also known as the Gospels): Bible stories about Jesus’s time on earth. Very easy reading.
- Acts: Bible stories about the early church. Very easy reading.
- Romans – Jude: Letters from early Christians to the churches, encouraging and instructing them in their faith. Easy reading.
- Revelation: A vision of what the end times will be like. Very difficult reading.
“ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
But I recommend following a Bible reading plan for beginners, rather than just starting on page 1, and working your way through.
Why is Bible Reading Important?
Bible reading is important because when you are reading the Word’s in the Bible, God is actually speaking to you. The word of God has the power to reveal to us certain things that we could not know in any other way.
The Bible itself shows that our ultimate goal in reading the Bible is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting white-hot worship of the blood-bought Bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation.
- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
- “… knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20)
Here is the Best Bible Reading Plan for Beginners
While you’re certainly welcome to read the Bible in any order you would like, here is the order I would recommend when you are still learning how to read the Bible for the first time.
This Bible reading plan for beginners will help you cover all the key people, stories, and teachings and start with the easiest, most applicable books first, before you get into the more obscure or difficult Bible books last.
- Matthew – John
- Romans – Jude
- Genesis and Exodus
- Psalms – Ecclesiastes
- Joshua – Job, Isaiah – Malachi
- Leviticus – Deuteronomy
Chapters that Cover Specific Doctrines
There are some popular topics that are important for a Bible reading plan for beginners. Below, you will find the specific chapters or verses where you can find ten of the most popular topics to study in the Bible.
- Creation and the Flood – Genesis Chapters 1-8 cover the creation and the flood.
- Abraham and the Promise – Genesis Chapters 12-25 tell all about Abraham and his journey through the promise God gave him.
- Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit – 1 John chapter 4, and 5. John chapter 1, 3, and 20. 2 Timothy chapter 1. Ephesians chapter 4. 1 Corinthians chapter 8. Colossians chapter 1.
- The Ten Commandments – The ten commandments can be found in Exodus chapter 20 or Deuteronomy chapter 5.
- The Birth of Jesus – This story can be found in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 2.
- The Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ – John chapter 7, 14, 16, and 20. Mark chapter 16, and Luke chapter 24.
- Christ’s Second Coming, the Day of Judgement and Salvation of the Faithful – John chapter 14. 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Ephesians chapter 2.
- The Fall of Man, Sin, – we have all sinned and need a savior – Romans chapter 3.
- The Everlasting Gospel & How to Be Saved – Romans chapter 10.
- Becoming a New Creation – 2 Corinthians chapter 5.
How to Start Reading the Bible Daily?
Getting in the habit of reading the Scriptures daily is easier than you might think… Every believer should spend quality time with God daily. Spending time studying the Bible every day, gives you a boost for the day. Developing a daily habit of time with God if you follow these seven tips for nurturing a daily devotional time with God.
Choose a Time for Daily Bible Study
Make it your number one priority by scheduling it as you would any other important meeting or appointment. Set a specific time to meet with Him daily and stick to it. The number one reason Christian women are not reading the Bible on a daily basis is because we are TOO BUSY AND TOO MANY INTRUPTIONS.! And never get around reading our Bibles.
Pick a Quite Place to study.
I usually spend time in the quietness of my bathroom. It is my quiet place. It is like my office there. … I love to begin my day by sitting in this area with my Bible near me. I find that meeting with God in the same place each day is helpful and helps me to build memories of what God says during my daily devotional time with Him.
That is why, the FIRST thing you want to do when learning how to start reading the Bible daily is to set aside time for daily Bible study in advance. There are NO rules for when this has to be. Simply choose a time that you think will work best for you.
For example, you could do your daily Bible reading:
- First thing in the morning, before your day begin.
- In the bathroom
- While preparing breakfast. (Memorize Bible Verses while preparing to the day)
- In the car (Listen to an audio Bible or show up to work 5 minutes early)
- On your lunch break
- While cleaning the house
- While the kids are napping/having quiet time/watching cartoons
- Over dinner (involve the whole family!)
- While walking or exercising
- While soaking in the tub
- Last thing before you go to bed at night
Choose a Daily Bible Reading Plan You Can Stick With
Find a daily Bible reading plan that will work for you. You have many Bible reading plans to choose from.
Here are a few of the more popular ones (Both daily bibles reading apps and websites):
- The YouVersion Bible App: One of THE most popular daily Bible reading apps, the YouVersion app has TONS of daily Bible reading plans, devotionals, and other content to help learn how to read the Bible daily. Of course, I recommend the “Fall in Love with God’s Word” 5-Day Bible reading plan!
- The First 5 App by Proverbs 31 Ministries: The First 5 App offers a community-based approach to daily Bible reading. Join in the current study or select any of the previous reading plans to get started reading the Scriptures daily. These can be read either online or in their daily bible reading app, available for both Apple and Android.
- She Reads Truth Bible Reading Plans: She Reads Truth has a variety of short (7-28 day) Bible reading plans for women wanting to dive deeper into one topic or book of the Bible. These can be read either online or in their daily bible reading app, available for both Apple and Android.
- BibleGateway Reading Plans: One of my favorite websites for reading the Bible online, BibleGateway offers a wide variety of Bible reading plans, including chronological plans, Old Testament Bible reading plans, New Testament Bible reading plans, 90-Day Bible reading plans, seasonal plans, and even a daily Bible verse plan.
- The Bible in a Year: 365-Day Reading Plan by Biblica: This daily Bible reading plan is arranged into 365 daily Bible readings, each with an Old Testament passage, a New Testament passage, and a daily Psalm or Proverb.
Don’t skip a day.
If you choose to have your daily bible time early in the morning, say 6 a.m., you know that you cannot do it if you keep hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock. You may be tempted to skip a day and spend extra time with God the next day, but making up lost time rarely happens, and once time is lost, it is lost. Do not talk
Beginning a daily study time with God can truly be a life-changing experience. You have every possibility of growing closer to the Lord than ever before as you get to know Him through prayer and the reading of His Word.
Your time with God will be motivated by your deep love for Him and the grace He has poured out on your life, not just keeping an appointment so that you can check a box. Allow yourself to experience the blessings of spending time with your God and allow Him to transform your heart so that you reflect the image of Christ to others in your family, neighborhood, and workplace.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need for Your Study Time.
You really do not *need* much to learn how to read the Bible daily… Just a Bible (or even a Bible app on your phone) will do. But there are plenty of Bible reading materials that can make reading the Scriptures daily that much easier.
For example, you might want:
- A good study Bible, in a translation you can understand (My post on How to Read the Bible for Beginners has a lot of good recommendations)
- A Daily Bible study or devotional that interests you (Here are 10 Popular Bible Studies I recommend)
- Free Bible study worksheets and pintables
- A pen, pencil, or highlighters if you like underlining or taking notes
Hold Yourself Accountable to Commit to Reading the Bible Daily
If you are anything like most people, you will do great the first few days… then slowly fall right back out of the habit as life gets in the way. That is why some form of accountability is SO important–especially when you are first learning how to read the Bible daily.
If you forget a day or sometimes two or get distracted along the way. Learn How to Avoid Distractions during Your Daily Bible Study Time.. It is okay. Do not beat yourself up over it. You are not a failure if you miss a few days (or months… or years….)
BUT if you do want to grow in faith, learning how to read and study the bible for yourself is vital, and anything that helps you read more and get started back up again when you get out of the habit is a move in the right direction!
Here are a few ideas:
- Find a friend who also wants to read her Bible every day and commit to texting each other every morning with one thing you learned from the passage you read that day.
- Print off a printable goal tracker and put an “x” in the box for every day you read your Bible. Surprisingly motivating!
- Decide that you will not do a certain task until you have read the Bible for the day. Common choices: check social media/email, showering, getting dressed. It forces you to read even if you are not feeling it that day!
- Ask your husband or kids to check in each day. Even if they are not interested in learning how to read the Bible daily, chances are they would be happy to ask you how your daily Bible reading plan is going.
Please know and understand: EVERYONE struggles with reading the Scriptures daily at some point. You are not a failure, and there is nothing wrong with you.
Choose a Study Bible in a User-Friendly Translation
The very first step to learning how to read the Bible for beginners is simply making sure you have a Bible translation you can read!
Did you know: Originally, the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? In other words — not in English.
The English Bibles we have today are all just translations of the original language, and some are easier to read than others. And while it is true that some translations are more accurate than others, if you are just starting out reading (not diving into deep theology), any of the common translation should be fine.
So which Bible translation should you choose?
The New Living Translation (NLT) is a great Bible translation for learning how to start reading the Bible for beginners, since it’s pretty easy to read. The Message is another option. It is a paraphrase–so it is not as accurate to the original text–but it is very user-friendly and easy to read.
Personally, my favorite Bible translation is the New International Version (NIV). I personally own a REALLY old version of this NIV Study Bible that I use for my everyday Bible. The NIV is one the most popular Bible translations out there, and it is what I grew up with and am most comfortable and familiar with.
The English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) are great choices for learning how to read the Bible for beginners as well. They all say essentially the same thing–just in slightly different words. And all of these Bible translations are readily available on Amazon or in any Christian Bookstore. They are all very common.
I love the King James Version (KJV), or New King James version (NKJV) Many people still love these Bible translations for sentimental reasons, but they are not the easiest translations to read when you are still learning how to read the bible for beginners for the first time!
The Woman’s Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.
Get Started Reading the Bible!
Now that you have all of your materials and your Bible reading plan for beginners, you are ready to get started!
Thankfully, learning how to read the Bible for the first time really is easier than you might think.
Simply choose a book from the Bible reading plan for beginners above and set a goal to read one chapter a day.
(Of course, you’re certainly welcome to read more or less than this, depending on how much time you have, but “one chapter a day” is a pretty typical starting point for anyone just learning how to read the Bible for the first time.)
Each “chapter” of the Bible starts with a big number. Each “verse” in the Bible starts with a small number. So, a “chapter” is typically only a page or so, while a “verse” is typically only a sentence or two.
Do not worry if you do not understand every single word. I have been reading my Bible for decades and I still do not understand every single word or know how to apply them all. No one does. There is always more to learn!
But you really can learn a lot simply by reading a little each day, thinking about what you are reading, and looking for ways to apply what you are learning to your real life. The more you read and put into practice, the more you learn and grow!
Actions Steps to Take Today
- If you’ve been wanting to start reading the Bible daily, making the Word of God priority, first pray and ask God to help you begin reading His Word daily.
- Choose a Bible Reading Plan to print and begin using, if desired.
- Decide what time of the day will work best for you to read the Bible and pray.
- Make a commitment to read the Bible and start today.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you daily commit to god’s Word.
- Be obedient to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he leads you.
Free Printable Bible Reading Plan
Download my free printable “Peace I Leave with You” Bible Reading Plan below.