There are so many things that God wants to tell us through His Word. Unfortunately, our Bibles are closed. Although this article is titled “how to read the Bible for beginners,” this article is for all believers.
Most believers struggle with reading the Bible. Here are some things that I do which have helped to strengthen my personal devotional life.
- “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” Dwight L. Moody
- “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan
- “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” Theodore Roosevelt
- “The purpose of the Bible is simply to proclaim God’s plan to save His children. It asserts that man is lost and needs to be saved. And it communicates the message that Jesus is the God in the flesh sent to save His children.”
- “The more you read the Bible the more you’ll love the author.”
Find the Bible translation that is right for you.
There are many different translations that you can use. On Biblereasons.com you may have noticed that we use the ESV, NKJV, Holman Christian Standard Bible, NASB, NIV, NLT, KJV, and more. All of them are fine to use. However, watch out for translations that are intended for other religions such as the New World Translation, which is the Jehovah’s Witness Bible. My favorite translation is the NASB. Find one that fits you perfectly.
Psalm 12:6 “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
Find the chapter that you want to read.
You have two options. You can start from Genesis and read to Revelation. Or you can pray that the Lord leads you to a chapter to read.
Instead of reading single verses, read the entire chapter so that you can know what the verse means in context.
Psalm 119:103-105 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Pray before you read Scripture
Pray that God allows you to see Christ in the passage. Pray that He allows you to understand the true meaning of the text. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind. Ask the Lord to give you the desire to read His Word and enjoy it. Pray that God would speak directly to you with whatever you are going through.
Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”
Remember that He’s the same God
God hasn’t changed. We often look at passages in the Bible and think to ourselves, “well that was then.” However, He’s the same God that revealed Himself to Moses. He’s the same God that led Abraham. He’s the same God that protected David. He’s the same God that provided for Elijah. God is real and active in our lives today just as He was in the Bible. As you read, remember this incredible truth as you apply different passages to your life.
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Look to see what God is saying to you in the passage that you are reading.
God is always speaking. The question is, are we always listening? God speaks through His Word, but if our Bible is closed we don’t allow God to speak. Are you dying to hear God’s voice?
Do you want Him to talk to you like He used to? If so, get in the Word. Maybe God has been trying to tell you something for a long time, but you have been too busy to realize.
I noticed that when I devote myself to the Word, God’s voice is much clearer. I allow Him to speak life into me. I allow Him to guide me and give me wisdom that I need for the day or the week.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Write down what God is telling you.
Write down what you have learned and what God has been telling you from the passage that you have been reading. Grab a journal and start writing. It’s always awesome to go back and read all that God has been telling you. This is perfect if you are a Christian blogger.
Jeremiah 30:2 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.”
Look in the commentary
If there was a chapter or verse that caught your heart, then don’t be afraid to look for biblical commentary regarding the passage. Commentary allows us to learn from biblical scholars and helps us to go deeper into the meaning of the passage. One website that I often use is Studylight.org.
Proverbs 1:1-6 “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.”
Pray after you read Scripture
I love praying after I finish reading a passage. Pray that God helps you to apply truths that you read to your life. After reading His Word, then worship Him and ask Him what was He trying to tell you from the passage. Be still and silent and allow Him to speak to you.
James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Make Bible reading a habit
It might be tough at first. You might doze off, but you have to strengthen your muscles because your devotional muscles are weak now. However, the more you devote yourself to Christ and His Word the easier it gets. Reading Scripture and prayer will become more enjoyable.
Satan knows how to distract you and he is going to try to distract you. It might be with TV, a phone call, a hobby, friends, Instagram, etc.
You are going to have to put your foot down and say, “No! I want something better than this. I want Christ.” You have to make a habit of turning down other things for Him. Once again, it might be rocky at first. However, don’t get discouraged. Keep on going! Sometimes you have to separate from your groups so you can spend uninterrupted alone time with Christ.
Joshua 1:8-9 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Have accountability partners
I’m starting to be more accountable with my Christian friends. I have a group of men who keep me accountable in my personal Bible study. Every day I check in with a text and allow them to know what God has been telling me through His Word the night before. This keeps me accountable and it allows us to motivate each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
The best time to start is always now. If you say you are going to start tomorrow you may never start. Open your Bible today and start reading!
Proverbs 6:4 “Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.”
I have learned so much on reading this article. I am so encouraged to start reading the Bible today, I won’t wait until tomorrow. Thanks for inspiring me to know God more in His Word and to pray before and after I read Scripture.
Here’s an approach I use with new Christians.
1. Genesis 1-11
2. Hosea and Joel
3. Psalms 2, 8, 16
4. Mark’s gospel
5. The Acts of the Apostles
7. Revelation 19-22
I just discovered this blog and I absolutely love it. It has helped me answer so many questions.
Thank you for your encouraging comment. I’m glad that this site has been such a blessing to you.
How To Read The Bible For Beginners taught me lessons I should have known 50 years ago about reading God’s Word. Lesson 1: We are never to old to learn.
Thanks be to God. Thanking the Lord for the people writing these lessons. Thank you so much!
This is some really good information about reading the bible. I liked your suggestion about looking into commentary or extra material to help explain things. I like to also look at what words would have been in Hebrew or another language. That seems like it could help you understand the meaning better.