How to Read the Bible for Beginners

Written By

Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

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We all try to brush and floss our teeth, eat three meals a day, and keep up with our daily responsibilities, but we rarely set aside adequate time to nourish our spirits. If you’re reading this article, you may be wrestling with the following questions:

  • Why should I read the Bible?
  • Where do I start in the Bible?
  • How will the Bible help me grow in my faith?

To put it simply, reading the Bible is a tried-and-true way to connect with God through His Word. The Bible is composed of 66 unique books –– 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in New Testament –– filled with knowledge, insights, and information on how to form a greater relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It’s the best collection of books at our disposal to get in touch with God’s will!

If you’re a beginner who’s just picked up a Bible, here are my tips on how to get started.

Let’s begin…

 

Start Here

First, you’re not alone.

Our phones may connect us in the 21st century, but many of us still struggle with being disconnected from each other.

If you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of reading the Bible, I recommend finding a Biblical Community. Ideally, a local church (check out Church Finder) or a Bible study group. That way, if you don’t understand a Bible passage, you can ask questions to Christians around you who do.

To give you a head-start on your search, I recommend checking out the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). They host virtual and in-person Bible studies for all age groups.

Of course, if the prospect of joining a group is daunting, you can always ask a friend to read the Bible with you. Even better, join a Bible challenge on Instagram together! Then, you can tackle a certain section of the Bible together and hold each other accountable on your faith journey.

 

Second, you’re bound to wrestle with the Bible.

As humans, it is all too easy to be in tune with our feelings and desires. However, it can be harder to be in tune with God’s will for our lives. The Bible is meant to challenge you –– to help you examine the areas in your life that need growth. The Bible is also a source of comfort when you’re struggling to find God during a season of silence. While scripture can often lead us to wrestle with big questions, it also offers an abundance of answers on how to live more Godly lives. By reading the Bible, you can glean deeper wisdom, truth, and purpose, which you can apply to many different areas of your life: career, friendship, love, personal growth, etc.

God will reveal Himself…

 

Third, learning takes time.

Know that you’re not going to know.

As a beginner, the practice of reading the Bible is more important than immediate understanding. When you begin to read the Bible, you can’t expect to know all of the stories or to understand the context immediately. (This is where a Bible study helps!)

Even after years of reading the Bible, you’ll still be learning. And for most people, the learning process never ends, as you’ll always read the Bible from a new perspective. That’s why it’s important to develop a daily habit of reading God’s Word. Remember, it can take up to 30 days to form a habit, so consistency is key. Sticking to 10 minutes of reading a day is better than not reading at all.

 

Fourth, turn to the Holy Spirit.

Whether you choose to read the Bible like a novel, front-to-back, or focus on specific books in the Bible, God will use “glimmer” moments to illuminate certain sections of text, which may apply to your present circumstances. This is where the Holy Spirit steps in. He’ll work with you as you read, to help you understand the Bible, and directly apply the teachings to your life. No matter where you are in your faith journey, God will meet you where you’re at!

He will meet you where you’re at…

 

How to Read the Bible for Beginners

Start with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

These four books are central to the New Testament, offering us an intimate look into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Each Gospel is written by a different disciple, so you’ll get four unique perspectives. When you’re reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, you’re not just flipping through pages—you’re stepping into the shoes of those who walked with Jesus, witnessing his miracles, teachings, and ultimately, his profound impact on the world.

The Gospels hardcover

The Four Gospels, in one hardcover book. Great for Bible studies, church groups, or individual devotional times, to engage in scripture in a new and fresh way.

Shop Now

 

Or, Pick up a Yearly Bible

If you’re looking for a guided Bible study, consider picking up a Yearly Bible. It’s a great way to read through the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament, one day at a time. No need to rush through it all at once! Given how it’s structured, you can read the entirety of the Bible within a year, without the need to read the Bible front-to-back.

The one year Bible

The One Year Bible makes reading through the Bible achievable with daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs and is today’s #1-selling daily reading Bible.

Shop Now

 

Or, Download The Bible App or YouVersion App

If you’re more tech-savvy, there’s always The Bible App, also known as the YouVersion App. These apps have a ton of Bible plans for whatever you’re going through –– love, healing, anxiety, depression, you name it. They even have plans for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, so you’re covered with scripture all year round. Many of my friends love their Bible app because they have their Bible in their back pocket!

 

Other Ways to Connect With God

1. Pray to God

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. When we pray, we pour our hearts out to God, sharing our joys, struggles, and everything in between. Take advantage of prayer, as it’s our direct line of communication to God.

A simple prayer

 

2. Listen to Worship Music

Music has a unique way of bringing us closer to God, as well as evoking joy, so don’t be afraid to belt out your favorite worship songs! Need inspiration? Here’s my favorite Worship Music Playlist on Spotify.

 

3. Write a Journal Entry

Try the “Red–Blue Journal Method” to deepen your relationship with God. In the blue section, jot down your thoughts and experiences. In the red section, respond with insights from scripture or what you believe God is saying to you. This practice is a powerful way to directly engage with God through writing. If this doesn’t speak to you, try composing a nightly letter to God. In this letter, you can quote scripture and start your journal entry based on how that verse applies to your present-day life.

Prayer journal

The layout includes 4 customizable main sections: Daily Gospel Truth, Promises, Prayers, and Provisions. There are lined pages for women to record their prayers, and they can use the journal as often as they want―daily, weekly, or even a few times a year.

Shop Now

 

4. Join a Christian Challenge on Social Media

There are many different social media challenges on Instagram or Facebook, which encourage you to dive into the Bible on a daily basis. These challenges are a simple yet effective way to connect with God, as well as a community of believers online.

 

5. Read Christian Literature

Start your day with Guideposts for inspirational stories and reflections, or dive into Christian books by authors like C.S. Lewis, Sarah Young, Max Lucado, and Liz Curtis Higgs for insights into faith, biblical narratives, and personal growth.

My recommendations:

  • C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, which delves into the profound questions of faith, morality, and the nature of God.
  • Max Lucado’s Chronology Bible, which offers a unique perspective on the timing of biblical events.
  • Liz Curtis Higgs’ “Bad Girls of the Bible,” which provides thought-provoking insights into the lives of femme fatales in scripture.

 

6. Watch Christian TV Shows or Movies

Watch biblical stories come to life through television shows like “The Chosen,” or movies like “The Prince of Egypt.” While often not word-for-word, they offer a fresh perspective on familiar biblical narratives, bringing depth and context to the Bible.

The Chosen

 

7. Join a Church

Find a local church or biblical community where you can worship, learn, and grow alongside fellow believers. God calls us to join together in fellowship to enrich our faith journey.

Find fellowship…

 

Any Questions I Can Answer?

Don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section! Whether you have questions about my Journey to Becoming a Christian or anything else on your heart, I’m here to talk.

Love, Kim

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