1. Pick a translation that you can understand
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. One of the earliest translations to English was the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, but today we have a variety of versions to choose from. Some translations focus on being more precise and are best for Bible study, while others focus on readability and are great for devotions. We use The New Living Translation (NLT) at Faith Church and would recommend that to you too.
2. You don’t have to start in the beginning.
The Bible contains 66 separate books compiled into one book. The 39 books of the Old Testament are the story of God and his people before the coming of the Messiah—Jesus. The 27 books of the New Testament pick up the story beginning with the birth of Jesus and are written to the Church. If you’re new to the Bible, the best place to start is one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), which are biographies of the life of Jesus. The Gospel of John is his eyewitness account of the life of Jesus. As one of Jesus’ closest disciples, John’s account is both riveting and informative.
3. Pick a book of the Bible and work your way through it.
If you’re anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or you’ll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day – one chapter, perhaps. If you read one chapter of John a day, (which will take no more than 5-10 minutes) you’ll read John in it’s entirety in 21 days. After reading John, move on to the other gospels – Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
4. Pray before you begin.
Pause before you open your Bible and ask God to speak to you. Remember, the Bible is God’s Word; it is God’s love letter written to His people, which includes you. Ask God to help you understand His Word. Ask God use His Word to teach you, to direct you and even to re-direct you, when necessary. Ask Him to use His Word to help you know Him and love Him.