It is recommended that you read the entire Bible cover to cover as often as you can. It is the greatest way to guard yourself agains hearsay (rumors of theology that are not true). If you are new, there is a slightly different approach as described below. Once you get through the first approach, come back every year and make a point to read the entire Bible in one year. There are several apps and programs you can use to read daily and it will keep you on track giving you some Old Testament and some New Testament every day. I like using YouVersion app for this. It only takes around 71 hours to read through the entire bible so if you spend just 12 minutes per day reading, you will read the entire Bible in 365 days! You can even set YouVersion to wake you up at a certain time every morning and prompt you right where you left off. Wake up. Read for 12 minutes then start your day.
If you are brand new to the Bible, here is a little background to help you get started.
The Bible is a series of letters and manuscripts from various authors throughout Old Testament times (before Jesus came to earth) and New Testament times that is telling the story from eye witnesses of when Jesus was here and then letters to churches after Jesus left. It is an account of the foundation and early church history along with predictive prophecy of what is to come in our future.
There are 39 Here-Aramaic books in the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi and there are 27 books in the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation for a total of 66 books in the Bible. The Catholic Bible has an addition of 7 additional books that are considered the “Apocrypha”. The Protestant Bibles do not contain these because they are of unknown authorship or are of doubtful origin.
You will see the Bible broken up into Books, Chapters, and Verses. These were not there in the original text but is helpful for us today as we read and note various locations.
While many think you should start at the beginning of any book, while true in most cases, the Bible is a little different. It is best to look at each of the 66 books of the Bible as individual books that inform and help reveal the entire story of God’s plan.
If you are new to Christianity or new to reading the Bible, t is recommended that you start the book of John. It is found in the New Testament in the last half of the book. John is the 4th gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all gospel messages of the life of Jesus according to that specific disciple’s perspective. Once you finish John, skip over to Romans a couple books later. Then read James. Along the way feel free to mix in Psalms and Proverbs as they are very uplifting and encouraging.
Once you have a good understanding of Jesus and the gospel message, head to the beginning of the book at Genesis. Jesus was there at the beginning so it is exciting to read it with that truth already in your understanding of the story. Feel free to read through Exodus if you want to get a good understanding of Moses. Then go back to the New Testament and start reading through all the gospels: Matthew Mark Luke and John again. Remember they are all the same account from 4 different perspectives.
Then simply continue reading through the Bible to the end. After John, keep going with Acts, then all the letters starting with 1 Corinthians. Every time you get to the beginning of the next book, read the introduction so you understand who wrote it and to whom it was written.
As you read, consider the context it was written in, who it was written to and why. Ask yourself what did this mean to the people then, what does it mean universally to all of us, and what does it mean to you now.
Simple order to follow:
Then go through the letters.
1 Corinthians on the the end of the Bible. Sprinkle back in Psalms as it refreshes the soul.
Once you finish Rene Er what I said at the beginning to read the ENTIRE Bible. Go back and get into all the Old Testament stories. It’s quite incredible!
I hope this helps you to break things down a bit and get you on the right track. If you need a Bible and do not have access to one or cannot afford one, please allow me to send you one. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and let me know you are excited to start reading the Bible!