How To Study The Bible For Beginners
How To Study The Bible For Beginners, after opening your bible and reading a couple of its pages, you heave a sigh of relief. I understand that reading the Bible can seem intimidating or even frightening.
I am aware of your desire to immerse yourself in God’s word and your eagerness to learn more. But you’re unsure about where to begin. Even though it may appear difficult at first, studying the bible is actually quite easy provided you have the correct resources at your disposal.
Are you prepared to travel with the creator of the universe on this voyage that will change your life? Are you prepared to absorb and develop the knowledge the Holy Spirit imparts to you? Afterward, continue reading because I’ll show you how to study the Bible even if you’re a beginner.
Which Translation Of The Bible Should I Choose And Why Are There So Many?
Does that query ring a bell to you? Yes? I’ll explain it to you in simple terms. The three main categories of bible translations each have a specific function for us as readers. These consist of paraphrased, thought-for-thought (or meaning-for-meaning), and word-for-word versions of the Bible.
(1) The most accurate translation is word for word from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. These translations are exact ones. The King James Version, English Standard Version, and New Revised Standard Version are a few examples of these.
(2) Versions of the Bible called Thought for Thought present the text in its most comprehensible form. The reader of today can more easily understand contemporary sayings and idioms in place of outdated cultural “slang,” sayings, and expressions. These comprise the New Living Translation and the New International Version.
(3) The least faithful adaptations to the original text are those that are Paraphrased. Since authors have a lot of latitude in their interpretation, some sections could deviate slightly from their intended meaning. Nevertheless, they are quite simple to read in contemporary language. The Message is a well-known paraphrased Bible translation.
Which Translation of the Bible should I use as a Beginner?
In the end, the choice is yours, although for in-depth study, I advise having a word-for-word copy. In order to not miss anything when studying the Bible, you want your interpretation to be as accurate as possible. These may be a little more challenging to understand, but fortunately, we have a wealth of tools and resources at our disposal to help.
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I use a New International Version when I’m reading quickly or trying to get the gist of a particular bible passage. I study with an English Standard Version from the Daily Grace Co. For purposes of entertainment, citation, or to encourage someone who is unfamiliar with the Bible, I’ll use a paraphrased version.
What tools and resources are available for use in Bible Study?
You can use a variety of resources and tools when studying the Bible. Let’s look at a couple of them.
(1) More than 20 Bible translations, commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, and encyclopedias are available in the database of Bible study tools. Along with popular history books, texts, and publications on the founding of the early church, it also has Bible lexicons, maps, guides, and other tools to make your time spent studying the bible more fruitful.
(2) Bible Study Tools and Blue Letter Bible are both extremely comparable. It includes in-depth study aids like concordances, sermons, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew word tools, and word tools. In my own Bible study, I utilize the Blue Letter Bible.
(3) The amazing thing about Bible Gateway is that it has a big database of Bible translations in many different languages. I appreciate the fact that you may search using both a keyword or subject in addition to a bible verse. If you know the general subject but not the exact passage it comes from, it helps.
(4) You Version – Last but not least, You Version is a Bible software that includes a vast collection of translations. However, what sets it apart are the devotionals and Bible reading schedules. From healing and liberation to singleness, dating, and marriage, they address a wide range of subjects.
(5) She Reads Truth – She Reads Truth has Bible plans specifically for women but is quite similar to You Version. Each devotional includes questions and key points to help you understand the passage’s significance as you read. One of their Bible study plans might be a fantastic place to start if you aren’t ready to start studying alone.
Why should I even care if I study the Bible more thoroughly? Doesn’t superficial knowledge suffice?
No, it’s definitely insufficient. According to the Bible, people who thirst and hunger for righteousness will be satisfied. in Matthew 5:6 You will only learn the bare minimum if you merely do superficial research. But God wants to show you so much. Your life will literally be illuminated by the truth of God’s word, giving dark regions light and hope.
But if you don’t look for it, you won’t find that light and hope. For me, there have been instances when a thorough study of a particular Bible verse has been the key to a breakthrough. Furthermore, why wouldn’t you want to comprehend your Savior and Creator to the utmost extent possible?
My method of Bible study as a Beginner
It took me some time to discover a Bible study strategy I genuinely adore. My approach is still evolving. I’ll still share it with you in case you wish to adapt it for your Bible study requirements.
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I’ve already mentioned that I use the Daily Grace Company’s ESV Journaling Bible for my Bible study. I adore how much room there is for notes, doodling, and observations. I do make notes in my Bible. (However, that is a subject for another day.)
Let’s go over my daily schedule step by step:
1. Beginning With Prayer
I begin by praying, asking God to reveal himself to me and guide me via his word.
2. One Reading without underlining or making notes
I then go right in and read the section aloud without underlining or making any notes. Before I start to look for details, I want to have a general understanding of what the piece is saying. I do make a mental note of anything that strikes out to me while I read so I can refer to it later.
3. Observations should be noted after a second reading and highlighted, circled, underlined, or otherwise noted.
A second time through, I underline, highlight, and make notes about what I notice. I jot down my thoughts, including any queries I have as well as anything that shocks me. I also note any convictions I experience so I can later pray about them. Try not to have any hesitations throughout this phase. You don’t need to be perfect; just jot down any observations that occur to you.
4. Check out Bible study resources
I then refer to my Bible study resources. The majority of the time, I refer to a commentary, but occasionally I’ll also look up a word’s definition in the Hebrew or Greek text in a concordance. When I read a passage that reminds me of something I’ve already read, I’ll also occasionally cross-reference.
Theologians’ sermons and comments are wonderful, but I always strive to remember to let the Holy Spirit guide my Bible studies. In the end, he is the only one who can be trusted to keep his word. Having said that, I always take everything I read with a grain of salt.
5. Pay attention to the background information
This is followed by an examination at the passage’s historical setting. When it was written, what was going on? To whom was it addressed? Was it written when? Who wrote it and where? Some of the historical background is revealed in the paragraph itself, but you can also use historical materials to gain a fuller understanding of the social, political, and economic environment in which the passage was written.
6. Think on the significance of today and how it relates to my own life.
Finally, I consider the passage’s significance for today and its practical application to my life and walk with Christ based on my comprehension of it from my Bible study.
I pick two or three takeaways and concentrate on them all day. I also think about what the passage says about who I am as a person. Does it allude to any secret vice, disposition, or way of thinking for which I need to atone? Is it difficult for me to become closer to God? more to believe in him? Having faith?
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I pray about these issues and seek God to guide me through any revelations he makes through his word.
7. A few additional things to be aware of.
I don’t jump around when I study; I focus on one book at a time. This makes it easier for me to comprehend the book’s overarching theme and how each chapter relates to it.
I have been reading through the New Testament for almost a year now. I read the books in the canonical order, finishing one before moving on to the next.
I simply study one chapter a day as well. I find that moving slowly helps me fully comprehend and internalize the purpose and relevance of what I am learning.
8. Other Approaches to Bible Study
Not everyone uses the same method as I do. There are a ton more. In fact, I would advise you to combine elements of several different approaches to develop your own.
The bible study that is tailored to you will be the most fruitful. Here are a few of the other categories of Bible study techniques that are available. I won’t go into detail.
Which Bible Book Should I Read First?
Growing your religion requires spending a lot of time in the Bible. What book of the Bible should I read first, you might be wondering whether you’re a new Christian or just new to Bible study.
There may not be any RIGHT answers, but there are unquestionably some WRONG answers—we’re looking at you, Song of Solomon and Revelation!
The 66 total Bible books written by more than 40 human authors present one MAJOR tale in addition to numerous minor ones.
Consider the Bible like a river that flows in a single direction. There are several areas where the water slows down and it’s a fantastic moment to jump in, but you don’t want to jump in right in the middle where the current is swift and you have no idea what’s happening.
Books of the New Testament to Start Reading.
The New Testament is a fantastic location to start reading because it begins the tale of Jesus’ entry into the world. The gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) are a fantastic place to start for those who are new to faith or even just interested about faith because everything else in the Bible points to Jesus.
1. John Gospel
My favorite book in the Bible and perhaps among the gospels is John. The first chapter is written in such exquisite beauty! The deity of Jesus as the Son of God is emphasized in the book of John.
It also contains incredibly lovely pictures and ideas that contrast light and dark throughout.
The most well-known Bible verse, John 3:16, which is such a lovely summary of the gospel, is also found in the book of John.
God loves the world so much that He sent His one and only Son, in order to grant eternal life to everyone who trusts in Him.
This book details the life of Jesus, including his numerous interactions with people, his miracles, his parables, the lessons he taught his followers, his death, his resurrection, and the period following until his ascension to heaven.
2. Gospel Mark
The shortest of the four gospels, Mark, is a fantastic location to begin reading the Bible for the first time since it is succinct, to the point, and brief.
Jesus’ roles as the Son of Man and the Servant are highlighted in Mark’s gospel. It takes a significantly different stance from the other gospels, and more than any other book in the Bible, it emphasizes Jesus’ humanity.
The books of Luke and Matthew, the other two gospels, are also fantastic starting points for Bible reading. Picking a favorite was extremely difficult.
Jesus is emphasized as the King and Messiah for the Jewish people in Matthew, which was authored by the former tax collector and disciple of Jesus.
The firsthand stories of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life and work were used to write Luke’s gospel. Luke was a physician, and his story of Jesus is filled with many lovely details.
3. Acts of Apostle
The book of Acts continues to tell the story of the early church. We observe how the Holy Spirit fills brand-new Christians and how God evangelizes the entire world.
This frames the rest of the gospels’ narrative and demonstrates how profoundly Jesus’ disciples were affected by him as well as the impact they had on the rest of the known world.
When I read this book, I’m continuously being pushed and propelled by the early church’s deeds!
4. Book of Ephesians
Paul the apostle penned the book of Ephesians, which serves as a wonderful opening to his letters (he wrote about half of the New Testament!).
The book of Ephesians opens with a lovely exposition of God’s love and grace before transitioning into Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church.
He concludes with some applicable advice on the many various kinds of relationships and encouragements to continue fighting the good fight spiritually.
My favorite verse from the book of Ephesians is:
We are his handiwork, made in Christ Jesus to carry out the good deeds that God foresaw we would perform.
Even though it just has six chapters, the book is highly engaging and encouraging.
5. The Book James
James is a fantastic book that is both strong and useful, making it a terrific place to start reading the Bible.
The half-brother of Jesus who later rose to prominence as a leader of the Jerusalem church is the author of James.
James wasn’t a believer in Jesus until after the resurrection, when Jesus showed up to him. James is another book that is straightforward and brief, yet you can take your time reading it.
One James Bible study If you want to delve deeper, I suggest Beth Moore’s James: Mercy Triumphs Bible study!
Old Testament Books.
1. The Book of Psalms
Undoubtedly, this is one of my favorite biblical books. The Psalms are the songbook of the Hebrews, commemorating their happiness, grief, and hope over a long period of time. Just to possess and read such a priceless book is such a privilege.
The Psalms are filled with so much sincerity and heart.
I adore the Psalms because they are bursting at the seams with God’s promises.
After reading through the Psalms during the summer, I came up with the idea for my 30 Days to Claiming the Promises of God Bible study. We spend 30 days engaged in and reflecting on the most potent promises I discovered for contemporary Christian women.
Because the Psalms are straightforward and sincere, they are a perfect place to start reading. Reading them makes me feel particularly seen, known, and loved by the creator of the universe.
2. The Book of Genesis
The Bible’s first book is a fantastic location to begin reading it. You realize the universe’s creation and the need for Jesus to save humanity.
You can read about the Patriarchs in Genesis, who were the forefathers of the state of Israel, and how God used one obedient man named Abraham to save the entire human race.
The first verse in Genesis is arguably the most well-known…
God initially created the earth and the skies. In Genesis 1 vs 1
3. Book of Exodus
We continue the narrative of the Israelite people in Exodus as they battle slavery in Egypt, experience God’s deliverance, and go to the promised land. Of course, it’s a fantastic continuation of Genesis!
Exodus has some incredibly difficult passages to read, and it is discouraging to read about how obstinate and stupid the Israelites are, but their tale is a great teacher.
God guides them and never stops loving them in the wilderness. He cares deeply about their undivided loyalty to them and what’s best for them.
4. Book of Ruth
The love and constancy of God are shown through the beautiful love narrative in the book of Ruth. You could probably read the entire book in one sitting because it’s such a pleasant and simple read.
Boaz is shown as Ruth’s defender and provider while Ruth is exalted as a model woman. One of the most romantic love stories in the Bible, in fact!
5. Book of Proverbs
There is much of helpful guidance for living a Christian life in the book of Proverbs. It has 31 chapters, so reading one every day for a month is a fantastic place to start.
Wisdom and foolishness are contrasted throughout the Proverbs. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, while vanity, idleness, sexual sin, and living life independently of God are the beginnings of foolishness.
One famous Proverbs verse is…
Put all your faith in the Lord, and don’t rely on your own knowledge. Recognize him in all of your actions, and he will steer your steps.
How to Approach Complete Bible Reading
After reading a couple of the Bible’s books, I strongly advise you to finish the whole thing. Although it can seem difficult, you can accomplish it!
Most recently, I used the Bible app Youversion and the Bible reading schedule called The Bible Recap to read the Bible through chronologically.
Additionally, you can listen to a daily audio that explains particularly challenging passages and provides additional context for what you’re reading. (Which is especially beneficial in depressing books like Judges or prophetic ones.)
Which Bible translation should I read for the first time?
I use the New International Version to read most frequently. It’s a fantastic translation, and I also enjoy the New Living Translation because it’s perfect for longer portions because it has a more conversational style.
You may read a review of one of my favorite Bibles right now here: The Bible She Reads Truth
It might be very scary to start reading the Bible for the first time, but knowing where to begin is incredibly helpful. I constantly advise people to read while holding a journal so they can scribble down ideas, inquiries, verses that stand out, and prayers as they are reading the Bible.
I hope you found this post to be useful. My final piece of advise is to go with the approach that is most convenient for you. Take various approaches and adjust them as needed to suit your needs.
The most crucial factors are that you understand the Bible well, are using it in your life, and continue to study regularly.
God hasn’t put any demands on you to be an expert. If you don’t, it’s alright. If you already knew everything, there would be no need to study; but, this is a learning process.
Open your Bible, take a deep breath, and start reading. Keep in mind to move at a rate that seems natural to you. Let no one hurry you, please. Go study right away!
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