Where Should I Start Reading the Bible?

The Bible is a great way to learn about God, His love, and what He’s done for all humanity. It contains God’s word for us and helps us know Him better. 

 We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word and is our final authority for living as followers of Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that Scripture can equip us for every good work. Reading the Bible is wonderful for helping us grow closer in our relationship with God.  

 Yet, if you’ve never read the Bible before, it can be intimidating to know where to start. When you pick up a Bible, it feels heavy and thick. Open it up, and you find out this big book has 66 smaller books inside, each with its own chapters and verses.  

 How can anyone know where to begin? 

Reading and studying the Bible for the first time can feel overwhelming. Everyone has been there at some point. That’s why we wanted to share some recommendations on where to start reading the Bible.  

Understanding the Importance of Reading the Bible 

Before diving into where to start reading the Bible, let's explore why it is essential to your spiritual growth. The Bible is not just another book. It offers guidance, comfort, and wisdom to all who read it. The Bible's principles, promises, and commands provide a solid foundation to build your life (Matthew 7:24-25). Reading the Bible fosters a deeper relationship with God and understanding His will for your life. 

Where to Start Reading the Bible for Beginners 

The best place to start reading the Bible is in the Gospels. These are the first four books in the New Testament, the second part of the Bible. The Gospels are made up of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

These four books provide accounts of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection. They offer a window into His ministry, personal life, and spiritual intimacy with God the Father. While you may want to start with Matthew, you should first try reading the book of John.  

The book of John offers a unique perspective on Jesus' intentions and heart for His people. This helps create an emotional connection with Him. You’ll feel touched by what His actions mean for your own life.  

You will also understand a lot of the “why” behind what’s happening as you read. In John, Jesus often shares about who He is and His purpose for His actions.  

Once you’ve read John, continue with the remaining three gospels. Feel free to read them in any order, as each shares the same story of Jesus from different perspectives and with additional details. As you read other books in the Bible, you will see how everything points back to Jesus.  

Venturing into the Old Testament 

The Gospels frequently reference the Old Testament, which gives us a glimpse into the future coming of Christ. After reading the Gospels, it’s a good idea to get more of the backstory, starting in Genesis.  

Genesis: The Dawn of Creation 

To grasp the origins of God's relationship with humanity, start with Genesis. This book recounts the very beginning of the world, the creation of mankind, and the foundation of God's covenant with His people. If you like history and adventure, you’ll love this book. Many familiar Bible stories, such as Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, are recorded in Genesis.  

Exodus: Old Testament Insights 

Following directly after Genesis, the book of Exodus sets the stage for the Israelites as God’s chosen people. Exodus includes the story of Moses and Pharoah and the Israelites’ escape from captivity in Egypt.  

Psalms: Emotional Depth and Healing 

If you open your Bible to its halfway point, you’ll be in Psalms. Psalms is a collection of poems written to God by different authors. Here, you’ll read verses capturing the highest and lowest points in people’s relationship with God. With their poetic beauty and emotional depth, the Psalms will provide comfort and hope for you. This is the largest book in the Bible, so you may want to read it in smaller chunks as you discover other books throughout the Bible.  

A person holding a Bible and reading the Psalms.

Proverbs: Wisdom for Daily Living 

In the Bible, God shares practical wisdom you can apply daily. There’s no better place to read this wisdom than the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Here, you will find chapter after chapter of simple truths you can remember daily. Grab a pen and some notecards; many are worth tapping on your bathroom mirror.  

Wisdom and Encouragement for New Believers 

Once you know where to start reading the Bible, you can begin studying God’s words for Christians in the early Church.  

Acts: The Early Church and Spread of the Gospel 

After Exodus and Psalms, go back to the New Testament and read the book of Acts, the first book after the Gospels. You’ll pick up right where you left off as Jesus ascends into heaven. You’ll experience how Jesus’ disciples started the early Church and watch how the Gospel spreads. Notice what happens to new believers' faith once they receive the Holy Spirit.  

Paul’s Epistles: Letters and Instructions to the Early Church 

You can find more wisdom and encouragement reading Paul’s epistles in the second half of the New Testament. In his letters to church plants, Paul offers practical advice for living out one's faith. In Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians, you’ll read God’s words for Christians in the early Church. These books are full of practical encouragement and advice as you deepen your relationship with Christ.  

 James: Practical Faith in Action 

Lastly, make it a point to read the book of James, written by James, the brother of Jesus. It’s located near the end of the New Testament. With its emphasis on practical faith and ethical behavior, James is essential for understanding how faith translates into daily actions and decisions.  

Why Reading the Bible Matters 

Reading the Bible is the beginning of a lifelong adventure with God. It's an invitation to explore the depths of God's love, understand His purposes, and experience life change. Whether you're seeking comfort, guidance, or healing, the Bible offers a path to discovering truths that can change your life.  

Remember, this journey is not meant to be walked alone. Communities, churches, and mentors are eager to support you in exploring the Bible. Welcome to your journey through the Bible—a journey of faith, discovery, and growth. 

Your Invitation to a Lifelong Journey 

The entire Bible is holy and worth reading. These examples will give you good places to begin your journey. If you’re still overwhelmed thinking about where to start reading the Bible, contact us. We want to walk alongside you. We can suggest Bible reading plans to lay out which chapters you should read each day. There are many practical tips on how to read the Bible well that we can share, too. 

Can we take a moment to say that we’re excited for you? Reading the Bible allows you to spend time with the God of the universe. A lifetime of growth awaits!