Where should I start reading the Bible?

We have the privilege of accessing God’s word for us in the Bible, which is a great way to learn about God, His love, and what He’s done for all mankind.  

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 the Bible is God-breathed and its words can equip us for every good work. Reading the Bible is wonderful for helping us grow closer in our relationship with God. We can walk through life with God’s guidance and direction!

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 their own individual chapters and verses. 

How can anyone know where to begin?

We understand how reading 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 you can start reading the Bible. So read on below and begin an exciting journey with God and His word!

It’s all about Jesus

The best place to start reading the Bible is a section called the Gospels. These are the first four books in the New Testament, the second of two parts of the Bible. These Gospels are made up of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. While you may be tempted to start with Matthew, you should first try starting with the book of John. 

Reading John will give you a great glimpse of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You’ll also get a lot of the “why” behind what’s happening as you’re reading. In John, Jesus often shares about who he is and his purpose for his actions. 

You’ll read about Jesus’s 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. 

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, but from different perspectives and with additional details. Plus, you’ll begin to see as you read other books in the Bible how everything points back to Jesus. 

Stories of history and adventure

After reading the Gospels, it’s a good idea to get more of the backstory. Then read what happens next after Jesus’s resurrection. 

In the Old Testament, start with Genesis and Exodus, the first two books in the Bible. These books talk about the beginning of God’s relationship with his people long ago. If you read closely though, you can actually see how these stories set the stage for Jesus.

If you like history and adventure, you’ll love these books. Here, many of the familiar Bible stories take place, such as Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, and the story of Moses and Pharoah. 

Afterwards, go back to the New Testament and read the book of Acts, the first book after the Gospels. Here, you’ll pick up right where you left off as Jesus ascends into heaven. You’ll experience how Jesus’ disciples started the early Church. Notice what happens to their faith once they receive the Holy Spirit. 

Practical advice for life

What’s great about the Bible is that God shares practical wisdom you can apply to your daily life. There’s no better place to read this wisdom than the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Here you’ll find chapter after chapter of simple truths you can remember each day. Grab a pen and some notecards as many of these are worth taping to your bathroom mirror. 

You can find more wisdom and encouragement reading Paul’s epistles in the second half of the New Testament. In Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians, for example, you’ll read God’s words for Christians in the early Church. These books are full of practical encouragement and advice for any Christ follower.

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. James provides straightforward, practical instruction anyone should read. 

Emotional depth and feeling

If you’re seeking emotional depth in God’s word, it’s important to read the book of Psalms, in the Old Testament. If you open your Bible to its halfway point, you’ll be in Psalms. This is the largest book in the Bible, so you may want to read it in smaller chunks. 

Psalms is a collection of poems written to God by different authors. Here you’ll read verses capturing the highest of highs  and the lowest of lows in people’s relationship with God. 

With its healthy perspective and striking vulnerability, many Christians make time to read the Psalms in prayer to God for encouragement. Psalm 23 is an excellent example to use in prayer.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord


Psalm 23 (NKJV)

Final Thoughts

The entire Bible is holy and worth reading. These examples will give you good places to begin your journey. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, let us know. We want to walk alongside you. We can suggest Bible reading plans that’ll 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? Through reading the Bible, you get to spend time with the God of the universe. A lifetime of growth awaits!

If you’d like to read more about exploring your faith, you can read more of our blog content below. Or, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our ministry team, we’d love to talk to you.