How to Start Reading the Bible by Diane Wido

By July 8, 2021August 5th, 2021Growing in Faith, Women

Not an Epic Novel

Considering reading the Bible? It is not an epic novel. It’s more like a mini-library or a magazine.  Some pick it up to read it cover to cover and get bogged down in the book of Leviticus. That reads like a legal document! It’s good background material but difficult reading for the novice.

The Bible has 66 books (Old Testament – 39 and New Testament – 27). Written over a thousand-year span with varied themes and literary styles. The Old Testament is the back story to the New Testament. The New Testament explains how the Old Testament is fulfilled. Each is important to the other.


Tips to Begin

  1. Choose an easy-to-read Bible version. Electronic Bibles give options. The New Living Translation (NLT) is recommended. Whatever hard copy Bible you have works. All of the Bible is valuable. The King James version reads like people talked 200+ years ago. It’s beautiful but some words are difficult to understand. Find one you love.
  2. Find a consistent time to read each day. Choose a time when you can focus. That might be first thing in the morning, at a lunch break or nighttime after the kids are tucked in.
  3. Find a comfortable place that is not distracting. Have a pen to jot down or underline what touches your heart or raises questions.
  4. Decide where to start reading. Will you read one chapter a day? One paragraph? One or two verses? Or just read till something touches the need of your heart? You can also listen to an audio Bible.
  5. Ask a friend to join you. You can read the same passages separately. Then talk about your experience together.
  6. Pray first and pray last. Before beginning, ask God to guide you and give you understanding. When done, pray, asking God to help you to live by His Word and for His strength.


Start Here

  1. The Gospel of John. It tells about the life of Jesus and His mission to mankind.
  2. Genesis. The first book of the Bible is about the first man and woman, first sin, first murder, and so on. It is background for God and His love for people.
  3. Ephesians. This writing from the Apostle Paul gives insight for how to live as God’s people.
  4. Proverbs. Practical advice for everyday life.

The four recommended books exposure you to the Old and New Testament. Both are important. The New Testament may be more practical for a beginner. Reading one chapter a day would take just over 3 months (108 total chapters).

May this give you courage to dig in!


  1. Is this helpful or overwhelming? Why? If overwhelming, could you take baby steps and start somewhere?
  2. Which of the four books to read excites you most?