How to read/study the Bible

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Version 1 - I know nothing about the Bible

At this level, I would suggest reading the following books of the Bible:

  • Gospel of John - This is the best book to get to know who Jesus is.
  • Gospel of Luke - This is the more detailed history of Jesus
  • Romans - written by the Apostle Paul, and details who we are in light of the work of Christ
  • More gospels - Mark and Matthew
  • Acts - to see the workings of the early Church, and what the Holy Spirit does
  • Galatians, Ephesian, Philippians, Colossians - the main "church" epistles
Read for enjoyment, and to get to know God. Ask God questions. Ask Christians questions. Feel free to discover the goodness of God, and what He has in store for you

Version 2 - I want a general plan to learn the Bible

At this level, I would suggest a three phased plan (all 3 are simultaneous):

  • Read through the entire Bible in a year. Do this as casual reading, to get the big picture of the entire Bible. There are many plans and apps available to help with this.
  • Study one Book of the Bible in depth (more on that later). Typically this is good to do in a group, where you can discuss it.
  • Meditate on 1 verse every day. A different one each day. This should be a "promise" verse, or a verse that encourages you. Memorize it if you can.
The mix of these 3 ways will really help you grow, and enjoy God in everyday life

Version 3 - I am disenchanted, and really need to see God

At this level, I would suggest a very focused encouragement. Every day alternate reading the following 2 passages:

  • John 15-17
  • Romans 6-8
John will explain the relationship of Us, God and Christ. Romans will explain who we were, and who we have become. You can read these chapters over and over. Even if it takes months to truly step into the reality of their truth, that's not too long. Bathe in the goodness of God for as long as it takes. Talk to God through the process, and speak out the triths that youe find in here.

Version 4 - I want to really dig in deep to study the Bible

At this level, I would suggest the following tools:

  • Multiple translations/versions of the Bible (NIV, KJV, ESV, etc). There are lots of arguments over which is the best translation. Just read the one you like, and when you study, see what the other versions are saying. Sometimes one version really captures a passage in way that others don't
  • An interlinear bible (it has the original Greek with English translations of each word, and then a regular translation (NIV, etc) on the opposite page)
  • Strongs Concordance (or the internet)
How to do this will be in another post.


In all cases, talk to God! You are learning about the living God. You are not learning to get information, or to grow in a religion. You are learning to know Him personally, and He wants you to know Him. So talk about it with Him. Ask Him questions. Spend time with God. The result will be life-changing!

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