I get fired up when people who have not really read the Bible very much begin to read it. Because I know that God will speak to them through the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. So when you read the Bible, you can be sure that God is speaking to you. God’s Word will change your life, in great ways.
One of the questions I often get as a pastor goes something like this: “Which book of the Bible should I start with?”
It’s a good question, because the Bible is not arranged like a novel or history book. The Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. So if you started reading at the first book (Genesis) and read through the entire Bible until you finished at the last book (Revelation), you would learn a lot but you might also get confused in some sections because the books aren’t arranged in chronological order.
Note: I have written previously about how to read and study the Bible. You can find that post HERE.
So, here is where I would suggest you start reading if you are new to reading the Bible:
1. The Gospel of John. In some Bibles, it’s simply called “John” in the table of contents. This narrative of the life of Jesus describes Him in great detail, and describes some of the greatest encounters He had with people while He was on the earth. And there are amazing truths in this book about who Jesus is, about eternal life, and about following Christ.
2. Genesis. This is the very first book of the Bible, and it describes the origins of all things, and the beginnings of God’s relationship with people, including how He led Abraham & Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and others.
3. James. Incredibly practical, this book will give you lots of “aha!” moments as you read it, with practical guidance on how to live for Christ (with His help, of course!).
4. The Gospel of Matthew. I don’t believe you can read too much about Jesus. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life will give you another person’s insights into the life, actions, words and compassion of Christ.
5. Exodus. Travel with the Hebrew people from Egypt across the Red Sea into the wilderness and to the edge of the Promised Land. Read how God led them, protected them, and taught them along the way.
6. Acts. Journey with the first followers of Jesus in the years immediately following His death, burial and resurrection. See churches being started throughout the Roman Empire. Read about God’s miraculous power changing lives.
7. Ephesians. One of the churches that was established just a few years after Jesus walked the earth was in the city of Ephesus. One of the men who established that church, Paul, wrote them a letter to guide them individually and as a church, giving practical instruction for living for Christ. Those words are just as applicable to our lives today as they were when they were first written almost 2000 years ago.
These seven books should get you started. After you read these, keep going!
May God bless you as you read His Word and put it into practice in your life. God will change your life through His Word, and He will give you an abundant life in Christ.