The Bible is made up of new and old testaments, each having different books. As Christians, we are encouraged to study the Bible daily. But you might ask, “Where can I begin if I want to study?” This is a matter of concern for many Christians, especially for new converts. Seeing how voluminous the Bible is, they tend to lose interest.
So you might be wondering where to begin. Where exactly do Christian theologians and other clergy recommend for Christians to start reading from? Are there particular scriptures to read and others to push aside or read later? If you have been asking this question about what to do exactly, then I have the solution to clear the confusion in your head right now. Keep reading while I give you some guidelines.
Where Not To Start
I have actually had more non-believers ask me this than new Christians, and this is a great question. The Bible is not strictly written in chronological order. For example, the book of Job begins in the time frame of the book of Genesis. Some have tried to start at Genesis and go through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and then Deuteronomy, but when they get to certain sections of the Old Testament, they get tired of the lengthy genealogies.
A good example is found in I Chronicles 9:11–12: “Azariah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God; Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah; and Maasai son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer.” You get the idea.
Where to Begin
The New Testament speaks more about Jesus Christ and his life on earth. It is more convenient for an unbeliever or a new Christian, to begin with, the New Testament, so they can have a clear introduction and understanding of who Christ is. When I made up my mind to start reading the Scripture, I began with the book of Matthew. It was much easier for me to comprehend as a baby Christian. I found it interesting to read. I read through Matthew, which has the genealogy of Jesus Christ and how he began his ministry.
The books of Mark, Luke, and John have the story of Jesus Christ’s ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection. These books have related stories written differently by their authors. But they all have similar messages about the life of Christ. The only difference is that Mark and Luke have longer stories. Although after the crucifixion of Christ, John was present, so in that aspect, it has a more detailed story.
The first recommendation I will give is to read the book of the Gospel. It’s a good start for new Christians. The next book of the Bible begins in Genesis. This is the beginning of the holy bible, it entails the creation of God and its magnificent power. It tells us about his sovereignty.
It tells us how God created heaven and earth and humans in his image and likeness. It also portrays how humans disobeyed God and the punishment they received afterward.
A Guide for New or Non-Believers
Most times, when I am asked by unbelievers or new Christians about where to begin reading the Bible, I usually give my recommendation. Although some people would say you should start from Genesis to revelation. If it were an old Christian who normally reads the Bible, it would be very easy, but for a new Christian, it would be discouraging.
When you begin something new, you must start from where you will easily flow. Reading from the book of Revelation, for example, will reduce the interest in reading further. As a new convert or unbeliever who has little or no idea about the Bible, you have to start with a simpler scripture. This will help you understand God’s word by introducing you to Jesus Christ, his son.
The most challenging aspect of reading the Bible is getting started, a lot of people get stuck at this point. They become confused about where to begin.
The word of God is powerful and is our weapon against the devil. Studying the bible enhances our relationship with God and also draws us closer to God. He uses the scripture to open our eyes to obey his instructions. We are able to know how to behave as believers. The Bible is a guide for Christians. The word consoles us in times of difficulty, admonishes us, and also tells us what is expected of us.
God’s word gives comfort, consolation, peace, healing, joy, hope, etc. We draw strength from God’s word. Every issue we face is addressed in the Bible; you just have to search for it. Like the Bible says, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” The Bible is a believer’s book guide to lead you. Every message was written to keep us in check. If you study the Bible, you get to know more about God and understand him better. When I had a very serious health challenge, it was the word of God that gave me hope and boosted my trust in God.
Making the Bible a daily routine to study is a spiritual way of feeding the mind. The more you study the word, the closer you are to God. Gradually you hear from God, you understand his word to a point where you can state it without looking at the scriptures. Studying the word opens our spiritual eyes and gives us spiritual strength. It keeps us in check and reminds us of God’s unending love for us. If you are familiar with the Scriptures, when you are about to err, remembering his word will help you retrace your steps.
The 5 Places to Start Reading the Bible
1. The Gospel of John
This scripture is a good starting point for new believers. It tells us about Jesus Christ and his ministry and it gives a better understanding of his mission. Other gospels such as Luke, Mathew, and Mark talks about Jesus Christ’s mission but the gospel of John specifically talked more about the person of Jesus than his work.
The book of Romans which is the new testament is another good place to start reading. It enlightens us on our Faith. It specifically gives us the instructions that will help us grow spiritually. Since we want to attain heaven by living upright it’s good we begin from here to get more insight.
Psalms is a prayer scripture and a verse that gives hope. When you go through Psalms very well you notice it’s more of a prayer request from the prophets of old. The book of Psalms gives us hope, healing, and the assurance that God will always fight for us anytime. That’s why some people call it the Psalms of Prayer.
It is one of the most powerful scriptures, filled with wisdom. If you seek biblical wisdom and knowledge you can start from proverbs as well. It has instructions and a biblical guide that will direct you in your daily activities. You can also call it the book of wisdom, although there’s the book of wisdom in the old testament.
Genesis being the beginning of the bible is a good place to start if you want to get a better understanding of the whole word of God from creation. But if you ask me I wouldn’t recommend it to you, to begin with.
It’s not a bad idea though. Where you begin doesn’t count, as long as you understand what you study. When I started studying the word I began with the book of Mathew. The reason is that I just wanted to flow with the scriptures, in a way that I will get to know about the life of Christ first. Believe me when I say it’s more easier to understand the bible when you begin from the new testament. You might say it’s a personal idea but it worked for me.
When you study the Bible you are building your spiritual mind. The word of God is food for our minds and soul. Don’t just start, follow the guidelines and you will find it interesting to study God’s word.