How to Start Reading the Bible: Best Tips and Thoughts

To begin your Bible study journey, it is advisable to start with the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each gospel provides a distinct perspective on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

These foundational texts establish the core principles of the Christian faith. Following the gospels, it is beneficial to explore the books of Romans and Hebrews for a more comprehensive understanding. You should have a clear goal and plan to start reading the Bible.

What you learn today?

Today, in this way we are presenting a complete beginner’s guide to Bible reading. First, we’ll discuss about what the Bible is and why it’s so important. Then, we’ll do a quick overview of the history of the Bible and what the Bible’s about.

Finally, we’ll talk about where to start reading Bible, what translation to use, and best beneficial tips to help you understand and get the most out of reading the Bible. Okay, let’s get started.

What is the Bible?

The Bible isn’t just one long book; it’s basically a bunch of historical documents compiled into one. All of the books in the Bible were written in a time span of 1,500 years, as historians will affirm. There are over 40 different authors, and the coolest part is that it tells one big unified story.

The reason why the Bible is so important to Christians is that it is God’s word. God chose 40 different authors, and He wrote through them. This is how God speaks to us. Now, since the Bible is a compilation of many different books and authors, there are different writing styles and literature. The three main types of literature are history, poetry, and prophecy. Because they are different writing styles, you can’t interpret everything the same way.

Where should you start?

Where should you start reading Bible? Pretty much every Christian agrees that you should start with the Gospels, and again, most everyone agrees that it’s good to start with John because John was written to a non-Jewish audience. So, you won’t have to know a lot about the Old Testament to understand.

Also, the Gospel of John is good to start with because there are no parables, and parables can be so hard and frustrating to understand if you’re completely new to the Gospel message and the Bible. But the more you mature in your faith, reading parables becomes fun because the Holy Spirit reveals to you the deeper meaning. But at first, if you’re just beginning and you’re very new to the Gospel message, it can be hard. So, that’s why it’s good to start with John.

And then, after John, we recommend reading Matthew, which has the life-changing Sermon on the Mount. If you read both John and Matthew, you’ll get a good understanding and a big picture of who Jesus is, what He did, and how awesome He is. And then, after that, we recommend reading Acts so that you can understand the history of how the church was spread. After Acts, read the rest of the New Testament, which is the letters of the Apostles, besides Revelation. Don’t read the last book quite yet.

Okay, now that you know where to start and what version to read, let me share with you, dear readers some really helpful reading and Bible study tips to help you get the most out of reading.

Tip #1 Use a Good Bible Translation:

As for translation, we would suggest starting with the New Living Translation (NLT) because it offers a beginners-friendly, thought-for-thought translation. But once you’re familiar and ready for the next level, you can switch to English Standard Version (ESV), which provides a closer word-for-word translation.

Get a good Bible study or commentary. You will also really like doing this because it gives you good historical context. Use Blue Letter Bible, and they have great commentaries. It goes so in-depth, verse by verse, word by word, and they give great historical context. But a quick overview goes really in-depth, and if you want to just sit down and read the whole thing, it’ll take really long.

Also,, many have used all the time. Read the chapter first on your own, and if you have questions, reference the commentary. But it’s also good to read the commentary just for the historical context and not always just the interpretation. So, don’t rely on the interpreter; rely on the Holy Spirit to interpret it for you.

Tip #2 Note down your questions:

Note questions you have, but don’t stop right away and look up what it means. At least finish the chapter, and then look up the question because whenever we got to one verse we didn’t understand, we’d be like, ‘What does that mean?’ And then we’d look it up, and then we’d spend a lot of time wasted on that. And then we went back to the text, and then it literally explained it a few verses down. So, be patient if you’re confused. A lot of times, it answers it for you later.

Tip #3 Get the Bible app:

If you have a computer or iPad or even a phone, get the Bible app and keep it open while you’re reading. With the Bible app, you can compare two translations side by side, which is a really helpful tip because you will be reading through the ESV, as it’s more of a word-for-word. But if you are confused about how something is worded, you should look at the NLT, which usually clears it up right away. You should always keep it open because it’s really helpful when looking up definitions. All you have to do is highlight the word and then right-click and hit look up, and you can find the definition in like 5 seconds.

Tip #4 Journaling Bible:

You should keep a Bible journal to jot down thoughts, questions, and revelations. This helps in reflecting on your understanding and serves as a personal record of your spiritual journey.

Tip #5 Highlight verses that stick to you:

Don’t get too caught up in color-coding your Bible because you could get caught up in that, but that just honestly takes way too long, personally, generally. It can be helpful if you’re trying to color-code specific things, but if you’re just a new beginner, don’t get too caught up in that. Just highlight verses that stick out to you that you want to be able to reference easily, and then rewrite them in your Bible Journal.

Tip #6 Make a plan for everyday slot:

You should certainly make a plan to read at least a certain amount a day. If you’re a beginner, say, ‘Hey, I’m going to read at least one chapter a day,’ or ‘Hey, I’m going to read at least 10 minutes a day, or 15 minutes, or 30 minutes.’ There’s also a bunch of Bible reading plans that are already made. There’s a Bible in a year plan where it takes you through the whole Bible in a year. There’s the New Testament in a year. There is a 10-minute a day, a chapter a day plan, the chronological plan where it takes you chronologically through the New Testament. Just a bunch of plans out there you should adhere with.

How to Start Reading the Bible -Man holding Bible in Hand
Photo credit: Pixabay

Tip #7 Quiet place:

You should read in a quiet place with no distractions. If you have noise-canceling headphones, put those on. Put on some Bible reading music. It helps so much with concentration.

Tip #8 Set specific time:

Set aside a specific time each day for your quiet time to read God’s word! If you set the intention to read it every day at a specific time, you will see yourself growing closer to God, and it’s amazing. We recommend doing this first thing in the morning to start your day on the right path. Get a cup of coffee in the early morning with the sunrise, with your nice music playing. It’s just amazing.


The most important thing before you start reading your Bible is to pray before, during, and after. For this, we advise you to ask God to give you the wisdom and understanding. Ask Him to help you apply what you have read and then to live it out in your life. If you’re confused on a verse, ask the Holy Spirit to help guide you and interpret it for you. Seek God, and you will find Him.

Understanding the significance of the Bible to Christians is crucial. For Christians, the Bible is the divine word of God—God inspired the authors and wrote through them. Therefore, believers see the Bible as the primary medium through which God communicates His plans, purposes, and promises.

Watch Mike Mike Novotny’s video blog on “HOW Do I Start Reading the Bible?”:

Leave a Comment