Reading the Bible may sound like a great idea, but how do you get started? Below are some resources I’ve collected to help whether you’re new to the Bible or want to go deeper in your study. The books and links below are some of my favorites that I’ve found helpful.
1) Read the Bible with your children
Reading a children’s Bible is a great way to get into God’s word. I love how the words may be simple but the message is still powerful. It’s a great way to introduce yourself (and your child) to so many wonderful stories and lessons – and get pique your interest to dig into them further in a grown-up Bible.
This one is our favorite children’s Bible.
2) Get a new Bible
Whether you’re new to reading the Bible or an old pro, getting a new Bible might be the spark you need to dig back in. Isn’t it exciting to get a new book, to listen for that first crack of the spine opening, the ‘new book’ smell as you flip through the pages? I bought a new Bible recently and gave myself permission to write in it – no, demanded I underline and take notes – and it was freeing and exciting. I love digging in and finding passages to underline.
When I started Bible studies at my church, I went through my house looking for a Bible, but all I could find were older translations with a lot of ‘thees’ and ‘thous’. I found those really hard to read and study. Look for a translation that connects with you. I love the NIV, but also like to read from The Message or The Easy To Read when I’m studying a particular passage.
Need help choosing a translation? Here are some resources which explain each of the translations and pros/cons for each:
Choosing a Bible Translation from BibleStudyMagazine.com
How to Choose a Bible Translation from wikihow.com
3) Join a Bible Study
A Bible study can be the best way to dig into God’s word. Taking a study and learning from a qualified teacher and digging into the weekly assignments is what really opened the Bible for me and sparked my interest in reading further. If your church isn’t offering one or it doesn’t fit your schedule, check out some of these online study options:
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4) Read a Commentary or Devotional
I’ve found reading commentaries and devotionals to be a great way to learn more of the context of a particular book or verse in the Bible and to really focus on a passage to hear more of God voice.
Here are of a few I’ve enjoyed, but there are lots of great books out there!
This next one is a fictional book, but is closely based on the gospels. I loved how the conversations were filled in to make the stories come even more alive. I couldn’t put it down and was in tears by the time Peter met Jesus after the Resurrection (even though I knew the story already).
5) Get a Reference Guide for Deeper Study and Context
If you want to know more about the books in the Bible, who wrote them, the context around which the book is written, how it relates to other books in the Bible, even a summary of the book, I found this next book to be a great reference guide (plus it’s really short!).
This next one is a great guide on how to read and study the Bible. If you’re looking to take your Bible reading further, try a resource like this:
6) Find a Reading Plan and Get Started!
The Bible Challenge: This looks like a great resource – daily reading plan to read the entire Bible in a year. Also includes study guides, daily commentary and audio teaching segments.
7) Learn a New Way to Study
There are a lot of techniques for studying God’s word. A good start is to simply read the Bible to lay the foundation and get an overview of the stories and teachings, but to go further you’ll want to actually study the content. Maybe by chapter, by topic, by verse. As you study, choose a method or study guide to get the most out of your time.
Always start with prayer, asking God to reveal His word to you. As you read, ask yourself, “What does this tell me about who God is?” and “What does this mean to me?”
Below are a couple of resources I thought gave good overviews of some various study methods:
[reminder preface=”Question: “]What other resources do you love?[/reminder]
On Thursday, I’ll post another resource list of ways technology can help us get into God’s word. This will include some additional reading plans you may find useful.
[callout]This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview[/callout]