7 Suggestions of Where to Start Reading in the Bible

The Bible is an incredible tool from God. He inspired writers to record words that He gave to them. The challenge, however, can be finding what to read. The Bible is a long collection of books. There are 66 books in total, so determining the right books to read can be challenging. If you are wondering where to start reading in the Bible, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we will discuss the different paths of Bible reading. Although all scripture is inspired by God, some reading orders are better than others. God can speak through all scripture, but if you’re just starting to read the Bible, it might be easier to start with specific books. If are just starting to read the Bible, we recommend to let the Holy Spirit guide you, to read the Gospels, and to continue from there. 

Read What the Holy Spirit Guides You to Read

The first book I’ll encourage you to read after the book of John is the one that the Holy Spirit guides you to. I believe this is the best way to read your Bible. 

The Holy Spirit is “God with us.” He is an aspect of God that helps us discern things and empowers us to do things for God’s Kingdom. If you’ve received the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to pray for Him to guide your Bible reading. 

Only God knows what you go through on a daily basis. He knows what you are struggling with, so He can lead you to read the book that is most applicable to you. Furthermore, while you are reading the Bible, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the mystery of the Scripture to you. 

All of God’s word is inspired by Him. The Holy Bible is actually His words, so the best way to know what to read next is to ask Him. Spend time in prayer and ask God to reveal to you the next portion of scripture that you should read. 

While you wait for God’s response, you can choose one of the options from this list and continue to read. More important than what we read, is that we read. Don’t overanalyze your reading plan, because that might discourage you from reading the Bible. The most important thing is that you are actually seeking God through His word. 

Okay, now that we’ve discussed the importance of the Holy Spirit in helping to decide what you should read, let’s look at some of the best suggestions from people about what to read next in the Bible. 

Read the Perspectives of Jesus’ Life

One of the best places to start reading in the Bible is to read the story of Jesus’ life. There are 4 different writings that record Jesus’ life, and they are called the Gospels. Those books are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

Each Gospel highlights a different aspect of Christ Jesus. However, each Gospel shares the story of Jesus. 

The Gospel of Matthew depicts Jesus as a king. Matthew was written to the Jews, after Jesus’ life. It was written as a way to show the Jewish people that the life of Jesus, fulfills the Old Testament prophecies. The Old Testament prophecies promised a savior, a king, so that is what the book of Matthew shows Jesus to be. 

The next Gospel is the Gospel of Mark. Mark depicts Jesus as a suffering servant. It makes the case that Jesus came to the world to serve people. The book Mark shows Jesus’ authority and how He gave up authority to serve others. 

The third Gospel is the Gospel of Luke. The book Luke demonstrates that Jesus is a savior for all. Luke’s gospel was written to the Gentiles, so it had to show that Jesus was not just the savior for the Jews. It shows that Jesus’ death and the resurrection of Christ is for everyone. 

The Gospel of John is the final Gospel. John’s Gospel shows the life of Jesus Christ from a different perspective. It paints Jesus as, not just the Son of God, but of God, Himself. The Book of John is a great place to start as well. 

If I had to pick one Gospel to start with, I would choose John and work backward. It is the most distinct of the Gospels, and it demonstrates Jesus’ divinity. 

Read the Epistles of the Apostle Paul

After reading the Gospels, there are a few other routes you can take. One of the most recommended routes it the path of the Pauline Epistles. 

Paul’s story is an interesting one that appears in the Book of Acts. But what you need to know is that Paul was a prosecutor of Christians, until He had a life-altering interaction with Jesus. Paul changed his life and started to live for God. He wrote letters to Churches and people about how to live as a Christian. These are great books to read because they were written specifically for Churches and are easily applicable to life today. 

Paul’s letters make up most of the rest of the New Testament. As books of the New Testament, they happen after the life of Jesus. They start with the longest book and end with a short book. Paul’s letters are a great encouragement to Christians who are reading the Bible for the first time. 

Here are a few highlights of the Pauline Epistles. 

The Book of Romans 

The book of Romans is widely considered one of Paul’s best writings. It was written to the Roman people and it explains God’s grace, eternal life, and more. The book even gives instructions for how Christians live by in their culture. 

Romans is a great book to read for its deep theological meaning. This is a great place to start, but I encourage you to have a commentary or Bible study to help understand the text better. 

The Book of Ephesians

The next book of Ephesians is another great read. It encourages unity within the Church, so it is important today. Beyond that, it describes the Church as the body of Christ and explains how each person can serve the church. 

If you are just starting to read the Bible, this is a great option as well, because it encourages you to get connected to your local church. 

The Other Pauline Epistles 

All of the other Epistles are great. They each have important themes and instructions for churches today. They are worth reading. 

Read the History of the Church 

Another great reading path, after the Gospels, is to read the book of Acts. The book of Acts might also be the best place to continue reading scripture. Originally, Acts and Luke were one continuous book, because they are seamless. The story continues in Acts and explains the start of the Church.

Acts are great for helping Christians understand the Holy Spirit and the original intent of the Church. It even includes the stories of the first missionaries and Paul’s conversion. 

The book of Acts is a great place to continue reading scripture after the Gospels. 

Read the Bible in Chronological Order 

For people who want to understand the whole story of the Bible, I recommend reading the Bible in chronological order. Although I don’t recommend this path for new believers, I do recommend it for people who are familiar with the narrative of the entire Bible. 

The reason I don’t recommend this for new believers is that you have to read through the books of the Old Testament at the beginning. Although all scripture is good, it can be more challenging to understand the meaning of the events of the Old Testament without the context of the New Testament. 

The Old Testament follows the story of the people of Israel. It explains the creation of everything and the beginning of the kingdom of Israel in the first book of the Bible. 

I am currently in a chronological Bible reading plan on the Bible app, and I really enjoy it. I mostly enjoy it, because it gives a perspective for the whole Bible. Each story points to the character of God, and it makes me fear the Lord. God has done everything on purpose and it’s beautiful. 

If you can stay committed to this plan, I thoroughly recommend it. Although some of the reading might be challenging to get through, try to view everything from the perspective of the Gospel. When we know the end of the story, it helps us to understand better the themes and messages that precede it. 

Read Wisdom Literature 

The final path after the Gospels is to continue by reading the Bible’s wisdom literature. Two major stand-outs of wisdom literature in the Bible are the books of Proverbs and Psalms. 

The book of Proverbs is great for learning about wisdom. Each chapter is easy to apply, and is helpful to understand what good choices are. God speaks clearly through the book of Proverbs, so I would recommend you to read it. 

Another wisdom-literature book in the Bible is the book of Psalms. Psalms is a collection of poems and songs that were written to God, and they reveal God’s character. They teach us how to lament and praise God.  If you like poetry, Psalm is a great book to read. 

Ultimately, I will end with what I started with, allow the Holy Spirit to guide your Bible reading. No one knows your heart and struggles like God, so let him determine the books that you read. Beyond that, try the Gospels, and read Paul’s Epistles. 

“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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