How to Read Your Bible

The unfolding of Your words gives light
-Psalm 119:130

Did you know?

  • The Bible tells us God’s story of how He created the world, the creation of humans and our fall into sin (rebellion against God), and the working of His perfect plan for us to rightly relate to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son.

  • The Bible is a portable library of 66 books written over roughly 1,500 years.

  • The books of the Bible were written by over 40 different authors, living in different parts of the world, with different life experiences, and written in different styles.

  • The Bible’s authors did not collaborate with one another in their writing.  In in some cases, they didn’t even speak the same language as each other.  Yet, what God inspired them to write resulted in the coherent manuscript we have today.

  • As it passed through generations and numerous translations, the Bible remains the cohesive, consistent, living, and active Word of God!
The Bible is the most tangible tools God uses to speak with you - but the Bible only speaks when you take time to interact with what is inside the pages of the Bible.  

By investing in God’s Word, you will discover its relevance and how applicable it is to everything you are facing right now.  God promises to use His inspired Word to teach you about eternal truths and bring you into a closer friendship with Himself.

Getting a grip on God's Word

How good is a grip of two or three fingers?  It’s easy to lose your grip!  Five fingers working together provide a very strong grip.  So use these five “fingers” to hold onto your Bible:
HEAR: Make sure you listen to strong and accurate biblical teaching, both through your local church and through other resources you check out.  Make sure to take notes on what you hear.

READ: You will get to know God even better by personally reading His Word consistently.  Set a goal to read your Bible for fifteen minutes daily.

STUDY: Take the time to study the truths you discover as you are reading.  Every time you begin or finish reading a passage, ask yourself:
  • What promise is there to claim?
  • What example is there to follow?
  • What command is there to obey?
  • What sin is there to confess?

MEMORIZE: God wants you to keep His Word close by so you can recall it when you need to apply it.  Memorizing verses that are meaningful to you is a key to integrate Scripture in your daily experience.  Try to memorize at least one verse a week.

MEDITATE: After you get a verse memorized, spend time thinking about it is a focused way. Meditate and analyze on its truth as you exercise, commute, work, cook, or play.

Choosing a Bible translation

There are many good and readable Bible translations, and here are three that are both accurate and easy to understand:

The New Living Translation (NLT)

The New International Version (NIV)

The English Standard Version (ESV)

Visit a library or bookstore to sample these translations for yourself or look up and read some passages online to see which translation works best for your daily study.
How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.  
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!  
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
-Psalm 119:9-11

Two ways to get started

Once you choose a translation, jump in and get it into your life!

Read, study, memorize, and meditate on it.  Two helpful methods to get started studying the Bible for yourself are:

BOOK STUDY: Studying the Bible book by book is the most straightforward way to get into God’s Word. If you don’t know where to begin, start with the book of John, which is a biography of Jesus’ ministry on earth.  After that, move on to the next book, Acts.  Acts is a history of the start of the church movement.  Then, move on to Romans, which is an overview of basic Christian teaching.  From there, spend some time in Proverbs and the letters of the New Testament. (Galatians, Ephesians, Romans, Philippians, etc.)

TOPICAL STUDY:  Rather than focusing on specific books of the Bible, you may want to begin by studying the Bible topically.  Have you wondered what the Bible has to say about heaven?  Or money?  Or relationships?  Find a good concordance (there may be one at the back of your Bible; if not there are many online) and look up the key words that interest you.  Then look up the verses that speak to these topics.

It is your copy of the Bible.  So, don’t be afraid to write in the margins, dog-ear passages that speak to you, and place notes of its insights and applications.  

God’s Word is living and active, so let it work in you.  By opening yourself to God’s Word, your faith will grow deeper and your relationship with God will grow stronger.

For a starter list of Bible Study Plans to help you get started with daily Bible reading, visit

There are also helpful reading plans and study tools in apps and online.  Here are a few that we think will be helpful for you:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17

Scriptures for further study

Nothing is more important to your spiritual growth than effective Bible study.  This is an awesome step to commitment to read, study, and apply the Bible to your life.

To learn more about how to study your Bible, and for a listing of Bible Study Plans, go to

You can also attend the Sunday worship service and pick up the Bible in a J.A.R. series of books available at the resource table.
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