The bible is by far the most well-read book in the world; it crosses many different cultures, in many different countries and many different languages. Many people find the bible daunting to read, due to its size and what people perceive as its irrelevance to today’s society. The bible though is a very interesting book, with something for everyone. No other book has death, romance, immorality, miracles, war, peace, and so forth all under the same cover!
Too many people believe the bible is like any other book that you read from cover to cover. The bible however is a collection of many different books, and therefore you do not need to start at the front cover. For first time readers, a good place to start would be The New Testament.
The New Testament was written much later than many of the books of the Old Testament, and therefore may be easier to understand. Begin reading one of the Gospels, these are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The gospels talk about Jesus, from his conception and birth, through to his teaching and crucifixion.
Another good place to start reading the bible is the book of Psalms or the book of Proverbs. Or you could begin with the Old Testament stories that we all have heard of, such as Noah and the Ark or the story of creation. Many people chose to read a couple of chapters of the bible a day. Some may read a few chapters from a book in the Old Testament and a few chapters from a book in The New Testament a day, so that they get an understanding of both.
Many bibles have an index or concordance that you can look up keywords or stories. Some will even have a list of verses or places in the bible to read for different occasions, such as death, birth, happiness, sadness, etc. There are also different types of bibles for different people. There are children’s bibles, written in a storytelling way, and with pictures for children to enjoy.
There are bibles for teenagers and students to help them find the relevance to their lives and there are women’s bibles, parent’s bibles, the list goes on. Many of these bibles will have suggestions of where to start reading, and studies and ideas to help you get the most out of reading the bible.
You can also get study books or guides and devotion books to read along with as you work through reading the bible. Many of these are good as they give you application points and use modern examples to help you comprehend the bible. These studies can not take the place of actually reading the bible though; they are merely meant as a resource to offset the bible itself.
Although the Bible was written such a long time ago, it still has much relevance to today. The idea is to apply the stories and their teachings especially to your life and to today’s society. There is much to be learned from the people of bible times and you may even find as you read the bible that many things have not changed over the centuries.