how to read the bible

A Beginner’s Guide to Reading and Understanding the Bible

Welcome to a beginner’s guide to reading the Bible. If you’re new to Christianity or just curious about what the Bible has to offer, you’ve come to the right place. As a youth pastor, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of reading and studying the Bible.

how to read the bible

But where to start? In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how to read the Bible, including understanding its structure and organization, finding the right translation for you, and approaching it with the right mindset and attitude. We’ll also delve into the importance of developing a reading plan or schedule, and utilizing supplemental resources for deeper understanding.

So whether you’re a seasoned Christian or simply exploring your faith, this guide will provide valuable insights on how to read and understand the Bible. Keep reading to learn more!

Understanding the structure and organization of the Bible

Understanding the structure and organization of the Bible is crucial for any person seeking to deepen their understanding of Christianity. The Bible is divided into two main sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament contains 39 books that were written before Jesus was born, while the New Testament contains 27 books that document Jesus’ life, teachings, death, and resurrection as well as early Christian history.

Within these two main sections are different genres such as historical narratives, poetry, letters (epistles), prophetic writings – each with its own unique style and message. It’s important to understand which genre you’re reading in order to fully comprehend what it’s saying.

In addition to genres within each section of the Bible there also are individual chapters or verses within those genres that can stand alone but also serve a larger purpose when viewed in context with other parts of scripture.

It may seem daunting at first but taking time to study how these various pieces fit together will help you gain a deeper appreciation for God’s word and a better understanding of His character throughout all ages. So take your time delving into this rich source material – it’s worth it!

Finding the right translation for you

Finding the right translation of the Bible can be a daunting task, but it is an essential step in understanding Christianity. With so many translations available, it’s important to choose one that resonates with you and your beliefs.

Firstly, consider your reading level and language preference. If English is not your first language or you are not comfortable with complex vocabulary, opt for a simpler translation like the New International Version (NIV) or The Message. On the other hand, if you enjoy academic reading or want to dive deeper into biblical scholarship, try a more literal translation like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or King James Version (KJV).

Another factor to consider is denominational affiliation. Different Christian denominations have their own preferred translations based on their theological beliefs and traditions. For example, Catholics may prefer translations approved by the Vatican such as The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), while Protestants may gravitate towards versions like NIV.

Ultimately though, finding the right translation comes down to personal preference and what speaks most deeply to you spiritually. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different versions until you find one that resonates with your heart.

As youth pastors at our church we recommend trying out several options before settling on one particular version of God’s word; so take time researching various Bibles available today!

Approaching the Bible with the right mindset and attitude

Approaching the Bible with the right mindset and attitude can make all the difference in your spiritual journey. As a youth pastor at a Christian church, I have seen firsthand how reading and studying the Bible can transform lives.

Firstly, it is important to approach the Bible with an open mind and heart. This means being willing to learn new things and accepting that you may not know everything there is to know about Christianity or God.

Next, it is crucial to remember that the Bible was written in a different time period with cultural contexts that may be unfamiliar or even uncomfortable for us today. Keeping this in mind will help us approach difficult passages with humility and understanding.

Another key aspect of approaching the Bible is having reverence for its authority as God’s word. This means taking time to pray before reading, asking God for guidance as we seek His wisdom through scripture.

Finally, it’s important to remember that our goal when reading scripture should be transformation rather than information. We should read not just for knowledge but also with an intention of allowing what we learn from scripture to shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions towards becoming more like Jesus Christ himself.

In conclusion, approaching the bible requires intentional effort on our part – including an open mind & heart; recognizing cultural differences; honoring its authority; aiming at transformation rather than simply seeking information- but by following these steps we can grow closer spiritually while learning more about Christianity!

Developing a reading plan or schedule


Developing a reading plan or schedule for the Bible is an essential step towards gaining greater understanding and knowledge of Christianity. As a youth pastor, I understand that starting can seem daunting, but with the right plan in place, anyone can dive into this incredible book.

Firstly, it’s important to consider your goals. Do you want to read through the entire Bible? Or do you want to focus on specific books or themes? Once you’ve established these objectives, set yourself achievable targets for each day or week.

One approach is to break down your reading into manageable portions. For example, commit to reading one chapter from each testament per day. This will allow you to cover significant ground while also ensuring that every aspect of the Bible is covered.

Alternatively, if time constraints are an issue – try listening instead! Many apps offer audio versions of scripture which allow listeners flexibility when incorporating daily readings into their routine.

Remember though; developing a habit takes time and dedication so be patient with yourself as well as flexible enough should unexpected events arise- there’s always tomorrow!

By creating a solid plan and sticking with it over time – nobody ever said Rome was built in just one day after all!- soon enough consistent study will become natural practice making learning about Christianity accessible even amidst our busy lives thanks in part due diligence applied via regular engagement techniques such as this very process we’re discussing now!

So go ahead and take that first step today towards deepening your faith by establishing achievable goals for daily bible study sessions – who knows what wonderful insights await?!

Using supplemental resources for deeper understanding

As a youth pastor, I often encounter individuals who are eager to learn more about Christianity and the teachings of the Bible. However, reading the Bible can be a daunting task for many new believers. Fortunately, there are several supplemental resources available that can help deepen one’s understanding of this complex text.

Firstly, commentaries provide valuable insights into biblical passages by analyzing their historical context and providing commentary on their meaning. These resources can help readers gain a deeper understanding of difficult or obscure passages.

Additionally, concordances provide an index of all keywords in the Bible and where they appear within its pages. This tool is particularly helpful for those seeking to study specific themes or topics within scripture.

Another great resource for deepening one’s understanding is studying with others in community groups or Bible studies. Discussing interpretations with peers allows individuals to gain different viewpoints while also building stronger connections within their faith community.

Lastly, modern technology has provided us access to virtual tools such as apps and websites offering daily devotionals that share short reflections on biblical verses along with prayers prompts which allow you grow your knowledge day by day.

When it comes down to it if someone wants true growth in living out what they believe then diving into God’s Word is key but utilizing these additional resources will greatly enhance any reader’s journey towards spiritual maturity


Reading the Bible is a lifelong journey that brings you closer to God. Whether you’re just starting out or have been reading it for years, taking the time to learn more about its structure and organization as well as developing an intentional plan can help deepen your spiritual understanding of Scripture. If you’re interested in learning more about how to read the Bible effectively, join us at our Christian church’s weekly bible study where we regularly discuss how best to approach scripture with a humble attitude and open heart!