How I like to read the bible

Here is Nonni’s next post.   Michelle

People have often asked me how to start reading scripture and where to begin.  I have always believed its best to start with the stories about Jesus.  I also believe its best to start with a translation that makes sense for you.  I loved the JB Phillips translation of the New Testament, but then I’m British, and I understand that style of writing.  If you’re American, then the Living Bible translation is very good.  There’s even an updated New Living Bible translation.  If you’re new to reading the Bible, and you aren’t familiar with chapters and verses, I really like “The Message”.  It reads so much more like a book.  The language is so familiar too.

 Anyway, I just start with the gospel of Matthew.  Then I like to go to the gospel of Luke, and finally to the gospel of John.  John’s gospel is much more poetic, and contains symbolism and allusions to prophecy that are somewhat harder to grasp for a beginner, although, don’t get me wrong, there’s very, very much in it that is beautifully understandable for a beginner as well.  Just don’t worry about what you don’t understand.  Enjoy, savor and cherish what you do understand.  There’s more than enough spiritual food for everyone at every stage.

After reading the three gospels I love most, I then enjoy reading the Acts of the Apostles.  These are the historical accounts of the very early church–the first 20 years or so.  Very exciting reading.  From there I read the epistles, which are simply letters the early apostles wrote to the early churches.  Since these were the very first generation of Christians and most of them knew Jesus when he walked the earth, you get an even more detailed version of the things Jesus taught. 

All through the New Testament you will see footnotes referring to Old Testament passages.  Read these passages for yourself, and you will get a bigger picture of what you are reading in the New Testament passage.  When you have done all of this, its time to get a study bible.  When you read the Old Testament, its really helpful to have a study bible to help you get the historical context of the writing.  Unless you know who the writing was for and what was going on, you miss a lot.  I like to just read the Old Testament straight through.  Your study bible will help you get it all into historical order.  I have always kind of skimmed over all the ceremonial laws since they don’t apply to Christians (you learn all about this when you read the New Testament), and I also skim over the lists of geneologies.  I know they are there for a reason, but I haven’t felt led to read them for my own inspiration.

Happy reading!  Read with a pen or marker and underline things that jump off the page at you.  These are verses that will mean a lot to you personally and be an inspiration and encouragement to you.

 God bless you!  He WILL bless you as you read the book He has put together for you.

 Till next time…  Nonni

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