The Ultimate Guide to Reading the Bible for Beginners

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If you’re desiring a closer walk with Jesus, reading your Bible on a regular basis will be life changing. Today I’m talking about reading the Bible for beginners or how to get started reading your Bible.

The Ultimate Guide to Reading the Bible for Beginners @ AVirtuousWoman.org

First, before we get into reading the Bible for beginners, I wanted to share a few thoughts I’ve had this week. We’ve been in social isolation at our house for seven weeks now. At first it felt like a big adjustment. I think the first couple weeks were the hardest.

At least for me. I needed to find a new normal.

Since we’ve been home so much more than usual, I’ve found I’m enjoying the slower pace. Life is quiet. Each day presents much the same as before. Like a quiet routine.

I spend more time relaxing. My house is clean. I don’t have the pressure of meeting appointments and keeping a strict schedule. I don’t have to get up at 4 am.

I spend my days puttering around the house doing cozy things.

  • I’ve been planting a garden.
  • I play with our new puppy, Marlowe.
  • I sit and talk to my girls.
  • I sit in the sunshine.
  • We take walks.
  • I work on my writing.
  • I clean the house and cook new recipes.
  • I spend evenings watching sermons from It is Written and sometimes we’ll watch a movie.
Marlowe, our Irish Setter puppy - 8 Weeks old
Marlowe, our Irish Setter puppy – 8 Weeks old

It’s peaceful. It reminds me of this verse:

“Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

I don’t expect this to last forever. Soon enough we’ll be back to our normal schedule. And that’s okay too. I do miss the adventures.

But for now, I think I’m going to enjoy this quiet life just a little more.

Reading the Bible for Beginners

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And it certainly shouldn’t be something you dread. Sometimes it’s easy to get hung up the idea that you “should” be reading your Bible that you feel guilty for not doing it.

Just remember, there’s no right or wrong way to read your Bible. Every time you open your Bible, God is going to speak to you. It’s His words written there!

The human mind is like a sponge. It soaks up whatever you expose it to. Reading the Word of God will help you think about and dwell on spiritual things.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 ESV

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 ESV

The Bible is a big book with a lot of pages. 

  • 66 books in the Bible
  • 1,189 chapters in the Bible

You’ll always learn something when you read God’s Word and you’ll experience new insights and understanding every time you read a passage – even if you’ve read it many times before.

How to Get Started Reading the Bible

If you’re new to reading the Bible, knowing where to start can seem a little overwhelming. However, I want to share a few tips that can make reading the Bible easier for beginners.

  1. Pick a specific book of the Bible that you would like to read. Many people like to read Palms or Proverbs because it’s easier to comprehend and full of encouraging verses. When I first started reading the Bible, I decided to read the shortest books first!
  2. Choose a version of the Bible that’s easy for you to read and understand. As you mature in your Bible studying, you may explore and read many different versions of the Bible. However, it’s important to initially choose a Bible version easy enough to read that you don’t feel discouraged or frustrated.
  3. You don’t have to start at the beginning. Many feel like they have to begin in Genesis (the first book of the Bible) and work their way through to Revelation (the last book of the Bible). However, the best way to read the Bible as a beginner is whatever way inspires you to keep reading.
  4. You don’t have to read a lot at a time. Take it in stride and read a little bit every day. Write down the bit that you read every day. This will help you absorb it a bit better. You can read as little as a few verses or a chapter. If you read three to four chapters a day you can finish reading the entire Bible in one year.
  5. Pray before, after, and during your Bible reading time. God will speak to your heart what He wants to you to understand from the verse. It doesn’t take a seasoned Bible reader or theologian to hear God speak to your heart.
The Ultimate Guide to Reading the Bible for Beginners @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Where to Start Reading if You’re New to the Bible

Psalms and Proverbs are always a great choice to begin reading because they are simple and full of encouraging verses.

It’s usually not hard to comprehend the context and meaning behind these verses and they are beautiful when applied to our lives.

Other great books to start with are Romans and the gospel of John.

  • Romans is a wonderful overview of what living the gospel is all about. Romans answers a lot of questions new Christians might have.
  • John gives a wonderful and concise glance of Jesus and His ministry while here on Earth. This is vital information to new believers.

Should You Read the Bible Every Day?

Yes! I would always encourage you spend even just a few minutes each day in God’s Word. Reading the Bible every day can greatly impact your day for the better. God speaks to us through His Word.

It gives us strength, helps us remember or find our purpose, gives us encouragement, etc. Think about that one person that always makes you feel better. When you feel awful, you go to them and feel so much better. That’s what reading the Bible does on a daily basis. Reading it every day fuels you to take on whatever might come our way.

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be challenging and once you get started reading the Bible you’ll find it’s not nearly as intimidating as you may have once thought.

How Long Does It Take to Read a Chapter a Day?

It takes around 10 minutes (or less) to read a chapter of the Bible per day. If you’re a slower reader, it could take up to 15-20 minutes. Some chapters are longer than others but, this is the average based on most chapters.

How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible in One Year?

If you read about 3-4 chapters a day, you’ll be able to read the entire Bible in a year. For the average person, this is about 30-40 minutes of reading a day. For some, it might be quicker or a bit slower, depending. Overall, it takes 70 hours and 40 minutes to read the entire Bible, for the average person.

Apps to Help You Read the Bible

The best app I’ve run across is the Bible app. It’s the most popular app and for good reason. Not only does it give you multiple options for reading through the Bible in a year, 90 days, 30 days, etc. but it also gives you special devotions. It offers quite a few versions of the Bible and so much more.

Bible.is is my favorite app for listening to the Bible. You can listen to the Bible dramatized which I’ve found makes the stories come alive. This app is also great for listening to the Bible with your whole family.

Audible is another great app option for reading the Bible that you can listen to while you’re doing other tasks. Daily Bible Verse is an app I have enjoyed as well.

Chapters that Cover Specific Doctrines

There are some popular topics that are important for a Bible reading plan for beginners. Below, you will find the specific chapters or verses where you can find ten of the most popular topics to study in the Bible.

  • Creation and the Flood – Genesis Chapters 1-8 cover the creation and the flood.
  • Abraham and the Promise – Genesis Chapters 12-25 tell all about Abraham and his journey through the promise God gave him.
  • Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit – 1 John chapter 4, and 5. John chapter 1, 3, and 20. 2 Timothy chapter 1. Ephesians chapter 4. 1 Corinthians chapter 8. Colossians chapter 1.
  • The Ten Commandments – The ten commandments can be found in Exodus chapter 20 or Deuteronomy chapter 5.
  • The Birth of Jesus – This story can be found in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 2.
  • The Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ – John chapter 7, 14, 16, and 20. Mark chapter 16, and Luke chapter 24.
  • Christ’s Second Coming, the Day of Judgement and Salvation of the Faithful – John chapter 14. 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Ephesians chapter 2.
  • The Fall of Man, Sin, – we’ve all sinned and need a savior – Romans chapter 3.
  • The Everlasting Gospel & How to Be Saved – Romans chapter 10.
  • Becoming a New Creation – 2 Corinthians chapter 5.

Deciding When and Where to Read the Bible

If you want to make reading the Bible a priority in your life, it’s important to decide when and where you will read your Bible. It’s easy when we are just getting started reading the Bible to be excited for a few days and then let the practice of reading the Bible fall by the wayside when life gets hectic.

One way for beginners reading the Bible to not let that happen is to dedicate a specific time and place for reading the Bible. Remember, it takes roughly 28 days for something to become a habit so if you want to making reading the Bible a daily habit, you have to practice it!

Everyone is different and what works for me might not work for you. For instance, you may find that waking up earlier than your family is the easiest way for you to find time to read the Bible.

If you have a newborn or young infant – or even a toddler – you may struggle to wake up any earlier than you already do. That’s okay! Don’t ever think that God forsakes you when you find yourself in the trenches of motherhood.

For most women who do not work outside the home (and often if you do) spending time in prayer and devotion before you get started with the rest of your day will probably work best. But do what works best for you!

related: 5 of the Best Devotions for Moms

Or, if you have a commute in the car each day, listening to a Bible app might be an easy way to get your Bible reading time in each day. You can even pray during your drive – just don’t close your eyes. You can talk to God wherever you are.

Action Steps to Take Today

  1. Choose a Bible version you enjoy reading. You can compare different versions of the Bible here.
  2. Decide which book of the Bible you’d like to start with. Or choose one of my free printable topical Bible reading plans in our Free Resource Library. Just fill out the form below.
  3. Decide what time of the day will work best for you and where you will read your Bible.
  4. Practice reading your Bible for the next 30 days to make it a habit!

Free Printable Gospel of John Reading Plan

Read The Gospel of John in 30 Days | Scripture Reading Plan @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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One Comment

  1. Thank you so much for your information. I will find this very helpful. I’m not new to our Lord but I am new to reading the Bible, sad to say but I’ve attempted to read the Bible but I can’t understand it.

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