What Book in the Bible Should I Read First? A Beginners Guide to Scripture
One of the most important facets of their spiritual growth is developing a deep understanding of the Bible.
This sacred text offers wisdom, guidance, and inspiration. It serves as the foundation for a meaningful relationship with God and Jesus Christ. However, many newcomers may find themselves overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. This blog post aims to guide those new to the Bible in deciding which book to read first.
Global Disciples believes that every believer has the potential to become a leader. Someone who can reach out and touch the least-reached communities. We train leaders to multiply disciples of Jesus Christ and spread His Good News. One critical aspect of this mission involves immersing ourselves in the Word of God.
What book in the Bible should I read first?
The Bible is composed of two main parts. The Old Testament, consisting of 39 individual books, and the New Testament, which includes 27 books. It encompasses a diverse range of literary forms, such as poetry, prophecy, history, parables, and letters. Each book offering unique insights into God’s message and character.
The Old Testament contains accounts of the creation of the world, the history of the Israelite nation. It also outlines the establishment of the covenant between God and His people. The New Testament focuses on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It also covers the founding and early history of the Christian Church.
With this in mind, the primary question remains: What book in the Bible should I read first? We hope this guide will provide valuable insights and practical tips to enrich your understanding of God’s Word.
Starting with the Gospels
A great place to start is with the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the first four books of the New Testament. Each Gospel offers a unique perspective on the life of Jesus. Reading them helps to develop an understanding of His character, compassion, and wisdom.
The Book of Matthew presents a comprehensive account of Jesus’ life. Written for a Jewish audience it contains evidence of fulfilled prophecies, and extensive teachings, including the Sermon on the Mount. The Gospel of Mark, being the shortest of the four, is a concise and fast-paced narrative. Luke offers a detailed, orderly account of the events surrounding Jesus’ ministry. Finally, the Gospel of John provides a more in-depth exploration of Jesus’ divinity. He emphasizes Jesus role as the “Word made flesh.”
Exploring Key Books in the Old Testament.
Some recommended starting points include:
1. Genesis: Genesis describes the creation of the world, humanity, and the nation of Israel. It also provides important background information on God’s covenant relationship with His people.
2. Exodus: This book narrates the story of the Israelites’ escape from Egyptian slavery, led by Moses. It outlines their journey through the wilderness, and the receiving of the Ten Commandments.
3. Psalms: Is a collection of 150 poems, songs, and prayers offers profound insights into human emotions, spiritual devotion, and worship. The Psalms are an invaluable resource for personal reflection and prayer.
4. Proverbs: This book is filled with practical wisdom and guidance on how to live a righteous, fulfilling life. It gives advice on topics such as finances, relationships, and personal conduct.
Diving into the Epistles
Once you have familiarized yourself with the Gospels and some of the essential Old Testament books, the next step is to explore the Epistles—letters written by early Christian leaders to various churches and individuals. These writings, contained mainly in the New Testament, offer valuable teachings on faith, love, and how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ in a complex and changing world.
Some of the most influential Epistles to start with include:
1. Romans: Written by the Apostle Paul, this letter provides a comprehensive overview of the Christian faith, including themes such as salvation, grace, and the transformative power of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
2. Ephesians: Another important Pauline letter, Ephesians emphasizes the importance of Christian unity and encourages believers to live in love and harmony with one another.
3. James: This practical and concise letter is often referred to as the “Proverbs of the New Testament.” It offers vital guidance on living a life of genuine faith, emphasizing the importance of personal integrity, good works, and the power of prayer.
4. 1 Peter: Addressed to early Christian communities facing persecution, this letter encourages followers of Jesus to remain steadfast in their faith, despite the challenges they may face.
Finding a Study Plan that Works for You
While the above recommendations offer a general guideline for approaching the Bible, it is essential to develop a study plan tailored to your unique interests, needs, and learning style. Consider your personal goals for reading Scripture—are you seeking to deepen your understanding of the Christian faith, find guidance for your daily life, or explore the historical context of biblical events? By defining your objectives, you can create a roadmap for your journey through the Word of God, prioritizing the books and themes most relevant to your growth.
Developing a habit of daily Bible reading and reflection is also key to deepening your understanding of Scripture. Whether you choose to meditate on a single verse or read an entire chapter per day, consistency is crucial for staying engaged and nurturing your connection to the divine message.
Deciding where to start reading the Bible can be a daunting task, but taking a strategic approach that focuses on key books and themes can prove to be highly beneficial. By beginning with the Gospels, exploring essential Old Testament books, delving into the Epistles, and developing a personalized study plan, you can lay the foundation for a rewarding and transformative encounter with the Word of God. Remember that studying Scripture is an ongoing journey and remain open to the lessons and inspiration it has to offer as you embark on your voyage of faith.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near to reach least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet, Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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