How to Read the Bible

Bill Brinkworth

Before I was saved, I am sure I was like most people when it came to reading the Bible. “It’s just a book,” I figured, “and like any book, I’ll start in the beginning and go to the end.” It was not too long before I was bogged down and bored with all the ‘begats’. Soon I lost interest in reading and quit. I never did get far, when I attempted to read God’s Word.

One of the main reasons I was having a difficult time reading the scriptures was I was unsaved and could not understand the things of God. An unspiritual, unsaved person cannot clearly understand the things of God. That is why today’s modernistic attempts to simplify, and dumb-down the Bible will not work. The Bible perverters and rewriters are forgetting the most important element of biblical understanding: the Holy Spirit. It is He that helps any one understand it. Their making it “easier” to understand will not and has never increased Bible reading and understanding. A born-again child of God can understand God’s Word with His help.

After being saved, one can still get confused about how to read God’s Word. It is not just a book. It is God’s book; so it should be treated differently.

Every word between the covers of the King James Bible is preserved for God’s children to read. Many parts of the Bible were for different dispensations. These were different times when God had to treat His people differently. For example, the Old Testament was written before Christ came. Since He had not come at that time, remission for sin was treated differently. We do not have to make sacrifices as they did in the first books of the Bible.

For this reason, it is best for a Christian of this time of history, to start reading in the New Testament. You will find that the first four books (the Gospels) of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are about the life of Christ. They are about Christ’s life and ministry from different viewpoints. These different views give more understanding of what Jesus did for us. If one has a hard time reading and may not be able to accomplish too much reading, I usually recommend starting in the book of John and reading to the end of the New Testament. If you can read well, and are anxious to learn as much of God’s word as you can, start at Matthew and read to the end of the New Testament.

After the Gospel(s) is completed, the following books, starting with Acts will give one an insight into the early church and how it was started. Again, the various letters (we call books) are from different people that had a large influence in setting up the early church. It is through their writings that we will learn how the power of God works in the Christian of today, and how we are to worship God and obey his Word.

Lastly, after the various letters to the early churches will come the last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. It is this tremendous book that gives a summary of what has happened in the church movements of the past, and what will happen in the future. Jumping to this book without understanding who and what Jesus is and did, and not understanding the doctrines (teachings) of today’s church age will utterly confuse and may even scare a reader that does not have a better understanding of the scriptures.

After the New Testament is completed, then start reading the Old Testament. The book of Genesis will give you a tremendous grasp of man’s beginnings, and how God dealt with them. The other 38 books of the Old Testament will give you better understanding of how God worked with man in different times and conditions; how they suffered for their disobedience, and how God led them to victories when they let Him lead.

The Bible is the most important and influential book ever written. God is its author. He chose leaders, kings, prophets, and scribes to record it. God went to a lot of trouble and heartache to record His plan. It is God’s roadmap through life. It will help and guide all who read and obey it.

Please commit yourself to daily reading God’s Word and receiving God’s directions throughout life. If three chapters are read a day, the Bible can be read in one year. You owe it to yourself, to read God’s instruction book. God has raised trillions of children. His advice and teachings can help and guide one more of his children – you.


This article was featured in The Bible View #114.

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