As a brand new Christian you are trying to learn a book comprised of 66 books and 40 authors. You were told this book will change your life and give you everything you need to know about following God. There are so many directions you can turn. Everyone has an opinion about where you should start. For example, you could start in the Gospels, Genesis, or Ephesians.
As a new believer, I hungered for the Word of God much like you. I wanted to know ALL THE THINGS. I could not soak in the Bible fast enough. After a short time, I felt a dryness when I opened my Bible. The most popular verses were written on my heart and mind and I felt stuck. I realized I had no idea where to start reading the Bible! You should never have to guess where to start studying the Bible as a new or seasoned Christian.
Where NOT to Start in Studying the Bible
If you are a new Christian the first thing you need to know about the Bible is, it is not written order.
Reading through Genesis will captivate your attention, but from there you may feel a little lost. Since the Bible is not in Chronological order, refrain from just reading the Bible through from beginning to end. This is a sure fire way to get overwhelmed and confused as a beginner studying the Bible.
Most seasoned Christians will recommend you start in the Gospels. After all, you have recently given your life to Jesus, so what better place to start than with the person of Jesus: His birth, His life teachings, His death and resurrection. That seems fair. Why shouldn’t you start here? It really does make the most sense in our own mind. However, this is not the best books of the Bible to start with as you miss the foreshadowing of Jesus’s coming laid out for you in the Old Testament.
It is impossible to interpret the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), if you do not understand the reason for Jesus from the beginning.
For the love of Jesus, do not start in Revelation! Do you ever pick up a book and read the last page and expect to know what the entire book was about? Absolutely not!!! Sometimes seasoned Christians get a little excited for a new believer to discover all the reasons they need to hurry and grow in their faith. Do not rush to the end! It is very difficult to grasp the beginning from the end.
Where to start learning the Bible
Having a plan to learn the Bible is the biggest challenge most Christians face. This is not a problem just for new Christians. Believe it or not, roughly 60-75% of Christians leading new Christians to the faith do not have a Bible reading guide either. This poses a problem for a new Christian doesn’t it?
Learning the Bible should be easy
Chronological Overview: The order by which the Bible actually took place in actual history. Isn’t this the same way you would read any book? In order just makes sense. Rest assured, you may come to a point in your learning where you have the tools to jump around the Bible and study as you see fit. As a beginner you should not pursue learning this way as interpretation and application of the scriptures to your personal life and circumstances are much more difficult if you do not have the big picture of the Bible.
I like to think of the Bible as puzzle! Roughly 30,000 pieces that weave together to form a bigger picture. When you build a puzzle, most often you start by building the framework. Think of the chronology (order) of the Bible characters and events as a framework. The frame creates a plan for you to learn from for a lifetime.
Slow down and retain the Bible
In this world of instant gratification we tend to treat God’s Word like a drive through. We want to order understanding with a side of interpretation! Oh, add some prayers to that. We want to pull around to the window and know everything about God. Meanwhile, you would like your prayers answered in your perfect timing. If you are in a hurry to know all of God’s Word, let me encourage you to SLOW DOWN! Most importantly, retaining the Bible, and time spent in the Word will never run dry.
This is not a race to the finish line. Soak in these words! Allow them to penetrate you heart. Seek growth, rather than a goal to finish. Learning the Bible is like training for a race. It takes daily practice. Allow yourself to really indulge in the scriptures. Stay in passages as long as you need! Dig in as far as you want.
Learning to slow down and rest in the Word is a trait that is under developed in our culture of Christianity. But with discipline and determination you can cultivate this habit.
Bible chronology is the best way to start learning the Bible
The chronology of the Bible is the glue that holds the Bible together. It is like a puzzle. The chronological overview of the Bible is like the framework to the puzzle.
With a framework in place, you can begin to piece the Bible together in a way that is easy to learn and understand. Therefore, when you have a framework to help you establish the major characters and events in the scriptures, you will feel confident in what you discover in the scriptures. Further more, applying what you are learning to your own life for growth will never be more simple.
Get started with the Old Testament Scripture Writing Devotional today!
Bible learning sources we recommend
Grapevine Studies: Stick Figure Through the Bible
Fact based bible curriculum for ages 3-14. Learn the Bible in just 15-20 minutes per day. For all learning styles and between us, any age will love this program! My favorite part of their teaching method is that you can teach all ages at the same time. This is the most convenient and effective way I have taught the Bible to others.
Who can use Grapevine? Families, homeschool, church, youth group etc.
Back to the Bible: Chronological Reading Plan
Embrace the events of the Bible as they happened through the chronological Bible reading plan. This 12 month reading schedule will give you a daily reading plan to set you up for Bible reading success! If you are a “check this off the list” kinda reader, this ones for you. This is an easy to use format with a daily actionable reading plan. The best part of all, it’s FREE.
NKJV Chronological Study Bible
The Chronological Study Bible is the only study Bible that presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order – the order in which the events actually happened – with notes, articles, and full color graphics that connect you to the history and culture of Bible times and gives you a dramatic, “you are there” experience.