Bible Study Guide

I’d like to start reading the Bible, but it feels like a massive undertaking. I’m not even sure what the Bible is or how it’s laid out. Is there a good way to start?

A lot of people would like to become more familiar with the Bible’s characters, stories and message. That’s a worthy ambition, but where do you begin? Many would-be readers are paralyzed by the sheer size of the Bible and by not knowing where to start.

First, it’s important realize that the Bible is not an ordinary book that reads smoothly from cover to cover. It’s actually a library, or collection, of books written by different authors in several languages over several thousand years. But it’s a readable library, and you can get through it. Its books are “shelved” by type and topic, just as in a public library: history, the Law, the Prophets, poems and wisdom literature, eyewitness accounts of Jesus (the Gospels), collections of letters, and mind-blowing apocalyptic descriptions of the past, present and future. What a treasure trove to explore!

We highly recommend starting from the New Testament first! “Martin Luther said that the Bible is the ‘cradle of Christ.’ All biblical history and prophecy ultimately point to Jesus. The book of Mark is quick and fast-paced, while John focuses on the things Jesus claimed about himself. Mark tells about what Jesus did, while John tells about what Jesus said. In John are some of the simplest and clearest passages, such as John 3:16, but also some of the deepest and most profound passages. It appeals to students and is worthy of study.”

If you are new to the Bible we recommend looking through the “Nine-Step” Bible Study materials first and use these as a reference source for your personal study.

We highly recommend using the 3-steps inductive study approach.

  Observation (What does it say?)Pay close attention to the passage, noticing contrast, repetition of words and progression as well as the facts.
  Interpretation (What does it mean?)Prayerfully meditate on the contents, seeking to find its meaning, particularly from the author’s point of view.
  Application (What does it mean to me?)
Are there promises to be claimed, commands to be obeyed, sins to be repented of? Look for prayer topics for yourself, for others, for your family, for the country and the world.
   

If you’re ready for personal or one to one bible study, please click on the Bible Study icon on the top menu!