Want to start reading the Bible - Where to start?

Hello everyone,

As the title says, I really want to start reading the bible but I don’t know where to start?

As i recall my Catholic Priest saying that the bible is not a book to be read from cover to cover, so yes, where do i start?

I really want to strengthen my faith and put away any doubts of The Lords existence, so people help me.

Thanks all and I’m waiting for your replies :slight_smile:

P.S - I didn’t know where this was the right part of the forum for this topic, so if it isn’t then please move it and PM me the link. Thanks

I would start with the Book of John myself, it will be something you’re familiar with and will lead you into the book of Acts. That will give you a basic understanding of the early years of the Catholic church. From there I’d stick to the gospels, and the Epistles. The Catholic letters would be good at that point. At some point I’d consider going back and reading Genesis, 1 and 2 Kings, Samuel etc. I’d save the meaty, difficult reading (Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Hebrews, etc) until I had a really strong foundation. Then last I would go into the prophets. Much easier to understand some of their prophetic nature by having the key of Jesus in your mind while reading them.

There are many great Bible studies that are Catholic that you can do. I have read the Bible many times. You can read it in historical order (not the same as chronological) or any way you please. One of my favorite ways was to start at Acts, read the New Testament excluding the Gospels, then go read the Old Testament then finish with the Gospels. I prefer the idea of taking it slow. If you average 5 pages a day it will take you about a year. That is a good pace because if you need to study about a certain passage or book you can. Also If you dont read Every day all you have to do is average 5, so some days it is 20 and some it is 0. Do a quick calculation every once in a while to see if you ar on track. Also, try to do it in the morning before work or school. But, usually everyone who starts out this project cant make it through the first 5 books. I resolve to READ EVERY SINGLE WORD. Because I dont want to miss anything. It gets repetative when God tells Moses something for 5 pages and then Moses tells the people the exact same thing for 5 pages.:smiley: The first time I read the Bible it was hard to understand the context, the story, the timeline and the peoples. But having read it many times since it is absolutely the most beautiful thing ever. Last time, the thing that touched me the most was how the sacrifice was set up in the inner temple and how our altar, lampstands and Mass were absolutely Jewish.
I also recommend you find a really good translation. If you are going to put the time in to do this dont get the paraphrase or watered down versions. Do it right, read it, pray it, study about it.

I often wonder why more people dont read it. ALL of it. Protestants, Catholics and non- believers. It seems odd that “Harry Potter” is a series that people can knock out in a vacation but nobody wants to actually read something that our Creator gave us!

Happy New year and good luck!

catholic answers has a “bible studies–our journey with God”–look for us and
we would love to have you. we started with the acts of the apostles and
presently are on ch. 19-20. we read 2 chapters a week. you can start where we are
or start with ch 1 and catch up whenever. giving your thoughts -comments–inspirations
along the way. hope to see you there!

I would start by thoroughly ingesting Gina Cermiara’s “handbook for religious sanity.” It is well written, accepted by may faiths as a useful study tool as it contains information about cognitive processes pertinent not only to religion but anything else, and is very entertaining and excellently annotated.

Other suggestions might be:

The introduction to An American Bible by Elbert Hubbard
The Bible Unmasked by Joseph Lewis
Changing Concepts of the Bible by Werner Wolff
The Interpreter’s Bible
Is That in the Bible? Rev. Dr. Charles F. Potter
Letter From a Recording Angel Mark Twain
Literature and Dogma and God and the Bible by Mathew Arnold
More Light on the Gospel by George Lamsa
A New Look at the Bible Tradition by Lewis V. Bischoff
The Original and the Translations of the Bible by Abraham Geiger
The sociology of Religion by Thomas Hault
The Story of the Bible by Edgar J. Goodspeed
Those Incredible Christians by Dr. Hugh J. Schonfeild
When the Saints Go Marching Out by Charles Merrill Smith

That ought to be a reasonably good start.

The Coming Home Network has an excellent plan to study the Bible and the Catechism in one year.


I’d start with Genesis (you can skip the genealogies), and then read John and Luke: John first, then Luke, and then Acts (I don’t like splitting up Luke-Acts because they’re actually one book, and should be read as such). After you’re done with that, come back for more suggestions. Daniel should be the last book you read in the OT, and Revelation should be the last book you read in the entire Bible.

Luke and John are quite different and focus on different aspects of Jesus and his teaching, unlike Luke, Matthew, and Mark (which focus on the same aspects). Genesis is of the world from the beginning, and is important for the understanding of John. Acts continues where Luke leaves off, and is a history of the early Church (Luke himself, like the author of Maccabees, is an excellent Hellenistic historian with a great care for the truth in history).

Genesis, John, Luke, and Acts are also very interesting books in their own right: they’re not boring or “Biblish”: they’re engaging just as a normal book is (and they’re all relatively short: the four books together, I doubt are over 120 pages total).

Make sure you read a good translation, of which several exist in modern English (as for many people, reading the best translations in old English is difficult, and makes the entire exercise seem frustrating, like the KJV and DRC and to a lesser extent the CCD), like the RSV-2CE (except for the Psalms), the ESV w/ “Apocrypha” (deuterocanonicals), the OSB, the NKJV, the NASB, the Knox, or any of several others. You should see what translation you have, to see if it’s at least usable (most are, even if they’re not good for in-depth Bible study), or if it’s not.

Edit: when I first read the Bible, as a Muslim, I read first New Testament, cover to cover, then Old Testament, cover to cover, and almost didn’t make it through the first three books of the OT (due to Leviticus): I doubt I would have if I wasn’t a reading freak who can, and loves to, read anything, and I wouldn’t recommend others do it in the same way (although it did work for me, as I’m a Catholic now). The entire book (NRSV NT, NJPS OT, probably some of the absolute worst translations on the market - and it still brought me to Christ, as God can even work miracles from nothing at all, if the Holy Spirit opens thy heart), took me about a week. Needless to say, I read it without commentary, and had to go back and re-read it several times to catch more of the prophecies, typologies, and nuances in the infinitely nuanced written Word of God.

Always start with Genesis. RCIA 101.

There is even a group on CAF I formed to follow this plan:


:slight_smile: :bible1:

In the beginning…

I have read through the entire Bible several times and I highly recommend it. The method that I have used is to read 4 pages a day starting with Genesis, over the course of a year this will complete the entire Bible. I recently came across a web-site that has a different plan, it combines daily readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament. The address of the web-site is readthecatholicbibleinayear.wordpress.com/




If you wish to do a study, you cannot go wrong with the Great Adventure Bible Study.

I think the Gospels might be the best place to start. Perhaps the rest of the Bible should only be read once a sufficient understanding of Christ’s teachings and importance is reached.

I would say anywhere, as long as you read it.

The Gospels are the best place to start. You might start with Mark as his is the shortest.

Someone mentioned the Great Adventure Bible study. That is a very helpful tool as well. Jeff Cavins developed this way of reading through the Bible to help readers to find the narrative of salvation history. Not all the books of the Bible are narratives. Cavins recommends reading through 14 books of the Bible to get the “Big Picture” of what is going on narratively. That’s a very helpful thing to do, but I would still start out with the Gospels. They are really the heart of Scripture.

Start with the New Testament…read a Gospel and then read the letters…etc

I agree with this if you aren’t sure you can or will stick with reading the WHOLE Bible. definitely as a Christian this is the meat of our faith. BUT the new testament is really hard to understand without the history of the old.

Classically the fathers used the Gospel According to Matthew as their first catechism. As such, I usually recommend this as a good starting point.

God bless you. Bible reading is the best communication with GOD. :thumbsup:The more you read, the more you understand the will of GOD. You can ask your priest about the daily reading of the church during the Mass to be united with the church. I read the daily Bible reading of my church, it is written in the church calender.

Thought Catholics didn’t read the Bible. :wink:

Anyways, a good spot probably to start would be the New Testament probably. Maybe John, I would start with Matthew and read the gospels from Matthew - John. Then the rest of the New Testament.

Or you could, I wouldn’t recommend it, from Old Testament to New Testament.