What order is the most "reasonable" to read the Bible in?

As in, what order should I read the books? I’m on Genesis right now, reading about Abram (he’s not Abraham yet :slight_smile: )

What order makes the most “sense” to read them in?
Should I go chronologically so I can understand what the other books are referring to that speak of past events? If so, how do I know which books take place before others?

I did a google search for “chronological order of the Bible” and got some lists putting Job in the middle of Genesis, even though it was written later…is this right? lol

There’s not strict order to read. You can read it from Genesis to Revelations, or follow the daily Bible readings of the Church, or just hope around. :slight_smile:

“hope” or “hop”…or both :smiley:

I started from the New testament, then going back to the Old, and then continueing to the New again. This way if you are unfamiliar with it, it is easier to connect things between them. -Hope this helps

I second concerneduser’s approach. Also as you enter your studies of the various books, you might find this course to be of help:


Jeff cavins Great Adventure Bible Timeline study
Three to five chapters a day for 90 days will take you through this reading of the Holy Bible.
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 kings
2 kings
1 Maccabees

Early World - creation to 2000 BC - Gen 1 thru Gen 11:1-9
Patriarchs 2000-1700BC Gen 12:1 thru Gen 46
Egypt and Exodus 1700-1280 BC Ex. 1:1 thru Ex. 25-27, 36-38
Desert wanderings 1280-1240 BC- Num. plus Duet. 29: 1-29
Conquest and Judges1240-1050 BC - Josh thru 1 Sam. :12
Royal Kingdom1050-930BC 1 Sam 13 thru 1 Kings:11
Divided Kingdom930-722BC 1 Kings:12 thru 2 Kings:16
Exile 722-540 BC 2 Kings 17-25
Return 538-167 BC Ezra thru Neh.:13
Maccabean Revolt 167-0 BC 1 Macc.:1 thru 1 Macc.: 16
Messianic Fullfillment 0-33AD Luke
Church 33AD -??? Acts 1-28
Throw in Revelations at the end and you’ve got quite a history!!

I’m currently reading it the order maryj above me pointed out.

These chapters make up the narrative from Genesis through to the early church. It gives the history of our salvation. When we read the other books we can read them in the context of what period they were written and we have the understanding of what was going on at that time.

I like reading it in this order because it reads like a narrative.

But find something that works for you and enjoy!

On a sidenote, I just saw Ezra listed and remembered how much i really like that book haha :slight_smile:

This order looks great. I think once I know the history of it all it will be so much easier to place all the other books and understand what they’re talking about, especially the prophets.
They tend to make prophecies concerning past events or using past enemies of Israel as types for future enemies of God and unless you know what they’re referring to, it’s hard to understand what they’re saying!

I too, study the Sacred Scriptures. I use the New American Bible-The Catholic Bible-Personal Study Edition. I started with St. John of the New Testament because it is different from the synoptics. I am at present with the synoptics, St. Matthew at the present and will go to St. Mark, St. Luke. After the 4 Gospels I plan to read the Letters of St. Paul and so on. Once done on the New Testatment, will go to Old testament.
In my opinion, there is no order really of where to start. Good luck in your Bible study. God bless. Live Jesus in our hearts.

I always tell people (Christians) to start with a gospel (John or Mark)

Then Genesis or Exodus

Then Luke Acts

Then alternate, OT, NT. Reading them in parallel gives a feeling of continuity. The new related to the old.

I also suggest, Historic alternating with prophets and wisdom literature.

Skip around. Have fun.

There is not really a wrong way to do it. I would recommend starting with one of the Gospels before reading the OT in order to get an understanding about the Christ since the OT looks forward to the Lord’s coming. That helps to see the OT in light of it’s fulfillment.

Another way is reading the Daily Mass Readings each day, which are found on my site, with commentary as well litteralchristianlibrary.wetpaint.com/page/Catholic+Scripture+Readings

The pontifical Biblical commission says a layman should read the Bible alongside a commentary.

The New Jerome Biblical Commentary says something close to this, to study the Bible with someone who has the training to the master’s degree level in Bible studies.

Most Catholics and other Christians will tell you to start with John.

The Jewish commentary says that the preceding advice prejudices Christians against the real meaning of the hebrew scriptures, what Christians call the Old Testament.

Fr. Corapi says he doesn’t care how you do it, just read it.

More recently, the Pontifical Biblical Commission put out a document on the relation between the OT and the NT, and how important that is, for a number of reasons – viz., that they do fit together and must fit together. Pope Benedict wrote the introduction to that document and said we can all just go home, if they don’t fit together.

What we all need in these forums, if it doesn’t exist already, is a thread on each book of the bible, where somebody can jump in anytime they’re ready to read such-and-such book in the Bible. Maybe this could be further refined, to each thread being just one chapter of a book of the bible, to be more specific.

There are about 1300 chapters in the Catholic Bible, so that’s a lot, but it’s not impossible.

Jesus told his disciples on the road to Emmaus how the Hebrew Scriptures pertained to Him. So, whenever you read the OT, keep in mind how that may be just so.

If you can swing it, get Dr. Mary Healy’s THE GOSPEL OF MARK, which is to a great extent, a line-by-line commentary. It’s a good place to start, as it explains the life of Christ in that gospel with a good dose of explanations of its relation to the OT, in just over 300 pages.

Check out the advice in Dr. Scott Hahn and Mike Aquilina’s website, www.salvationhistory.com, for study aids.

The order isn’t that important.

Genesis is the most interesting book of the Bible. Oddly, most of Genesis is about Christ!


…explain yourself :shrug::slight_smile:

I believe this is a very important question.

In regards to the New Testament, I think it is vital to know the gospels first. That is, to know the teachings of Jesus before attempting to understand the epistles and Paul.

An example–Jehovah’s Wtnesses read the bible backwards. They read in the epistles that Jesus was put to death in the flesh and raised in the spirit. They take that to mean that Jesus ws not raised physically but as a spirit creature. By being put to death in the flesh, they think this means his flesh cannot rise again, so the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach he now exists only as a spirit in heaven. But, if they had read the gospels first, and understood them first, it would be clear that Jesus rose physically, in a body of matter.

Peter said there were things in the writings of our beloved brother Paul that were difficult to understand, which the ignorant an unstable twist to their own destruction.

The ignorant are those who are ignorant of the basic gospel, the good news. So, attempting to interpret scripture without first knowing the basic Christian message is very dangerous, leading to possible destruction.

In my opinion that is also the mistake Protestants make, they read the Pauline epistles first, and interpret them first, before understanding the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus.

I recommend this study also. I’m currently using it, and I find it very enlightening. It really gives you the big picture by concentrating on 14 books to give you a chronological reading of the Bible. Once you’ve done this, you can go back and read the 14 books and supplement it with other readings of the same time period. This is clearly shown on the Bible Timeline Chart included in the Study Kit. I found the cheapest prices for the Study Kit on Amazon.com. Hope this helps.