Bible Reading Helps
Bible Reading is at the same time one of the most important and the most neglected disciplines of the Christian faith. Since Bible reading is so important, we want give you a few first steps to get you started on your own journey. Whether you've never opened the Scriptures before, or you can sing the table of contents, there is something for you on this page to fire up your love for the Bible.
1. Find the right Bible
Not all Bibles are created equal, and not all Bibles are a perfect fit for where you're at right now. Depending on your level of familiarity with the Bible, as well as how hard you want to work at understanding what you're reading, there are a few different options for you.
- The New International Version (NIV) is the translation that we use at 3Crosses most often. The NIV Student Bible provides helpful notes and comments to help youth understand what they are reading.
- The English Standard Version (ESV) is the most precise translation in this list. The precise translation gives a better idea of what the original authors were saying, but requires the reader to work harder at understanding the meaning of the text. The ESV Student Study Bible has excellent notes and commentary to help readers understand the Scriptures.
- The New Living Translation (NLT) is a very readable translation. Instead of offering a more precise word-for-word translation from the original languages, the translators chose to communicate the overall meaning of the original texts to today's language. The result is a very approachable translation that can be easily read. In this NLT Illustrated Study Bible, the editors added many helpful diagrams and pictures to help readers understand what they are reading.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible is a FANTASTIC Bible for not only children, but for anybody who wants to read the important stories of the Bible in a new, fresh, and shorter way. This Bible only has 44 short chapters, but the beauty of the writing and the artwork make this Bible worth it. Additionally, every story points to Jesus, making it compelling for any reader regardless of age.
The YouVersion Bible App allows you to read from most translations and will even read the Bible to you. If you have a smart phone, you should have the Bible app.
2. Read about Jesus
Once you have a Bible, the best place to start reading is not in the beginning. The best place to start reading is actually in the middle with the stories of Jesus. There are four biographies of Jesus called gospels. The Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each give a unique perspective that when taken together paint a vivid picture of the most important person to ever live.
Even though any one of the four gospels could be read beginning to end and readily understood, it can be helpful to have a guide to help unpack the significance of what you are reading. Jesus Unpacked is a guide for just that purpose.
3. Read through books of the Bible
Once you have read through a gospel and have a pretty good idea about who Jesus is, it's time to work on reading the rest of the Bible one book at a time. As you read you'll find out that just about everywhere you read there are prophecies and pictures that are pointing at Jesus. In reality, the whole Bible points to Jesus.
Even though it's all about Jesus, the Bible still isn't immediately easy to understand. The Bible is the most beautiful collection of literature, and as such it requires developing some skills necessary to appreciate it. One of the best tools available to help you understand scripture is The Bible Project. The Bible Project offers a collection of videos that explain books of the Bible and themes of the Bible. It also has an app that divides up the whole Bible into 9 sections and organizes the videos that explain each section. This is a fantastic way to finally hunker down and read through the most important collection of books in history.