Christian faith takes its lead from the pages of the Bible. This ancient book has shaped our world over the past two thousand years and remains a global bestseller.
The Bible is a big book and reading it can feel intimidating and confusing. Help is available.
GET HOLD OF A BIBLE
On Sunday mornings we use the English Standard Version of the Bible in our meetings. We’ll gladly give you a copy during the meeting which you can keep. Our speakers use this version and we’ll direct you to the page we’re looking at.
The ESV is also available as a free app from Google Play and the App store.
There are many very similar English translations of the Bible available, produced by outstanding scholars, translating from Hebrew and Greek so we can read the Bible in our own language.
WHERE TO START
There’s no rule about how to read the Bible. Two things to bear in mind.
1. The Bible is a collection of 66 books.
It's easiest to read it book by book rather than dipping in. Things make more sense in their contexts. Though paper Bible’s tend to be formatted in two columns and overlaid with reference numbers (chapters and verses) to help us find things, the normal rules of reading apply.
2. The hero of the Bible is Jesus.
If you’ve never read before then starting with one of the four gospels, biographies of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection – Matthew, Mark, Luke or John is a good idea. Everything before then leads up this, and everything after flows from this. The four gospels tell the same story but highlight particular aspects of who Jesus is and why he came.
You can read Luke's biography of Jesus online here.
BIBLE READING PLANS
Many people find it helpful to have a plan to read the whole Bible over time. Here’s a few suggestions.
1. Bible in one year.
This comes as an app from Google Play and the App store and gives you a few passages to read each day with some explanatory notes.
This does what it says in a year, if you use it you’ll get through the whole Bible in a year. If you miss some days that’s no problem.
2. Kings English
Available online and via email this plan takes you through 365 famous phrases from the Bible that have become part of the English language since the King James Bible was translated 450 years ago. Each daily reading will help you to see Jesus in the Bible.
3. Read this book
One book at a time just read the Bible. Take each book of the Bible and read it like any other book. Read for 20-30 minutes (often around 10 chapters) until you’re immersed in the story and spot what Jesus the hero is doing.
Mark anything that stands out with a highlighter pen, don’t worry about things that don’t make sense initially – you can chew on them, and often reading further makes things clearer.
Taking this approach consistently would get you through the whole Bible in about three months.
LETS TALK ABOUT IT
Our experience is that most people find reading the Bible to be possible but challenging. As you read take note of things that don't make sense or which seem disagreeable. The Christian faith welcomes questions and thoughtful enquiry so take the opportunity to talk with others.
Our Community Groups provide an ideal context to talk with others. We also run occasional seminars to help The next of these is on Tuesday 8th June.