Are you wondering where to start reading your Bible? This post will help you sort it out and get you started studying your Bible effectively. |

Where to Start Reading Your Bible

Are you wondering where to start reading your Bible? Should you start in Genesis? Ephesians? Proverbs? This post will help!

A Free printable Bible reading log, plus where to start reading your Bible. We'll help you sort it out and get you started studying your Bible effectively. Printable included! |

When I was a kid, I had the notion to read all the Encyclopedias from A to Z.

My beloved Encyclopedia set lined the bottom of my closet, and I would curl up in there with a flash light and read until someone told me to go to bed.

No matter how many times I set out to accomplish this goal, I never made it past Johnny Appleseed.

I sometimes wonder how far I would have made it if I hadn’t insisted on starting at the very beginning of the set every.single.time. If I had just picked up where I left off the first time, I might have finished the A’s at least.

Get Started reading the Bible with these Bible Reading Plans and the order I recommend studying the books of the Bible. |

Nevertheless, I was (and often still am) a perfectionist, and I like things done the right way if it’s going to be done.

If I say I’m going to read through all of the Encyclopedias, then I should read through them all – front to back, cover to cover, never missing a line or getting out of order.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when I became a Christian and wanted to get to know the God I served through His written word, I thought starting at the very beginning and reading straight through was the only way to “do it right.”

Genesis to Revelations here I come!

Time and time again, I’d set the goal of reading the entire Bible beginning to end, and no matter how many times I tried, I never made it past the list of Noah’s descendants in Genesis 10.

I felt like such a failure. What sort of Christian can’t even read the Bible – let along study it?

Regardless of how busy we become with all things Christian, we must remember that the most transforming practice availabe to us is the disciplined intake of scripture.~Donald Whitney

In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney says:

“Regardless of how busy we become with all things Christian, we must remember that the most transforming practice availabe to us is the discipline intake of scripture” (page 29).

Studying God’s Word is of paramount importance for the Christian.

But let’s be honest, it’s a really big book.

There are 66 books in the Bible – 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. When you’re just getting started reading the Bible, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.

Especially when you start going deeper in your study of God’s Word.

How in the world are we supposed to read it all, let alone actually understand it?

It’s true. The Bible can be really overwhelming when you’re just getting started. But you have the rest of your life to get through it.

If you’re just getting started reading the Bible, no one expects you to know the entire Bible right this second.

For all of us, we should be faithfully and diligently training ourselves for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7) through the disciplined intake of God’s word.

We do this one book at a time. One study at a time. One day at a time.

If you're just getting started studying God's Word, below is my recommended order for reading your Bible and studying the scriptures.|

If you’re just getting started studying God’s Word, below is my recommended order for reading your Bible and studying the scriptures.

Note: There is a difference between Bible reading and Bible study. You can read more about the difference here. 

The Order I Recommend Studying the Books of the Bible

The Gospel of Mark – Mark is said by some scholars to be the original gospel. Meaning it was written before the other three gospel accounts. It’s also the shortest gospel, so it’s a great way to get into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus quickly.

The Gospel of John – John gives more details about Jesus’ life. If we are to live as He lived, then knowing more about how He lived is helpful. The Gospel of John also gives more details leading up to the crucifixion of Christ.

The Gospel of Matthew – Matthew gives more history regarding the lineage of Christ. It also gives more details around the events taking place during the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

The Gospel of Luke – This Gospel is written by the traveling companion of the apostle Paul. The beauty of this gospel is that it was written so that all may know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for them. It’s not just for the Jews. As a woman, I really love this particular gospel account because it gives more details about the women in Jesus’ life.

Acts – The purpose of this book was to record the early church’s history following the resurrection of Christ. It was also written by Luke who wanted to give an “orderly account” of what took place so that there was no doubt about what occurred as a result of Jesus being the Messiah.

Romans – The theme of Romans is the revelation of God’s eternal plan of salvation for sinners in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is said that this book puts forth the fullest expression of Paul’s theology.

Genesis – Once you’ve read these New Testament books, I would hop back to the beginning, starting with Genesis. It is quite literally the very beginning. If you can believe the very first line in this book, you can believe everything else the Bible has to say.

Exodus – I love this book. It is truly riveting if you ask me. There are some parts that are thick to get through, but keep plowing through and over time more and more will make sense. This book records the fulfillment of God’s promises you read about in Genesis, that He would make Israel a great nation.

Psalms – While you’re studying Genesis and Exodus, you might consider adding in a Psalm a day. Or you can just study a Psalm a day when you’re done. The Psalter is essentially the overflow of worship in the people of God. The Psalms take the themes of the Old Testament and turns them into song. Click here to checkout our free Psalm Bible Reading Plan.

Once you have studied these books in the Bible, you’ve laid a pretty good foundation upon which you can begin studying the remaining books.

At this point, you can choose how to proceed.

You might want to study the rest of the New Testament before going back to the Old Testament. Maybe you want to hang out a bit in the New Testament and then go back to the Old Testament. It’s entirely up to you.

Below are the remaining books left to study if you want to be able to track what you have left.

The rest of New Testament – 

  • 1 & 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 & 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 & 2 Peter
  • 1, 2, & 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelations

The rest of Old Testament –

  • Proverbs
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 & 2 Samuel
  • 1 & 2 Kings
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Job
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekial
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Michah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
If you're just getting started studying God's Word, below is my recommended order for reading your Bible and studying the scriptures. |

Studying the Bible is a discipline.

Bible intake is the most transforming practice available to us. At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than being in the Word of God.

Studying God’s Word is work. There’s no way around it.

But it is noble work. It is work that brings transforming grace and the knowledge and wisdom of God.

Don’t let the feeling of inadequacy keep you from studying God’s Word.

Don’t let the sheer size of the Bible keep you from soaking in His Word.

Don’t let the things of this world distract you from spending regular time in God’s Word.

“Go on reading [the Bible] until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.”

~Geoffrey Thomas, Reading the Bible

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    1. My husband and I have been married almost 40 years. So for 40 years, we have been sitting on the coach, reading through the entire Bible and then holding hands and praying together. Iโ€™ll tell you why we do that…my precious dad read through his Bible every year and prayed way before the sun came up.

      My dad passes away a couple of months ago and I cannot tell you how that example of his quiet time has influenced my entire life. We have tried to pass that legacy on to our two sons. So thankful that you have such a vital ministry in leading young women in loving the Word with all their heart.

    2. Hi! Thank you for helping us “the newbies” get more into God’s word and grow our spiritual life. Along this post, there’s an image posted several times that states to click to download the reading plan, however it doesn’t work ๐Ÿ™ I tried looking for it along the site, but couldn’t find it. Can you please help me with it?Thank you!!!

    3. I too have always had a horrible time reading and getting through any book successfully (especially the Bible). I can never get all the way through Genesis. And no matter what I’m reading it always puts me to sleep and by the time I get back to reading I have forgotten what I read or where I left off so I have to start all over again. I am definitely going to try this method tho and see how it works for me.

    4. I am a minister to the ladies in the South Dakota Women’s prison. I stumbled across your “Where to Start Reading in Your Bible” and I think this would be a perfect tool to help ladies get started reading the bible. I am wondering if I could have permission to make copies for ladies I meet with who are just beginning in the walk with Jesus. If, not, what would the purchase price be per copy? Thank you so much for your consideration.