Reading the Bible can feel inundating whether you are a longtime Christian or a relatively new one. You are not alone. However, learning how to read the Bible doesn't have to be overwhelming, and it certainly shouldn't be something you dread.
Sometimes it's easy to get hung up on the idea that you "should" be reading your Bible and maybe you feel guilty for not doing it. Perhaps you want to purchase a Bible but are unsure of the version you should read. We hope this article will help you choose the right Bible and guide you as you begin your reading journey!
THREE STEPS TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BIBLE FOR YOU
There are many versions of the original Christian Bible. In addition, they now come in various sizes, formats, colors, and features, giving you a plethora of options to choose from for your level of comprehension. Below, we share three steps to guide you in choosing the right Bible.
STEP #1: CHOOSE A TYPE
First, You have to decide what TYPE of Bible you are looking for and what appeals to you the most; is it a devotional bible, a reference bible, or a study bible?
The goal of a devotional Bible is to encourage spiritual growth. Most include reading plans, stories, articles, insights, and study guides that help you read God's Word and apply it to your daily life. Some include space for journaling where you can take notes and write what God is saying to you through the words you read.
Study Bibles are filled with insights and commentary to help you dive deeper into God's word. They provide book introductions and information with context, background, author, date, themes, intended audiences, and circumstances. You'll find them loaded with maps, graphs, concordances, and charts that will enlighten you on the real events of biblical times. In addition, some study Bibles will feature profiles and glossaries for additional information.
Reference Bibles share this main feature in common with Study Bibles: Bible verses are cross-referenced with each other, mainly with other words, themes or ideas. For example, if a scripture mentions "water," the cross-references will direct the reader to other Bible verses which use the same word. Once the student looks up the new reference, he can continue to follow other references as he studies.
Every time you open your Bible, God will speak to you. Remember, those are His words written there! The human mind is like a sponge. It soaks up what you expose it to. Reading the Word of God will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus, learn more about God’s character, and dwell on what God has done throughout history.
STEP #2: WHICH VERSION BEST FITS YOUR COMPREHENSION?
Step two: When choosing the right Bible for you, consider which VERSION of the Bible best fits your comprehension. Many people find versions like ESV (English Standard Version), NIV (New International Version), and NLT (New Living Translation) to be the best translations to read and understand.
- ESV (English Standard Version) - The English Standard Version is an essentially literal translation of the Bible in contemporary English. It steers itself as closely as possible to original manuscripts, making it a Bible of choice for many students, scholars, teachers, and preachers. It also offers remarkable depth and literary complexity; the ESV is an illumination translation for personal study.
- NIV (New International Version) - This version delivers the best balance of accuracy to the original languages and clarity of meaning in contemporary English. It is considered to be the most popular and widely read English translation of the Bible.
- NLT (New Living Translation) - With a focus on clarity, The New Living Translation invites its readers to go deeper into a biblical text to discover God's story for their lives and the world. It is contemporary English, making it easy to read and understand.
STEP #3: LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD PRAYERFULLY
Last but not least, after you have settled on the type and version of the Bible that best suits you, PRAY and ask God to speak to you as you read through His words. Again, these are God's words, so listen for his guidance!
Are you looking for a Digital Bible? YouVersion is an online and mobile Bible platform published for Android, iOS, and many other operating platforms. It has a long list of Bible versions and languages, including an audio version, packed with an abundance of Bible plans and devotionals, space to take notes, a highlighter feature, and the list goes on and on.
Take your time as you read God's words. Of course, it takes time to get familiar with it, but it is worthwhile when you do.
For additional resources to help you on your Bible reading journey, visit: LiquidChurch.com/New.
Enjoy Your Journey!