The Bible is God’s Word given to us so that we may know Him better. Reading it should become something that you give high priority to everyday. If Bible reading has not been a regular part of your day it may be difficult at first giving time to doing just that, but the benefits are huge.
Christians, like anyone else, can be very passionate about what’s familiar or has proven to benefit their relationship with God. Especially when it comes to resources that have meant much to them, or where they have studied to the point of finding the “best” or most accurate. But the truth is that what is best for one is not always what is best for another.
With today’s technology the availability of resources has now become practically unlimited. This makes the choosing of the right resources for yourself a humongous task. Below I have provided a short list of some resources and thoughts on how to get going in God’s Word.
If you are new to the Bible you need to know that there are many “versions” of the Bible to choose from. These versions exist because the original Bible was not written in English, or any other modern language, and needs to be translated to be useful for us English readers. The translation methods differ because the end goal of the translators differs. I have listed below some versions or translations of the Bible that, in my opinion are accurate, good to read and true to what God wants you to know. I have listed them from easiest to read to more difficult to read – again this how I view them. If you are new to the Bible you could start with the first or second one, but it would also be OK to start with either of the middle two.
New Living Translation (NLT)
English Standard Version (ESV)
New International Version (NIV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
A paper version of the Bible is still highly desirable for many reasons. If this is your first Bible or you don’t have one of the versions listed above I would suggest that you purchase the least expensive to get started. If you want to test out the readability of the versions before you buy you can test read them online at “The Bible Gateway.”
The Bible Gateway – www.biblegateway.com
There are also many apps available for both your mobile devices and computers. Some of these are free apps that include at least one version of the Bible. Additional versions of the Bible are available within the apps for purchase or also for free. The one I’m most familiar with is listed first, etc.
“Bible by Olive Tree”
“Logos: Bible study and reading” by Faithlife Corporation
“ESV Bible” by Crossway (includes access to the ESV Global Study Bible and it reads the Bible to you.)
“Lumina Bible Study” by Biblical Studies Foundation [New English Translation (NET)]
Beyond the Bible I would also recommend that you use a daily resource that helps you read a small section of the Bible and provides an application of that section to your life. Since the sources are nearly unlimited and my time is not I’m only familiar with these two.
Our Daily Bread – Available in print or – www.odb.org
Daily Hope – Available as a daily email by request at: pastorrick.com/devotional/sign-up/
My 2020 “Through the Bible Reading Guide” can be downloaded here. While I’m a huge fan of reading through the Bible each year I would recommend that someone new to the Bible read through the New Testament, two or three chapters per day, before attempting the entire Bible. The “Our Daily Bread” devotional mentioned above usually includes a reading program where you read part of the Old Testament and part of the New Testament each day.
For deeper study or as reference as you are reading through I suggest the following study Bibles:
English Standard Version Study Bible
New International Version Study Bible
Reformation Study Bible (ESV)
Life Application Bible (NIV)