Studying the Bible is a daunting task and it isn’t very easy, quite frankly. People often have many questions. Here are a few of them.
Q: When is the best time to start reading the Bible?
A: Right now! I think too many folks are afraid to start something that they don’t think they have time for. The Bible is not some 200-page fictional novel that is intended to be read in a week or two. Everybody should read scripture daily, but don’t be discouraged if your busy life disrupts continuity of a daily Bible reading schedule. Just get started right now and read as much or as little as you want.
Q: Which book of the Bible should I start with?
A: Pick any of them and get going! I would caution you against some Old Testament books such as Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, as those are what I’d call “advanced” for beginners. They’re generally momentum killers. I would personally recommend starting with the New Testament and the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Q: Is there such a thing as taking on too much?
A: I’d be careful about telling someone to limit their reading, especially if they’re advanced and can turn the pages quickly, understanding what they’re reading along the way. But take it from my experience, it’s best to read only a chapter or two per day because anything more than that and you’re likely to miss out on an important topic or message.
Q: Is there such a thing as reading too little?
A: Absolutely not, unless you want to get nitpicky and say “one or two words.” Obviously, you won’t get anything out of an incomplete sentence. At the bare minimum, I would suggest reading at least one verse, plus any footnotes or introduction to that passage so you can understand the context — the “C” in the COMA method — behind the writing.
Q: What if I misinterpret what I read?
A: No need to worry; you’d be no different than a large segment of the world, both Christians and Non-Christians alike. Do you think I’m going to hit the nail on the head of interpretation with every passage? Of course not. I’m only human. Not even Bible scholars always agree with each other on interpretation. But the important thing is to acquire wisdom from reading and study what Bible scholars say to help you get a better understanding of the meaning. And then, of course, put it into practice in your daily life.