The Five Step System For Eliminating Confusion When Your Reading The Bible

By Hannah Brzozowski


I remember getting my first Bible when I was about 5 years old. It had a picture on the front and then a place to put my name and the date. I still have it - crayon markings and all.


What about you? Do you remember the first time you got a Bible? Maybe it was as a graduation gift or you picked up one of those Gideon Bibles in a hotel? Or maybe you downloaded the Bible app? Whenever it was, odds are, you cracked it open to the first page, started to read it and then got confused and closed it. Now it’s on a shelf or in the far reaches of your phone.


Well, today, I want to help guide you through how to read the Bible and not give up.


Whenever it was, odds are, you cracked it open to the first page, started to read it and then got confused and closed it. Now it’s on a shelf or in the far reaches of your phone.

Here are 5 steps to take confusion out of reading the Bible.


1. Snag a Bible.


Luckily, if you don’t have a Bible at home, you can find one very easily these days. Simply download the YouVersion Bible App on your phone. This app has been downloaded 475 million times (yes, you read that right!) and is very helpful as you’re starting your journey. This app can do just about anything when it comes to the Bible: highlighting, notes, audio listening, verse of the day notifications, etc…


One of my favorite features is the plans. They have hundreds of them - for whatever you might be going on in your life right now. Are you having anxiety right now? Read this one. Are you trying to be a better wife? Check this one out. Are you going to college for the first time? Here's this one.


Each plan has a daily reading. Some of them even have videos, devotionals or something to just listen to. You can even add your friends on there and go through a plan with them as a group.


This app is a game-changer for your quest of reading the Bible.


You can obviously use a physical copy as well - I use both types, depending on my mood!


This app is a game-changer for your quest of reading the Bible.

2. Choose the Best Version For You.


There are 450 different versions of the Bible out there (and that’s just in the English language!) so it can be hard to pick which one to read. Each version is taken from the original languages (Hebrew and Greek) and translated.


Some are more readable. Others are more literal to the text itself. One of my favorites is the New Living Translation (or for short: NLT). It’s much easier to understand for me. Some people, though, swear by the English Standard Version (ESV) - which is more literal to the original language.


A good way to pick a translation that works well for you is to look up a verse that you might know well. For instance, John 3:16, and then compare it in different translations.


Let’s do that now:


For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.(NLT)


VS.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(ESV)


Even from that verse, you can see the NLT uses the word “everyone” and the ESV uses the word “whoever”. This is a little change but it’s a little bit more readable in the NLT.


Some other translations I would recommend: New International Version and Christian Standard Bible Version.


Some are more readable. Others are more literal to the text itself.

3. Decide Where to Start. (Hint: It's not at the beginning.)


So, you found a version of the Bible that you like, now you need to actually open it and start reading! You’ll notice that there are 66 books. These books were written by 35 different people on 3 different continents over the span of 1,500 years. It’s divided into two parts: The Old Testament (before Jesus) and the New Testament (during and after Jesus). Also, keep in mind that there are several genres: the law, history, poetry, prophets, the Gospels, and letters.


For this step, I would encourage you start in the New Testament and, more specifically, the Gospels - the first four books of the New Testament.

For this step, I would encourage you start in the New Testament and, more specifically, the Gospels - the first four books of the New Testament. These books are all about Jesus’ life on earth. Start in Matthew and read one chapter (the big numbers are the chapters, tiny numbers are the verses) at a time.


4. Discover the Meaning.


Once you’ve started to read the Bible, you might end up being confused but don’t let that stop you! The Bible is the best-selling book of all time for a reason!


The best way to understand the meaning is to explore the context. What is the broader message being said in this paragraph? This chapter? This cluster of chapters? This book?


The Bible is the best-selling book of all time for a reason!

I would also encourage you to check out The Bible Project. They have hundreds of videos on YouTube that walk you through the background of texts and even explain certain passages that might get confusing. I love to use this whenever I come across some verses that I’d like to go deeper on. (You'll also notice that they have partnered with YouVersion to provide content on the Bible app as well.)


Another recommendation I have for you is to look up a commentary on that particular verse. You can do this by simple googling “Matthew 1 Commentary”. (I like this free one!) This will pull up lots of tidbits and facts about the passage and some background as well. I’ve started to do this recently and it’s really helped me understand things a lot better!


If you’re finding yourself looking up commentaries a lot, it might be helpful for you to get a Study Bible. This is a Bible that has notes at the bottom for almost every verse.


5. Be a Doer.


Once you've read it, it's important to apply what you've read.


Here are 4 tips after you’ve read for the day

  1. Write down what you think God is saying to you.

  2. Ask God to help you apply it to your life.

  3. Repeat this process every day.

  4. Watch the Word of God transform your life!


Watch the Word of God transform your life!

Do you have other questions about the Bible? Comment below and we'll respond - we might even write a blog post about it!


If you're looking for even more ways to go deeper in your faith. We'd love for you to come to one of our Anchor Groups. They meet in person and online. You can check them out here!

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