How to Start Reading Your Bible

Have you ever wondered why every time you decide to read the Bible from cover to cover, you end up putting it down after a month? In this episode, Jeff gives five tips to help you start (and keep) reading your Bible successfully.

Picking a Translation
  1. Not all Bibles are equal
  2. Protestant Bibles have 66 books and Catholic Bibles have 73 books.
  3. Paraphrase Bibles are thought for thought, not word for word.
  4. Recommended translations
    • RSV Catholic Edition: You can find it here.
    • New American Bible (NAB)
The Problem with Reading the Bible
  1. The Bible is not written chronologically.
  2. It’s a library not a book.
    • They are ordered by type of book (historical, prophets, poetry, wisdom…)
    • Everyone needs to be taught how to read the Bible
  3. Try out The Great Adventure Storybook– written for your kids, but helpful for you too.
Where does the Bible fit in with all things Catholic?
  1. There is so much that makes up the Church
  2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is the key to understanding how the Bible fits in and the Bible is the key to understanding the Church
  3. The CCC has 4 Pillars
    • The Creed, Sacraments and Liturgy, Life in Christ, Prayer
    • The Creed condenses the Bible, it comes first because the others all spring from it
What do I read first?
  1. Which book to start with?
    • Start with a general overview then go into detail
  1. This is the order to follow:
    • Genesis
    • Exodus
    • Numbers
    • Joshua
    • Judges
    • 1 Samuel
    • 2 Samuel
    • 1 Kings
    • 2 Kings
    • Ezra
    • Nehemiah
    • 1 Maccabees
    • Luke
    • Acts
  1. Focus on the overarching story
  2. Underline the key pivotal points
Make a Plan to Read the Bible
  1. Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible and the Bible Timeline will help you fit in and organize the other 59 books of the Bible into the context of the 14 narrative books
  2. If you read 4 chapters a day it will take 3 months, if you read 2 chapters a day it will take 6 months, if you read 1 chapter a day it will take 12 months.
  3. Read to get to know God – not to “conquer” the Bible
  4. Read it over and over to really understand it, same as the Church does each liturgical year.


More Great Resources from Jeff

Find free blogs, videos, and resources about Scripture and the Catholic faith at

Learn more about The Great Adventure Bible Timeline and preview any study for free.

For an easy way to transform your approach to reading Scripture, check out Jeff’s Bible Timeline Chart.

For an illustrated resource introducing God’s love story to children while helping them to understand how the Catholic Church is the body of Christ on Earth try The Great Adventure Storybook.

We’d Love to Hear from You

Do you have comments or questions for Jeff? Use the comment box below, or email Jeff at You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

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1 Comment

  1. Jeff, I just came upon your podcasts this weekend, and I love the first few I’ve listened to. I have been wanting to find a more structured way to read the Bible, so I listened to the ones on reading and marking the Bible first. That same day, I decided to follow your approach of reading the 14 books of salvation history, and I spent over two hours reading just the first three chapters of Genesis, marking up my Bible in ways I had never done before. I am really looking forward to continuing in this way. Thanks for sharing this with us. God bless you and the work you are doing. Happy Easter!


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