A friend recently thrilled me by telling me she wanted to buy a Bible and read it! She asked for a suggestion on a version and a reading plan. I gave her the following answer which I also wish to share with you. God Bless you and open your mind to His understanding. Not all are so favored by God. But those who seek, will find. Those who thirst for God’s word will understand it. Pray for wisdom and pray for guidance each time you open your Bible. You will never be the same again. The Bible is the most fascinating narrative on the beginning of mankind and our relationship first with God and then with Jesus. (ie, the Old Testament vs. the New Testament). The Old Testament foretold of Jesus’ coming and the New Testament shows how Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection were the FULFILLMENT of the Old Testament. Once you read the Bible, you will fully understand the character and nature of God and Jesus and their great plan for you. This includes immortal life with them in the most joyful state imaginable. May God bless each and every one of you as you embark on the journey of a lifetime.
I LOVE the NIV version. I won’t read any other. Also, I HIGHLY suggest a STUDY NIV Bible. They cost more, but the study notes at the bottom are just stupendous and will enrich your reading 1000 fold. I promise. http://www.biblegateway.com is a fantastic Internet option if you must wait to receive your Bible. It even has an Audio function if you like being read to. And by all means, keep a pencil with you AT ALL TIMES! Because you will most definitely want to underline and mark the especially meaningful or interesting passages! Feel free to fold the edges and USE your Bible. By the end of your life, I PRAY your Bible looks quite ragged. My reading order suggestion would be:
- Start with the Book of John in the New Testament. It is beautiful.
- Then read Matthew, Mark & Luke of the New Testament to get a good grip of Jesus’ words & life.
- Then go back and read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, & Daniel to see how Jesus was prophesied almost three thousand years ago- and how the end times were also prophesied.
- Then go back to read the rest of the New Testament (except Revelation) to see how Apostle Paul & John (& others) were able to add more meaningful context to the Old Testament and Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
- THEN back to the Old Testament to read Genesis- Song of Songs ( Personally, I would skip the first 7 chapters of Numbers the first time around. I would also skip Ruth, Ester, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs the first time around (even though I LOVE those books!)
- After that, read Revelation, the last book of the New Testament.
- THEN go back and read everything you missed- starting with Psalms, Proverbs & my very favorite, Ecclesiastes.
You will be FASCINATED by how it all ties together when you are done! You will come to understand how PROFOUND Apostle Paul’s books are and how important his statements on the Old Testament Law & Jesus are. You will love your pursuit, I promise. I pray right now that God opens your mind to understanding. I am praying as I write that he sends the Holy Spirit to place his hand upon your head so that when you read, you will understand and thirst for more. Amen. You will never be the same again!