If you don't know where to begin, try these practical options for reading Sacred Scripture.
Opening up a Bible can be overwhelming for many people. It is such a big book, with hundreds of verses, chapters and countless names that are foreign to a modern reader.
This is why many people close the Bible immediately after opening it up. It is simply too much to handle.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Bible is a profound collection of books that can be read in many different ways. Below are a few of these ways.
How not to read the Bible
Start with the Gospels
If reading the entire Bible is daunting, first open the Gospels. This can be much easier to grasp and the names and episodes within them are usually familiar. Start with the Gospel of Mark, the shortest Gospel. Reading Mark can give you a sense of accomplishment as well as an interest to see how the other Gospel writers narrate the life of Jesus.
Find a reading schedule that splits up the Bible over a year
Dr. Mary Healy, a prominent Catholic biblical scholar, has taken the time to create a balanced plan for reading the Bible in a single calendar year. It can be downloaded through this link.
Read the Bible according to the “Bible Timeline”
One of the most influential Bible studies in recent years has been Jeff Cavin’s “Great Adventure Bible Study.” In it, the study “takes participants on a journey through the entire Bible. They will go deep into each period of salvation history and discover the amazing story woven throughout all of Scripture. Using a unique color-coded system, they will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and see how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith.”
Start with the Psalms
The Book of Psalms in the Old Testament contains profound poetic language that speaks directly to the heart. Tradition says that the Psalms were written by King David and they remain to this day a focal point for Jews and Christians in their daily prayers. After reading the Psalms, it can help create more interest in reading the rest of the Bible.
Where did the Bible come from?