How to Study the Bible {A Guide for Beginners}

How to study the Bible for Beginners

Knowing how to study the Bible as beginners doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s a simple 5 step process to help you get the most from your Bible reading.

A Beginner’s Guide to Studying the Bible

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1. Choose the Right Bible

If you have ever visited a bookstore or done a search on Amazon for a new Bible, you can quickly be overwhelmed by the many choices for a Bible.

The first thing you will notice about Bibles is that there are many different versions. You have probably heard of the KJV (the King James Version) but maybe you haven’t heard of the English Standard Version (ESV) or the Amplified Version. What are the differences between these different Bible translations?

Understanding Bible Translations vs. Bible Paraphrases

A Bible translation is the process of converting the Bible from the original text/language into a modern language. Good translations will stay as close to original text and meaning as possible. Many good Bible translations are available today. Here are a few:

As you grow in your faith, you may find comparing passages from different translations will help you understand the Bible better. But as a beginner, one good translation will work.

What is a Bible paraphrase? A Bible paraphrase is a loose translation of the Bible that conveys the meaning of the Bible text in a more modern literary presentation. Many scholars and Bible readers feel Bible paraphrases are not as true to the original texts. Here are examples of Bible paraphrases:

  • The Living Bible
  • The Message
  • Amplified Bible

Should you choose a Bible translation or a Bible paraphrase? A Bible translation that remains true to the original text is the best option to understand and study the Bible. However, Bible paraphrases may be helpful to understand difficult passages but should not be relied on as your only study Bible.

2. Select a Bible Study Plan

After choosing a Bible, the next step is to choose a Bible study plan. I suggest a Bible study plan for beginners because it will help you focus on a topic or even reading the entire Bible.

A Bible study plan might last a week or two or even the entire year. Here are of my some favorite places to find a Bible Study plan:

3. Read the Bible Text

This step is the heart of understanding the Bible.

You have to actually read the Bible. Read the text and see for yourself what it says. Don’t just read books about the Bible or Bible stories. The Bible is God’s Word. Take time to read the original source.

More importantly, when you read the Bible with an open heart, you will hear from God. The Bible is God’s Word to us. It’s a living book, not just a story, not written by men, but the holy, inspired Word of God. No other book can make this claim.

The words of Bible have power to change our lives like no other book.

4. Use Commentary and Study Bibles to Aid Understanding

If you have spent time reading the Bible, you know some passages that can be difficult and challenging to understand. To understand these difficult passages, you’ll want to use a study Bible or commentary.

My personal favorite study Bible is the Reformation Study Bible (ESV translation). Here are a few more study Bible’s to consider:

You can also use Bible commentaries to aid in your Bible study. Bible commentaries provide background and in-depth insight for all passages in the Bible.

5. Reflect and Meditate

After reading the Bible and studying a commentary, take some time to reflect and meditate on what you have read. Consider how you can apply it to your life today. Although the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it still provides us instruction and truth for today.

In our busy lives, it’s easy to open your Bible, quickly read a passage, close your Bible, and tell yourself you have read your Bible for the day. But if you want your Bible reading experience to be a relationship with God more than just checking the box you have read a chapter today, then you need to take time to reflect on what you have read.

Prayer and meditation on God’s Word allow it to penetrate our hearts, too. Daily journaling what you have learned each day and writing scriptures will help you with meditation and application.

For further study you might like:

Faith Mini Bundle

The Anchored in Hope 30-Day Scripture Journal

Pray Without Ceasing Prayer Journal

Faith Mini Bundle

How do you like to study the Bible?


How to study your Bible a complete guide for beginners

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