best order to read the bible

What Is the Best Order to Read the Bible?

Do you want to start reading the Bible but always get overwhelmed by the number of books? We know just the solution to your problem! The truth is that you don’t need to follow a specific order when reading the Bible. Furthermore, there’s no right way to read it — you can follow your heart’s desire or whichever book you think you need at the moment.

However, there is an order that beginners can follow to avoid being overwhelmed. In this guide, we explain the best order to read the Bible and tell you why. Let’s begin!

The Best Order to Read the Bible

Bible

The books in the Bible don’t follow any particular order, so there’s no need for readers to stick to anything so strictly. The books are arranged in collections based on subject, type, genre, etc.

If you’re reading the Bible for the first time, it’s crucial to begin with something easy and move on to more complex books later.

Additionally, if you find some parts difficult to understand, don’t be afraid to set them aside and move on to another. You can easily come back to them later. You can also begin with books you’re particularly interested in and follow your own order.

Here’s a valuable tip: When reading the Bible, pace yourself and focus on completing 5 to 10 verses a day for maximum comprehension. It’s best to keep a concordance on hand so you have easy access to a reference for unfamiliar terms.

Now, here is the best order to read the Bible:

1. Mark

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four and the best place to start for a beginner reader and new believer. It contains all of the best-known stories of Jesus’ life, servanthood, miracles, preachings, deeds, and ultimate sacrifice for humanity.

It is considered an easy read because it’s written in relatively simple language for the Romans.

2. Luke

The Gospel of Luke is the one to pick if you want a read that addresses attacks from non-believers and to strengthen your faith. It includes many famous parables of Jesus, such as the Prodigal Son, Good Samaritan, Lost Sheep, and the Lost Coin.

Although it shares many stories with the Gospel of Mark, Luke is much more thorough and detailed in capturing Jesus’ life and teachings. Because of this, the Gospel is also longer than others.

3. Matthew

Unlike the Gospel of Luke, the Book of Matthew is meant for Jewish readers. It mainly focuses on proving to readers that Jesus is their Messiah, but you’ll also find references to fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

It’s a good book to begin with if you want to learn more about Jesus’s teachings, resurrection, miracles, death, and the Kingdom of Heaven.

4. John

The Book of John is one of the shortest books in the Bible. It explores Jesus’ nature, identity, divinity, and other theological aspects. It also contains stories of Jesus’ life, mission, and function. It is considered a good introductory book for new believers as it delves deep into Jesus Christ and his teachings.

If you’ve found yourself a little lost when reading other books on the list, this one may be a better starting point. It provides a more rounded contextual understanding that’s needed for delving into the rest of the Bible.

5. Genesis

Genesis is the first book in the Bible and tells the story of the creation of the world. It features stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, the early years of Israel, and more. Although it is one of the longest books in the Bible, it is also one of the most approachable because of its many well-known stories.

6. Exodus

Exodus is one of the five books of the Law, and it captures many of the rules passed down by God to his followers. It delves into the Ten Commandments and other laws. The book tells the story of God’s freeing of Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It features stories of the Burning Bush, Moses, the parting of the Red Sea, Mount Sinai, and more.

7. Joshua

The first book of history, the Book of Joshua, takes readers through the life and journey of Joshua, who was Moses’ successor. It includes tales of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land, such as the Jordan River crossing, knocking down of the walls of Jericho, division of Canaan, etc.

8. 1 Samuel

The premise of 1 Samuel is the rise, reign, and ultimate fall of King Saul, along with the birth of the prophet Samuel. It records Israel’s history as it transitions into a monarchy. Its key theme is the rejection of God’s chosen leader, Samuel, and the tragedy that befalls the human’s chosen leader, King Saul.

9. 2 Samuel

In 2 Samuel, readers get the complete picture of the rise and fall of King David. It includes tales of David’s achievements during his reign, his relationship with Bathsheba, the building of the Temple, and the eventual transfer of the throne to his son, Solomon.

10. 1 Kings

The book of 1 Kings is about the corruption of the kingdom of Israel. It outlines Solomon’s reign and the division of Israel into Northern and Southern regions of Judah under the reign of Rehoboam (Solomon’s son).

11. 2 Kings

book

2 Kings focuses on the invasion of the Assyrians and Babylonians and the exile of the people of Judah and Israel. It focuses on themes of disobedience and the devastation that followed after the people failed to listen to God’s call.

12. Ezra

The book of Ezra delves into the return of Jewish exiles to Israel and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. It focuses on Ezra’s teachings on the Law of Moses and the importance of repentance and obedience.

13. Jonah

The Book of Jonah tells the tales of the disobedient prophet Jonah, his mission in Nineveh, his prophecies, and his imprisonment in a great fish. It primarily focuses on God’s messages of divine judgment, repentance, mercy, compassion, and obedience.

14. Daniel

The Book of Daniel provides an account of events during the Babylonian exile and the early Persian period. It features Daniel and his companions, events in captivity, and Daniel’s prophetic visions of Israel’s future.

A significant part of the book of Daniel also contains many famous Children’s Sunday school stories.

15. Habakkuk

Habakkuk covers the conversation between God and the prophet. It outlines Habakkuk’s plea to God to stop the Babylonians’ violence in Judah. If you often question the purpose of evil’s existence in the face of faith, then this is the book you must read.

16. Ruth

The Book of Ruth is a short story that follows the stories from Israel’s darkest days during the time of the judges. It tells the story of Naomi and Ruth and how Ruth and Boaz became the ancestors of Israel’s greatest king, David.

17. Nehemiah

This book tells of the challenges faced by Nehemiah (the cupbearer to the Persian king) and the Israelites during the restoration of their homeland. It includes Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, the rallying of the people, the rebuilding of the city and temple, local opposition, and more.

18. James

A part of the New Testament, James is a short letter written to a church. It is easy to understand and very practical. Most of its content focuses on concepts like faith, resisting temptation, enduring trials, and the power of prayer.

19. Proverbs

The Proverbs is a short book that lists wise sayings from the New Testament. It provides practical notes and moral teachings on the Christian way of living. Some of the featured subjects include work, money, love, thoughts, marriage, sex, children, anger, strife, and many more.

20. Acts

Reading the Acts will give you an account of the events after the Gospels. These historical records of the early church include how the Holy Spirit instructed followers to spread the message of God, the foundation of the church, the growth of Christianity, etc.

You’ll also find stories of early believers, God’s power at work, how the Jews rejected Jesus’ message, and more.

21. Ephesians

An approachable introduction to Paul’s Letters, Ephesians is quite easy to understand. It was written during Paul’s first imprisonment and focuses on subjects like God’s eternal purpose and grace, God’s goals for the church, how to walk as a follower of Jesus, and more.

22. Revelation

The Revelation is the final book in the Bible and tells what will happen after Jesus’ return at the end of this age. It includes details of how Jesus will return to rule, judge the nations of the earth, and ultimately return the world to God’s original design. If you want to read about the prophecy about the end of the world, you’ll find it in this book.

Its content is quite similar to that in the prophetic books of the Old Testament. We suggest you follow the prophetic books with the Revelation.

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