Practical Faith Life

Where To Start Reading The Bible To Get Closer To God?

Many believers want to read the Bible in order to be closer to God, but do not know where to start. Therefore, the question where to start reading the Bible to get a better connection with God? As always, the answer should be: it depends. Because there is still one general tip that can be given to almost any interested Bible reader:

Getting closer to God with Bible reading is best started with a Gospel. These form the basis for everything else that follows in the New Testament and are the foundation for the Christian faith itself. They also contain the direct teachings and quotations of Jesus Christ; our Lord.

Why start from the Gospels to get closer to God?

Why start reading the Bible at the Gospels? Simply because at this point Jesus Christ is introduced. This person is for all Christians, maybe for all people of the world, the most important person who ever lived. These stories describe what this one did and how important he is for people.

Each gospel puts a different focus on his personality and on other deeds. If you read the gospels for the first time, you will notice that I repeat a lot (some). Why God planned them this way is not explained in the Bible. But we should trust that it makes sense to read this repetition!

One thing must not be forgotten: The words that are read there are quotations of Jesus Christ and therefore the most reliable source of his teachings. Who reads the gospels, reads directly the words of God.

Is there an alternative starting point for getting closer to God with the Bible?

The recommendation is clear: The Gospels should be read first. But if you think you already know the story of Jesus or you know it for sure, for example through narration by movies by videos etc., you can also skip the gospels (for now). Of course, there is the recommendation to read the Gospels at some point, but we are asking for a starting point for the Bible.

In this case, one simply starts with the story that comes after: the Acts of the Apostles. The rest of the New Testament is sorted by chronology and can be read that way accordingly. There, the direct intervention of God in Christian history is described and we learn the practical application of Christ’s teaching.

Is there another way to start with the Bible to get closer to God?

Of course, there is also the possibility to simply start from the beginning. But then you have to torture yourself through things and texts that are no longer relevant for today’s Christians. Or they are not immediately relevant for the life of the believer. Nevertheless, one can learn a lot about the character of God in the Old Testament.

If you don’t necessarily have the goal to read the Bible completely the first time or to read the most important parts first (in this case, of course, starting with the Gospel), you can also ask God directly where to start. In this case, you simply go to prayer and open the Bible.

But: Please do not get stuck on single verses!

Important principle in the Bible is the following: The context is crucial. There are many false teachings that take certain Bible verses out of context and thus give them a different meaning! No matter how you read the Bible, always read the context. Try to read whole chapters or whole books at once, only then you get the whole context and can understand (sooner or later) how the piece you just read fits into the whole Bible.

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