Did you know that the Bible is the most read book of all time? It has surpassed well known literary favorites such as The Lord of the Rings series, the Harry Potter series, The Diary of Anne Frank, and To Kill a Mockingbird. In 2012, The Business Insider even recorded that the Bible had sold more than 3.9 billion copies.
There are many translations to choose from and different representations among the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths. The Bible consists of 66 books and they’re organized into two sections – The Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books). The two sections are arranged this way to highlight the birth of Jesus, with the Old Testament sharing the emerging prophecies of the Messiah and Jesus’ actual birth, death, and resurrection taking place at the start of the New Testament with the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
While there are many books within the Bible, our guide helps you answer the question: What book of the Bible should I read?
To deepen your connection and communication with God, read the Gospels:
In the gospels, you’ll get to know Jesus and his character and see what type of person he really was. You’ll be able to read about his life from birth to death to resurrection. Having more knowledge about Jesus’ life will help you feel more connected to him, and will make you feel more comfortable as you pray to him.
If you like the gospels, read John. This is another book that helps you get to know Jesus better. There are a lot of “I am” statements which provide hope and inspiration from Jesus. John provides the most convincing argument in favor of the supernatural identity of Jesus as the Son of God.
If you need hope and encouragement, read The Book of Psalms:
The book contains songs written by King David, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Heman the Ezrahite, and many others. There are songs for different occasions and are fitting no matter what you’re experiencing – praise, celebration, anguish, sadness, fear, or despair. As you read the Psalms, you’ll be inspired to read them aloud because the words will stir your soul. After you read the Psalms, you’ll be empowered to shift your eyes from your situation and back to God.
If you like Psalms and you’re big on poetry, you should read Songs of Songs and Lamentations. These books are also written as verse.
If you’re up for a little bit of practical wisdom and life lessons, read Proverbs:
Proverbs contains the wisdom of Solomon and are considered to be an easy read. There are thirty-one chapters of proverbs and, if you were interested, could be broken into a month-long daily devotional. Proverbs is also full of great quotes that you’ll end up using when you provide advice to family and friends.
If you end up really liking Proverbs, move on to reading Job and Ecclesiastes. Some of the language is equally poetic and figurative like Proverbs, but there are a ton of focal points on what it means to live well engrained in the text.
To gain a deeper understanding of the Bible as a whole, read Genesis:
All of the characters in the Bible are pointing towards Jesus and you’ll see this as you read Genesis. It is a heavy read and will require a lot of time; however, it provides a lot of depth and dives into Jesus and God’s plan for saving humanity.
If you like Genesis, you should read The Book of Exodus. Like Genesis, the Book of Exodus lays out important historical basis for the rest of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
If you are searching for grace, read Ephesians:
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is part of the book’s opening. He talks about blessings and the grace that is ours in Christ. Ephesians is a wonderful reminder that Christians are saved by grace through their faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is a powerful message of identity and purpose in this book.
To help you look outside of the box and practice an attitude of gratitude, read Philippians:
Sometimes life can get you down and it is easy to look around and see everything that everyone else has. Philippians encourages readers to look beyond their circumstances and find joy in Jesus Christ. You’ll also find guidance on how to handle worry and anxiety in this book. This is where the famous saying, “Do not be anxious about anything” comes from.
If you’re trying to learn how to better act out your faith, read James:
This is a short book, but it challenges readers to take practical steps towards acting out their faith and not just talking about it. James begins with encouragement for people going through difficult times and in need of wisdom. Throughout the book the text encourages you to listen before speaking, obey God’s Word, tame your tongue, and showing generosity to the poor.
If you just want to learn about God’s holiness and his plan for redemption, read Isaiah:
Isaiah was written 700 years before Christ. Isaiah talks about the coming of the Messiah. This book also gives specific prophecies about Jesus – that he would come from David’s line, be born to a virgin, suffer for our transgressions, and rule eternally.
Isaiah offers encouragement and comfort while also discussing God’s holiness, majesty, and compassion.
Reading the books of the Bible will provide life changing spiritual growth. Not only will you find that your felt need is addressed, but you’ll feel more deeply connected to the Lord.