Which books of the Bible should I study first? This question often baffles Bible readers. With 66 different books, do I start with the Old Testament or the New? Maybe a Gospel about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus? Or perhaps a shorter book like Philippians?
Who Studies the Bible?
Lots of people enjoy reading the Bible. Pastors spend a lot of time studying the Bible in preparation for Sunday’s message. But others who teach the Bible, like Sunday School teachers or small group leaders, also spend a lot of time thinking about the Bible. You don’t have to be a teacher to study the Bible. In fact, all Christians should study God’s Word.
Should I Study One Book, or Read It All?
Obviously, reading the entire Bible is a worthwhile endeavor. But let’s be honest…that’s a lot to bite off at once. Besides, there is a lot of historical and cultural issues to study so that you can understand all of the Bible. Granted, every Christian should seek to read through the Bible at least once…and maybe even once a year.
But, it’s also very beneficial to study a single book of the Bible. Why? Focusing on a singular book allows the reader to understand the original author’s purpose. It takes time to study the background of a book–but it is important to know the author, the audience, and the occasion of a book. It is also helpful to study “chapter 3” after reading “chapter 2.” It did come in that order for a reason!
Where Do I Start?
So if you are ready to jump into a Bible book study, where do you start? Right now, I am working through Mark’s Gospel. It’s a relatively short book at 16 chapters. Plus, there is a lot of action! But there are shorter books, like Philippians, Colossians, and 1 John.
A goal might be to read and study all 66 books of the Bible. That would be awesome. But if you’re interested in getting a full sweep of the entire Bible, you might consider studying particular books. For example, the book of Genesis is important to the entire biblical story. Many Christians have found great comfort in reading the Psalms. The story of Jesus’ life is beautifully displayed in the Gospel of John. Studying some of these major books helps put the entire Bible into context.
Need Help Studying the Bible?
At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, we believe Bible book studies are important. That’s why our Biblical Studies degree requires students to take courses in the following Bible books: Genesis, Daniel, John, Romans, and Hebrews. We believe these books are significant in understanding the Christian faith and doctrine.
We’re here to help you study the Bible. Consider taking our “How to Study the Bible” course. We offer it tuition-free every quarter ($60 material fee required, but tuition is waived). The course is taught on campus Thursday mornings and evenings. We also offer the course online regularly. Check it out here.
Or, if you’re ready to dive in…consider taking some of our Bible book courses. For more information, visit us online at www.ccbs.edu or give us a call at (910) 323-5614.