If you’ve been around This Outnumbered Mama for a while, you know that I am a total Bible newbie. I have been crazy overwhelmed at the idea of Bible study, that for a long time I just avoided it. “I’m a baby Christian” I would say. “I don’t really know many Bible stories”. I knew the Veggie Tales versions, and Chris and I watched The Bible Series on Netflix, but actually sitting down to read the Bible? That was crazy!
My girlfriends in my mom’s group and I decided to do a Beth Moore study together, which was fantastic! It explained almost everything, and my friends explained anything that wasn’t crystal clear. It was a great way to start actually reading my Bible because it held my hand. But I’m branching out! One of my New Years Goals is to read my Bible 3 days per week. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it has shown me that I really do know how to study my Bible. Yeah. A real Bible!
A Bible Newbie’s Approach to Bible Study
Gather Your Supplies
Okay, so this one is really obvious, but it needs to be discussed. Do not start out reading a Bible version with thee and thou and ye shall’s if you’re a bible newbie. If you are anything like me, you will get a headache, decide that the Bible is too hard, and go eat ice cream and binge watch netflix. Make sure that you get a Bible that is readable. I like NIV and NLT, but try a few out on the youversion app and buy the one that you like best. It also helps if you can get a Bible with some notes in it. Even if the words are easy to read, some of the concepts in the Bible don’t make sense without a little help. Having good notes can help you understand the context of a book or chapter including who wrote it and why, what was happening in history, etc.
Other Random Supplies
I always keep a pencil and highlighter with me, and I mark up tons of verses. I also think that Bible time is special, so it should be accompanied by a delicious warm beverage. My favorite is white chocolate white coffee mochas. :)
Adjust Your Expectations
You don’t have to have a crazy epiphany every time that you open up your Bible. If you’re a mom of young kids like I am, you may not have a serene quiet time first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up. Baby M still exclusively nursing, which can make for some late nights and early mornings. I don’t function well before seven, and I definitely need
three a cup of coffee before I get up. Especially in the beginning, give yourself grace. Understand that your Bible time one day might be reading the “verse of the day” while you cook dinner. Any Bible time is an improvement for Bible newbies!
There is value in reading the Bible cover to cover. Many people do it, and that’s really impressive. My advice? Don’t do it. You will probably start off great, I mean, who doesn’t love the creation story? Then you’ll get lost in the crazy geneologies and give up. I suggest starting in the New Testament. I like John. [Like, just John. Not First John or anything, I know it’s confusing!] It reads more like a story and it’s pretty much all about Jesus. Who doesn’t like reading about Jesus??
Mark It Up
Okay, I know that the Bible is perfect. I mean, it’s the Word of God. That’s pretty intimidating. That said, mark it up! Use your highlighter and pencil and write all over the page. I read through the chapter I’m reading once without anything in my hand. I read it a second time with my highlighter and I highlight anything that I think is really important. Then I read it again with my pencil to underline and write out notes. After you’ve read a chapter three times, you should have a decent understanding of it. Highlighting and taking notes helps me to stay focused while I’m reading and really try to think about what I’m learning from it. Did you ever read the same paragraph from a text book three times before you knew what it said? Same concept here. Sometimes I even write questions in the margin so I remember to ask someone about it. Yes, you can question what it says in the Bible when you’re a Bible newbie!
So this is my approach. It isn’t perfect by any means, and I hope to expand on it eventually. I just found that I spent hours and hours researching the “right” way to study my Bible. Those were all super intimidating to me, so my advice is to just start. Pray before you open your Bible, and just start. It’ll be great, promise!
How do you study your Bible? Do you mark all over it, or do you keep a notebook?