Questions I often get about reading the Bible are… where do I start? Why is the Bible so difficult to understand? Why do I find myself reading the same sentence over and over again? I always say, start with a prayer and ask God to help guide you and to give you clear eyes to see His word, open ears to hear His word, sound mind to understand what you are reading and an open heart to retain His word.
To help you to stay focused, always have a notebook, a pen or pencil and highlighters. Engaging in what you are reading will definitely help you to stay focused and will allow you to take notes as you read along. Please note in our Tewahedo Orthodox faith, we do not mark in the Bible with pen/pencil or highlighters. The Bible is Holy, thus the name “Holy Bible” because it contains God’s word, therefore we show respect and honor by keeping it covered, not putting it on the floor, and we place it away gently when we are done.
There is no right or wrong way to start reading the Bible. What I found very helpful was starting with the Gospel of John. Genesis can be a bit intimidating and confusing to someone just starting to read the Bible. Therefore, the Gospel of John will help you to get to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the miracles He performed, and to have a deeper understanding of how much He loves you that He laid His life on the cross for you.
Lastly, reading the Bible should be enjoyable. As you continue to read your Bible every day, it will become easier to read and you will find yourself spending countless hours reading the word of God. It will help you to have an intimate relationship with our creator. As a result, you will be reminded of God’s unconditional love, encouragement and faithfulness in your life.
Keep at it and don’t give up!
-Author: Selam Seyoum