What Book of the Bible Should I Read First?

Books of the Bible

What Book of the Bible Should I Read First?

Best Book of The Bible to Read First

Regardless of where you are in your Christian journey, many people become quickly overwhelmed by the Bible. With so many books varying in length, content, and writing style, it is hard to know where to start. Unfortunately, many people simply give up in defeat rather than finding a Bible reading style that works for them. While some books of the Bible are more difficult to understand than others, we know that each book holds a unique purpose and value.

So, what book of the Bible should I read first? Although there is no right and wrong when it comes to what book of the Bible to read first, there are a few common plans recommended by pastors, teachers, and theologians. Many recommend reading the Bible starting in the book of Genesis. Other popular books to read first include Romans, Psalms, Matthew, and Proverbs.

The Bible is one large book composed of 66 smaller books. Each book of the Bible is unique in its style, writing, message, and author. Together, they form the inspired Word of God. As we read through the Bible, we gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of each book. However, starting your Bible reading journey in the wrong book can leave you confused and overwhelmed.

In this post, we will discuss some of the reasoning behind various Bible reading plans for beginners and mature Christians alike. We hope that this provides you with guidance as you seek to learn more about God through the reading of His Word. 

Reading the Bible for The First Time

The Bible is certainly one of the largest books that many of us will read in our lifetime. There is great merit to reading the Bible in its entirety. As Christians, we know that each book was inspired by God Himself and serves a distinct purpose. However, unlike almost every other book, the Bible does not follow one chronological story from front to back.

Because of this, it can be confusing for many first-time Bible readers. Fortunately, there is no “right” way to read through the Bible. In fact, the book of the Bible that you read first will largely depend on your personal preference and motivation behind reading the Bible! 

Here are some of the most popular books of the Bible to read first:

Start in Genesis

Reading the BibleGenesis, the beginning. Genesis is the first book of the Bible. As such, it is perhaps the most popular book of the Bible for a new Bible reader to turn to. The book of Genesis covers the story of creation, the beginning of the world as we know it. As we continue through the book, we learn of the first sin committed by Adam and Eve, we hear the story of Noah and the Ark, and the story of the Tower of Babel.

The book of Genesis covers the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through this first book of the Bible, we gain valuable context for many of the concepts shared throughout the New Testament. 

Genesis is a great place to begin reading the Bible as it provides a foundation on which we can build upon as we continue throughout the text. One word of caution: if you are reading the Bible for the first time starting in Genesis, it is wise to read one of the Gospels next rather than continue through the beginning of the Old Testament.

Read the Book of Romans First

Romans, found in the New Testament, paints a clear picture of our need for Christ. Through this book, we learn more about the death and resurrection of Jesus and how that gracious act has provided us with salvation. 

As someone reading the Bible for the first time, Romans provides a good understanding of the Christian faith. The message woven throughout the pages of Romans is central to the Gospel and will provide a firm foundation on which the rest of the Bible will build. 

Begin Reading the New Testament

The New Testament begins with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books outline the life of Jesus from his birth to death and subsequent resurrection. Throughout the gospels, we follow the life of Jesus as He performs miracles and shares the true message of salvation. 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are great books of the Bible to read first as they provide a clear picture of the character and life of Jesus. With a majority of these books reading as stories, the gospels are easy, compelling reads for first-time readers of the Bible. 

The Gospel of Luke, in particular, follows the entire life of Jesus from birth to resurrection. For many readers, this is a great introduction to the Bible.

Start in Psalms & Proverbs

Psalms and Proverbs are beloved by many believers. Psalms is poetic and full of emotion. With a unique style, we can glean practical wisdom for life as we relate to the joys and sorrows of the writers of this book.

While many books of the Bible share practical insight and knowledge, relaying stories of past Christians, Psalms is unique in the way that readers can relate to everyday struggles. Another easy-to-read book of the Bible full of wisdom is the book of Proverbs.

Throughout Proverbs, readers can glean practical advice in short axioms. Because of this, Proverbs is not intimidating or overwhelming, even for the newest of readers. Many believers find themselves incorporating the book of Proverbs into their daily Bible reading plan as it both encourages and challenges them in their daily lives. 

Read the Bible in Chronological Order

As we mentioned previously, the Bible, unlike other books, does not follow one chronological path from beginning to end. Because of this, many new readers are confused by the progression of the story if they simply read through the Bible one page at a time. 

Reading through the Bible in chronological order may not be for everyone. However, every believer should attempt this type of Bible reading plan at some point in their journey to gain a complete picture from beginning to end. 

Follow a Set Bible Reading Plan

In addition to reading through the Bible chronologically, there are several other Bible reading plans one could follow. The simplicity of a Bible reading plan alleviates some of the overwhelm a first-time Bible reader may experience as they work their way through the many books. 

Regardless of the book of the Bible you choose to read first, know that every word found in Scripture is the Word of God. The Bible is absolute truth. Everything you read may not make sense to you at the moment. If you don’t understand something you are reading in the Bible, take time to conduct your own studies or read out to a pastor or Christian that you trust. 

Choosing a Version of the Bible to Read

In addition to deciding what book of the Bible you will read first, you must also choose a version of the Bible that you will read. There are roughly 50 mainstream versions of the Bible available in the English language. While they all contain God’s Word, there are some important things to consider as you choose a Bible translation from which to read.

Consider Which Bible Version is Accurate

With so many different versions of the Bible available, we must be careful to consider which is the most accurate Bible translation. Most scholars, pastors, and theologians agree that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is the most accurate Bible translation. Another Bible version that is regarded as highly accurate is the English Standard Version (ESV).

Opt for a Version of the Bible That is Easy to Understand

If this is your first time reading the Bible, it is also incredibly important to select a version of the Bible that is easiest to understand. Traditionally, the New International Version (NIV) and English Standard Version (ESV) receive the highest marks in this category. 

Much of the reasoning behind which version of the Bible you choose to read will depend on your personal preferences. 

The Importance of Reading the Bible

There is great importance to reading the Bible, both for believers and unbelievers alike. While there are countless reasons to establish this habit, a few of the most important include the following:

  • The Bible teaches us Biblical truths.
  • Through the Bible, we learn the character of God.
  • The Bible challenges us to become more like Christ.
  • Through reading the Bible, we become more aligned with God’s Will. 


By reading and studying the Scripture, we gain a basis upon which to build our lives. Through the teaching of His Word, we learn the true story of Salvation and the meaning of life itself. 

How to Start Reading the Bible

While many people are overwhelmed at the thought of reading the Bible, this should not be the case! The Bible is certainly the most important book you will read in your lifetime. What is the best way to start reading the Bible? Simply pick it up and start reading! Begin with one of the books mentioned previously or ask someone in your life for guidance on a book of the Bible in which to begin. We promise that your life will never be the same! 

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