Learning to Read the Bible in 5 Steps!

woman reading the Bible

How can you read the Bible? How long does it take to read the Bible?

As Christianity is one of the leading and most popular religions today, various theologians across the span of hundreds of years have studied as to how the Bible continues to be applicable to everyday life.

In the Bible verse of 1 Timothy 3:16, it states that the Holy Bible is “God-breathed,” which means as well as suggests that it is God’s words to humanity.

The Bible can be considered one of the most valuable teachings in history, yet it is not written as any ordinary novel. While many books today can be simply read from beginning to end, the Bible consists of many books compiled together and written by different authors. Initially, each book may seem to achieve a separate purpose, however, one can view the Bible as a large puzzle. Each book is a single puzzle piece part of a larger picture, and if one were to study the Bible, they would begin to unfold the story of God and His people through the ages.

How long does it take to read the entire Bible? It is entirely up to the reader. There are various reading plans suggested, however, the most popular suggestion is to firstly begin with the Four Gospels of the New Testament. These books give insight to the ministry of Jesus Christ and the teachings he left behind for believers to follow today.

How should we approach reading the Bible? These are 5 suggestions to consider as you begin your journey into studying the Bible:

Tips for Reading the Bible 


1. Select a Bible translation


Originally, the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, and one of the earliest English translations is the King James Variation. Yet, as time passed, more and more translations have apeared, each slightly varying from one another in word structure, but ultimately still containing the same message.

If you are just beginning to delve into the Bible, it is suggested to consider using the New Living Translation (NLT), New International Version (NIV), or the English Standard Version (ESV). While NLT and NIV employ word-for-word and thought-by-thought translations for their readers for the sake of creating a readable version of the Bible, the ESV Bible is a more literal translation of the Bible and can be slightly longer in its wording.

Other versions include the American Standard Version (ASV), which is a revised version of the KJV as many individuals today find reading KJV difficult due to the older writing structure. Additionally, the Good News Translation was published in the late 1900’s and includes more modern terms for children and those learning English to better comprehend the scriptures. For convenience, Bible apps are also available in app stores, thereby allowing one to keep a Bible wherever they go so it may be read at any time. These apps often allow the reader to switch to different translations if they need better understanding of a particular phrase or word. Regardless of which Bible you choose to pursue, we hope you enjoy your pursuit of seeking God and His truth!

2. Where to Begin?

The Bible contains 66 books. Genesis at the beginning and Revelation at the end. While most interested readers may want to start at the beginning in Genesis, this is not mandatory and may actually be confusing to some. The entirety of the Old Testament is considered confusing to many believers today as it contains history, moral instructions, and prophecies all mixed together. On the other hand, the New Testament is focused more so upon Jesus and his twelve disciples and the promises of the Second Coming.

For first time readers, we suggest taking a peek into the first couple chapters of Matthew to gain a better understanding of the humble beginnings of Jesus Christ. The entirety of the Four Gospels of the New Testament give further details of Jesus’ message and prophecies for the Second Coming, as well as, details on Jewish rituals and traditions used at that time.

3. Schedule a Reading Plan

Initially, the Bible may seem intimidating with its thousands of pages of scripture containing 6,000 years of history. However, we need not fear, but instead take a few moments out of your day to plan a reading schedule for the week. Even better, do it with a buddy for accountability!

Start with 10 minutes of day, or if you feel a tad more adventurous then consider reading a chapter a day. Establishing a new habit can be difficult, so don’t be too discouraged if you miss a day or two in the beginning. It may help to also read at the same time everday so your body and mind becomes accostomed to building this habit.

If you feel yourself short on time, then consider reading Psalms or Proverbs,  for while their verses are short, they are also very impactful and have deeper meanings to them that guide a believer’s lifestyle.

4. Pray

As you are reading God’s word, it is important to keep in mind that the understanding of these scriptures contains God’s heart and will for us today, therefore, to make the most out of your reading, start with a prayer. 

The prayer does not need to be overly elaborate but can be a simple one of gratitude toward you being able to receive this word today and that it may guide you into deepening your faith.

For as it says in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will certainly seek me and discover Me if you seek Me with all your heart.”

5. Make a note!

As you continue your pursuit of truth through the Bible, there may be moments of perception and reflection or times when you are confused. In either of these instances, feel free to make a note on a separate piece of paper or even on the note app on your phone.

There may also be times when a certain verse may inspire you, in which case, you would not want to forget it so it is suggested to take note of it or highlight that verse. There’s an entire niche of believers who are highly dedicated to Bible journaling and they make their Bible notes into a type of art piece to help them study and remember the content. Feel free to explore your own method of note taking!

6. Take notes

As you review the Scriptures, don’t forget to ask 2 inquiries: What does the Bible show me regarding God? What does this most likely to instruct me about how I should live?

Undoubtedly, as you review you will locate 1 or 2 instructions that seem to leap off the page reading the bible. Maybe they speak with a problem you have been facing, perhaps they supply and also give you a response to a long-held question, maybe they give you comfort or motivation and perhaps they supply an instance to follow or stay clear of.

When a verse resounds with you, write it down. As discussed over, take a time out and allow the message sink in since these words are God’s words to you.

Amongst all, be willful in obtaining God’s Word into your thoughts and also you will certainly quickly see your connection with God flourish as well as your life has actually altered. After all, isn’t that the entire factor of checking out the Holy Bible.

Now, how long does it take for you to read the Bible?

It can be really helpful for everyone to realize just how much time reading the Bible actually takes. The list below is the amount of time you can spend in each book from the shortest to longest and how many words you can read within 2 minutes or more for reading the bible.

Shortest Books of the Bible to Longest Books of the Bible 

Disclaimer: These are just rough estimations!

3 John – 219 words take 2.2 minutes

2 John – 245 words take 2.5 minutes

Philemon – 335 words take 3.5 minutes

Obadiah – 440 words take 4.5 minutes

Jude – 461 words take 4.6 minutes

Titus – 659 words take 7 minutes

2 Thessalonians – 823 words take 8 minutes

Nahum – 855 words take 8.5 minutes

Haggai – 926 words take 9 minutes

Habakkuk 1,011 words take 10 minutes

Jonah – 1,082 words take 10 minutes

2 Peter – 1,099 words take 10 minutes

Zephaniah – 1,141 words take 10 minutes

2 Timothy – 1,238 words take 12 minutes

Malachi – 1,320 words take 13 minutes

Joel – 1,447 words take 15 minutes

1 Thessalonians – 1,481words take15 minutes

Colossians – 1,582 words take 16 minutes

1 Timothy – 1,591 words take 16 minutes

Philippians – 1,629 words take 16 minutes

1 Peter – 1,684 words take 17 minutes

James – 1,742 words take17.5 minutes

Song of Songs – 2,020 words take 20 minutes

Ruth – 2,039 words take 20 minutes

Micah – 2,118 words take 21 minutes

1 John – 2,141 words take 21 minutes

Galatians – 2,230 words take 22 minutes

Lamentations – 2,324 words take 23 minutes

Ephesians – 2,422 words take 24 minutes

Amos – 3,027 words take 30 minutes

Hosea – 3,615 words take 36 minutes

2 Corinthians- 4,477 words take 45 minutes

Ecclesiastes – 4,537 words take 45 minutes

Zechariah – 4,855 words take 48 minutes

Esther – 4,932 words take 49 minutes

Hebrews – 4,953 words take 50 minutes

Ezra – 5,605 words take 56 minutes

1 Corinthians – 6,830 words take  68 minutes

Romans – 7,111 words take 71 minutes

Nehemiah – 8,507 words take 85 minutes

Daniel – 9,001 words take 90 minutes

Revelation – 9,851 words take 98 minutes

Proverbs – 9,921 words take 99 minutes

Mark – 11,304 words take 113 minutes

Job – 12,674 words take 126 minutes

Judges – 15,385 words take 153 minutes

John – 15,635 words take 156 minutes

Joshua – 15,671 words take 156 minutes

1 Chronicles – 16,664 words take 166 minutes

2 Samuel- 17,170 words take 171 minutes

Matthew – 18,346 words take 183 minutes

Acts – 18,450 words take 184 minutes

2 Kings – 18,784 words take 187 minutes

Leviticus – 18,852 words take 188 minutes

Luke – 19,482 words take 194 minutes

1 Kings – 20,361 words take 203 minutes

1 Samuel – 20,837 words take 208 minutes

2 Chronicles – 21,349 words take  213 minutes

Deuteronomy- 23,008 words take 230 minutes

Numbers – 25,048 words take 250 minutes

Isaiah – 25,608 words take 256 minutes

Exodus – 25,957 words take 259 minutes

Ezekiel – 29,918 words take 299 minutes

Psalms – 30,147 words take 301 minutes

Genesis – 32,046 words take  320 minutes

Jeremiah – 33,002 words take 330 minutes



As you take your first steps through the Bible, there may be times when you feel overwhelmed or bored by the content, therefore, learn to pace yourself and be consistent with your reading schedule. The more consistent you are with your reading, over time your first steps will turn into a walk, then into a run, and soon you will find yourself sprinting through the Bible. However, every individual reader is different so don’t feel pressured to compare yourself to other but rather focus upon the word and seeking God.

If you have any further questions or suggestion on Bible reading, please feel free to submit a comment below!

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