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What Do I Study Next In the Bible?

Written by Joe Bartemus on

I love studying the Bible. However, I also recognize that at times, it can seem more like a duty than a blessed gift. What’s more, sometimes it’s hard to even decide what to read or which book to study next.

If you are looking for books to read in the Bible and you are not very experienced at reading the Bible, let me offer some suggestions to get you started:

1. Start simple

First, Get a good study Bible, like the ESV Study Bible or the NIV Study Bible (edited by Carson). Read a chapter or paragraph per day and write a brief summary of what the text said and how it might apply to your life or your faith (do a journal). Start with the gospel of Mark, then go to Ruth, Ephesians, Philippians, Psalm 1-30, and Colossians.

2. Plan your reading

After you are more familiar with the Bible, plan your reading. Pray for God to lead and get started. Have a journal in one hand and a commentary (Matthew Henry has a great one online) in the other. You don’t need to understand everything on the first read. Simply see what God is saying and consider what he might want you to gain from reading each passage.

Unsure what book to read? Here are a few ideas:

  • If you are weak in doctrine, read Romans
  • If you are weak in your faith, read Hebrews
  • If you are sad, read Philippians, Ephesians, Psalms (utilize “Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy” as you go through Psalms)
  • If you want to see Jesus anew—read John or one of the gospels.
  • If you like history—Read Samuel, Kings or Acts
  • If you are not sure what is next—ask someone to pray with you and make suggestions

3. Set a reading goal

Make it a goal to read the whole Bible in a year at least once in your life. There are many good reading plans that will guide you in what to read next. There are also examples of a more challenging plan—I have loved this one in particular, and have completed it twice.

The Ultimate Goal

There are no magic formulas for fresh Bible reading. The key is a vibrant love for God that will lead us to hear his Word through his Spirit. As we do, may we grow to know and love God more—one day and one page at a time.

Joe Bartemus

Joe serves as the Pastor for Theological Development & Shepherding at  Crosspointe Community Church in Greenwood, Indiana. There, he is also an elder and has been a part of the church since it was first adopted into the College Park Family of Churches. Joe is passionate about helping people to know God in his Word by his Spirit.

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