The Bible was written in parts, so there is nothing unnatural about reading it in parts. In fact, its bulk is so great that it makes sense to carve out digestible pieces. Go find ten average-sized nonfiction books published today – that’s how long the Bible is!
The Bible is considerably longer than Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Moreover, the Bible was written by many authors over many centuries in many different literary styles. Again, it makes sense to read it in parts.
It also makes sense to give some parts more attention than others. The parts that deserve the most attention are those that speak most directly about the Lord Jesus Christ and most directly about how we should respond to Him. Getting comfortable with these parts before you venture into other parts is a wise approach.
Here’s a list of especially worthy parts to read. Some are “books” of the Bible; some are parts of such “books.” They are of varying length, but all are of manageable size (that is, the longest is shorter than a very short nonfiction book). They are generally listed in order of importance to your faith.
- 1 Corinthians 15 – one chapter that encapsulates the good news of Jesus Christ
- The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7
- The Gospel of John
- The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke
- The Acts of the Apostles
- Any of the shorter New Testament letters (also called epistles)
- Any of the Psalms (especially Psalms 23)
Over time, you may venture out in your reading and modify this list so that it becomes personal to you.
But before you conclude that this is a list to check off so that you can then merely move on to all the other parts of the Bible, consider the value of rereading these parts.