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Why do I find it so hard to read my Bible and understand what it says?


Thank you for your honest question about studying the bible.

Regardless as to how long a person has been a Christian or even how good their education has been, reading the Bible can be a challenge for some people. The Bible, with all its 66 books, contains a great variety of different writing styles, genres and perspectives. Similarly, different people may find different parts of the Bible to be harder to read than others.

However, it would be easy to make excuses and never read the Bible at all, for fear of not understanding it. However, through practice and some helpful tips, which are below, you can read the Bible, understand it, and know that it applies to your life. The Bible is more than just a book or even a collection of Books; as Christians we believe that it is the Word of God. As a result of this, it is powerful and life changing.

Before you can understand the Scriptures you must first be willing to stand under them, to hear the teaching and then most of all to do what it says.

  1. Are you really willing to obey the Scriptures? If so, then you are in a starting position to understanding them.
  2. Sin will keep you from the Bible and keep you from understanding it. Confess your sins quickly; keep an open account of your sins with God. Walk in the ways of God and ask him to guide you.
  3. Set some time aside to read on a regular and preferably daily basis, and not when you are tired. Early morning works best for some people but others prefer in the evening or perhaps during their morning coffee. You need to find what works best for you.
  4. Get a well translated Bible that you can still understand. Make it your Bible. Read from the same Bible, your Bible, every day.
  5. Be comfortable when reading the scriptures.
  6. Remove all distractions. Phone and email, social media, TV and radio. Indeed remove everything except a notebook and pen. You may want to write down notes from the Bible, things that have challenged and encouraged you, or you may want to use the notebook to write down things that may distract you, matters that need attending to after your readings.
  7. You don't have to read for long lengths of time; 15 minutes may be enough. Read it aloud. Read it with drama.
  8. Choose one whole book from the 66 Books of the Bible, just one, and begin to read. You may want to start by reading the Luke or Mark in the New Testament and any of the historical books of the Old Testament.
  9. When you read write down any notes you might want to and also any questions you might wish to pursue through further study with a Christian friend / leader.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17)

In summary, there are no plans to this kind of reading. There are no timescales. This is just the core exercise of Biblical book reading which you may find works for you.

This core reading will help you to understand the big picture of God's plan and to understand the context of individual well known Bible verses.

You may find that you want a Bible reading plan as well as notes to explain certain passages and to give application to your life. For this reason, UCB, who are involved in operating Looking for God, have a daily bible reading resource called The Word for Today. If you would like to read today's reading or to order an email or paper copy, then please click the following link:

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Nehemiah 8:1-8
  • 1 Timothy 4:13
  • 2 Timothy 2:15

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*Taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at

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