Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

What’s the Best Way to Read the Bible?

Joe Paprocki Answers:

Usually, we read a book by starting on page one and continuing through to the last page. Makes sense, right? Although we may be tempted to read the Bible in the same way, that’s not necessarily the best approach to reading the Bible. Why? Because the Bible is no ordinary book. In fact, it’s not a book at all…it is a collection of books: 73 in all! Think of the Bible as a library. It even has various sections to explore. In the Old Testament we have:
• the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy),
• a History section (Joshua – 2Maccabees),
• a Wisdom section (Job – Sirach),
• and the Prophets (Isaiah – Malachi).
Likewise, in the New Testament, we have 4 “sections”:
• the Gospels (Matthew – John),
• the Acts of the Apostles,
• the Letters (Romans – Jude)
• and the Book of Revelation.
The best way to read the Bible is to explore a section at a time. In the Old Testament, start with the Exodus story (in the Book of Exodus, of course) which is the defining moment of the relationship between God and the people of Israel. In the New Testament, start with either the Gospel of Mark (it’s the shortest and easiest to read) or the Acts of the Apostles (their story is most similar to our experience). Allow yourself the freedom to move about freely throughout the Bible, getting a sense of these various sections and becoming familiar with the story of salvation. Another good approach, if you like to read things that follow a chronology, is Jeff Cavins’ notion of reading the “narrative thread” of the story of salvation. This is done by reading the following 14 books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Maccabees, Luke, Acts. This approach helps you to become familiar with the story of salvation that is the foundation of everything else we encounter in Scripture.

The Author : Joe Paprocki
Joe Paprocki, D.Min., is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press in Chicago. He has over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Joe is the author of numerous books on pastoral ministry and catechesis, including The Bible Blueprint, Living the Mass, and bestsellers The Catechist's Toolbox and A Well-Built Faith (all from Loyola Press).
See more articles by (67).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
powered by the Paulists