I have never read the bible before, and I started recently. Can anyone give me tips or suggest bible studies (preferably free) that I can use to better retain the knowledge that I gather from my reading? Thanks in advance!
"I have never read the Bible before, and I started recently.
Can anyone give me tips or suggest Bible studies (preferably free) that I can use to better retain the knowledge that I gather from my reading?"
In beginning to read the Bible, it is always easier (and more fulfilling) to begin reading the Gospels (and, you can read them several times).
If you want to retain the knowledge you learned, make notes of important verses (and read those sections several times), OR, share them with a friend.
If you want to know what Jesus did, and said, about many things, they are in the Gospels.
The Gospels are pretty clear, and need the least amount of explanations (Study Guides).
The BIG exception to that are Parables, which Jesus claimed were written to confuse and confound people.
Many Study Guides ALSO mis-interpret several Parables, just to show that Jesus was right.
If you begin your reading in Paul’s Letters, you will find a lot of rules.
These are much-less-Inspiring for new Christian readers than the actual words of Christ.
And, lastly, the Old Testament has many stories in it that do not apply to Christians.
If you read Leviticus, you read a lot about how to eat Kosher, and 1000 no-nos for Jews.
This can be confusing, because many of the Old Testament LAWS, do not apply to Christians.
Choose one book to read out of it at a time instead of trying to read the whole thing at once. It will take a long time to read it all. And even then when you go back and read it again you will see things that stand out that didn’t before. I recommend reading some books by Dr. Scott Hahn or getting some of his videos or talks to supplement your study of Scripture.
There are many ways to read the Bible. One way that might be helpful is to study the Sunday Mass readings. You didn’t say how much time you wish to commit to Bible study. Studying the Sunday readings is a relatively light time commitment. If you go to Mass every Sunday, study the readings ahead of time. Then you will get more out of hearing them at Mass, and you will probably get more out of the Homily as well.
There are online resources to guide your study of Sunday scripture readings. Here are two that I use myself:
Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics
and here is one I recently learned about but have not begun to use regularly:
The Sunday Web Site at Saint Louis University
Whatever method you choose, I applaud your desire to read the Bible, and I pray that the Holy Spirit assist and inspire you in your studies.
Check with your parish to see if they offer a Bible Study group.
You can read the same parable many times and all of a sudden it is as if you are reading it for the first time with your eyes open.
You always learn something new even if what you are not reading is not new to you.
It is great.
Beryllos said : "There are many ways to read the Bible. One way that might be helpful is to study the Sunday Mass readings."
It is often an Old Testament reading, which leads to a New Testament issue. And often, the Psalms reading ties them together.
This can help a new Catholic begin to see how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament.
And, truly, this is a BIG thing to understand.
And, surely, many Parishes have a Bible Study (although, most are for women … probably because women are more likely to attend one).
If your home Parish doesn’t have a free Bible Study, then just call around to other Churches in your area. You will find one.
Or, you can tell your local priest that you would LIKE to start a Bible Study. This will probably make him very Happy.