Help Reading the Bible

How do you read the Bible? As a reference book? An instruction manual? A story? At its core, the Bible is a drama, the story of God rescuing and redeeming the world. It's a diverse collection of books, but the same story runs throughout, from Genesis to Revelation. Get a sweeping view of the Bible's story by following our "Drama of the Bible" reading plan.

The Drama of the Bible: A Six-Act Reading Plan

To understand the Bible, you must get to know its characters, understand its setting, and follow its plot. That's because the Bible is a story — the truest, most important story ever told. It is the real saga of a particular people, how God called them and used them to bring blessing to all people.

The individual parts of the Bible will only make sense if you know the bigger story. The climax of the story — the death and resurrection of Jesus — only makes sense once you've followed the earlier parts as a story, once you've felt the tension and wrestled with its major conflict.

Below is a Bible reading plan take highlights the drama of Scripture in five key acts. In two months or less, you can get a "big picture" view of the biblical story, a foundation that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Act 1: God's intention

Act 2: Exile

Act 3: Calling Israel to a mission

Act 4: The surprising victory of Jesus

Act 5: The renewed people of God

Act 6: God comes home

This reading plan is also available in some of our NIV paperback Bibles.