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Finding your way around the Bible

If you’ve never read or used a Bible before it can seem a bit overwhelming and tricky to know where to start. Here’s some basic information which should help you as you find the Bible stories to read and teach your class.

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The Bible is split into two main sections. The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the first part, starting right at the beginning with the account of God making the world. It then follows the history of God’s people with stories about characters like Noah, Joseph, Moses, King David, King Solomon and Daniel. The New Testament is the second part, beginning at the account of the birth of Jesus (Christmas story). It includes the accounts of Jesus’ life on earth, his death and resurrection and then the account of the early Christian church.

The Bible is split into 66 separate books. Each book is then split into chapters and each chapter into verses. A Bible reference might be given as John 3:16. That means the book of John, chapter 3 verse 16. In a Bible the books are all listed with page numbers on the contents page, the chapters are the big numbers through the text and the verses the small numbers.

If you know the story you want to read, a quick search on the internet will help you find the Bible passage reference.

If you don’t have a Bible you can use the website to read the Bible passage. It allows you to search for the Bible passage or the name of the story. It will give you an option of Bible translations to use. We suggest you choose ‘New International Readers Version (NiRV)’.