I would like to know more about the Bible, but it's so big I don't know where to start, and I'm not sure where to turn to get some help. Could you suggest one or two books (in addition to the Bible) that might help me to study the Bible? — Mrs. J.W.
I'm thankful you want to study the Bible because it will change your life if you take it seriously. Remember: It is God's Word, "and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
How can you get more from your Bible study? First, have a plan. Don't just open your Bible at random each day, hoping you might find a verse that means something to you. Instead, start at the beginning of one of the books and read a portion each day - even just a few paragraphs - until you've read the whole book. (I suggest you begin with one of the Gospels, such as John.)
Second, have a time. Don't wait until you have a few free minutes; you'll probably never get to it. Instead, set aside a regular time each day - a time when you won't be rushed or interrupted. Before you open it ask God to give you an open heart and mind as you read, and also an obedient will. The Bible says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22).
Third, make use of resources that can help you understand the Bible more fully. Many people find a study Bible helpful. (Study Bibles include footnotes that explain a passage's background or meaning.) Your Christian bookstore can suggest other helps also, such as a Bible handbook or Bible dictionary.