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How to Find Something in the Bible

Written by Dianna Wiebe on .

Are you a new believer and need to learn how to find something in the Bible? You are not alone! No one is born knowing how to navigate the Bible, it is a learned skill that takes some practice. Today we will be looking at how to find a specific verse and the different parts of a study Bible.


For this you need your

  • Your personal Bible or the Bible will be using most often
  • (Optional) At least one study Bible

A basic Bible contains just a Table of Contents and the books of the Bible. However, most Bibles today now contain extra materials that can be helpful for Bible study. These are called Study Bibles.

What are the Books of the Bible?

The Bible is divided into two parts:

  • Old Testament – 39 individual books found in the front of your Bible
  • New Testament – 27 individual books found in the last one-third of your Bible

 How do I find a verse?

When you begin to look up a verse, you will be given the code or address for that verse, such as

2 Timothy 3:16

2 Timothy – is the book of the Bible

3 – is the chapter in the book of the Bible

16 – is the individual verse found in that book and chapter

To quickly find the book of the Bible look at the Table of Contents in the front of your Bible.

Once you have found the book, locate the chapter, normally in large bold font. The verses, in smaller font, are found within the chapter. Sometimes the verses are noted and located within a paragraph so they might be a little hard to see at first glance. Verses begin with one in each new chapter.

In addition to the biblical texts, many Bible today contain helpful information, these are called study Bibles.

What does a Study Bible Contain?

Commentary: Each publisher will have an individual or group of individuals who provide notes on books of the Bible and biblical passages. These can be helpful when you are doing Bible study. Study notes can include:

  • Introductions to each book of the Bible, found at the beginning of the book
  • Comments on a verse or section of Scripture found at the bottom of the page
  • Explanation of terms found in a passage are at the bottom of the page

Language references: When you see a word with a letter or number above it that indicates that there is a note associated with it. In the notes at the bottom of the page, you will find references to additional ways that word or phrase could be translated. Sometimes, more than one English word is an acceptable translation, so they will reference those other words in the notes.

Cross References: A cross-reference points to verse(s) related to the verse you are studying. These are helpful for discovering other passages related to a topic or understanding the context of a verse.

Dictionary: Most study Bibles have a condensed dictionary in the back of the Bible which helps us to understand the definition of various words used in Scripture. Since the Bible was not originally written in English, a dictionary can be a helpful tool to discover what a word means.

Maps: The geography of the events of the Bible span not only time but space. Maps help you to locate the places where biblical events happened.

Study Bible are very helpful in finding something in the Bible! You can often borrow them from a friend or your local church.

Whether you are new to the Bible or teaching a new believer to navigate the Bible, the basic skills need to use the Bible effectively are always needed.

Do you have a question or a tip you use to navigate the Bible? I would love to hear it!

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