Iv read the whole Bible, some parts many times (u start with New Test. Bk of John [connects 2 whole Bible] - details below - u can e-mail me if u want more info). However, ur approach, methodology, purpose & attitude (in)directly affect what u learn. I use the English Standard Version (ESV) b/c its easier 2 read than many other version while adhering 2 the word 4 word translation method (see below).
In reading the Bible 1 must know this - theres many ways that seem right 2 men but its end = death & verses must b judged with right judgment. The Bible isnt 2 b read as a novel or a bedtime storybook. Many think they can just read it & understand it or its rubbish or pick parts of the Bible not easily understood even by seasoned actual Christians.
No matter how much well-meaning people (religious or not) read the Bible they cant find Jesus Christ without going directly 2 Jesus thru His Biblical instructions (Jn 5:39; 10:1,7; 3:3,5). God outsmarted man - the Bible's the only 1 that cant b properly understood without Jesus (Jn 14:6; II Cor 3:14; Is 29:11-12 - If Jewish people cant pierce the veil over the OT without Jesus then 4 sure all gentiles cant). Thats why theres many interpretations & many thinking its just fairy tales (Jesus came with the sword of division).
The Bible severely warns us not 2 trust humans (including clergy), not even ourselves (Jer 10:2-5,23; Is 2:22; Job 12:11; Prov 14:12; Acts 17:11). So carefully think over what I say. Dont just believe or dismiss what I write so u wont make the mistake many have, getting caught up in religious beliefs that wont lead u 2 God (things written about the Bible r by man not Jesus - like books/commentaries).
Never forget: Neither a label, title, name, its history, # of members, amount of time it existed or whats stated about them means anything - its whats practiced that makes it valid or a lie or not useful (even with respect 2 Bibles). Most Bibles contain the truth but many hv bad errors.
Many miss this - Jesus is the only 1 in history who said He's "the" way, "the" truth & "the" life & NO 1 can know God except thru Jesus (Jn 14:6 - ref Acts 4:12; Jn 5:39; 10:1,7). So "the" whole truth was complete & there4 finished thru what Jesus taught/did or God doesn't know what He's doing & cant be God. The truth is either fully true or its a lie. The full truth cant contain a lie - the absence of any lie. So any so-called new teaching, other religious beliefs or from self-proclaimed prophets & teachers r null & void & cant lead u 2 God. But God always knew what He's doing & all Jesus would do.
Jesus couldnt have done nor said what He did unless He fully knew the entire OT (the NT didnt exist @ the time of Jesus) - only possible if God sent Him & the Apostles couldnt write down the NT unless Jesus allowed them 2 remember & know His purpose (Lk 24:25-27,45). Not possible unless God caused it.
Religions made many fatal errors. They built religions on what man would like God 2 b like. They cant all b right (i.e. Theres 1 Bible, why so many interpretations? - II Pet 1:**19-21). Religion wont teach u much about God (they cant teach what they don't know).
I know many Biblical things but most important is do u know about being Born Anew (Jn 3:3,5)? Whats Biblical is built on it (NT - John is the place 2 start, Chap.3 1rst - the whole Bible is connected 2 John). Im not religious under "church" type labels b/c the Bible is about eternal life not how many rituals u can do (wrong use of the Bible - part of why theres many interpretations). By loving the truth 1rst u'll learn the true love of Jesus Christ.
2 begin 2 find our real Jesus, start with Jn 3:1-14 - note: Nicodemus was very religious but Jesus flatout told him he had missed the 1rst most important step - being Born Anew. 2 be Born Anew u must 1rst understand that no1 can live without breaking God's Law = sin that separates us from God (Rom 3:23; Acts 3:19). There4, u must pray 2 Jesus asking Him 2 forgive ur past sins, accept Jesus Christ as ur 1 & only Savior, ask Him 2 give u God's Holy Spirit (Lk 11:11-13; Jn 15:26; 14:26), seek 2 know & follow Him - u always need a Bible (Jn 7:17; Jn 1:12,13; 3:16,17;21; 36; 5:24: 6:37; 8:12; 10:9; 11:25; 14:6; 20:31; Is 34:16;46:10 - memorize this set of verses - later they helped me).
Use a version that gives 1 the quickest path 2 the truth 4 the best chance not 2 b confused, which u'll hv along the way - especially 4 young people - what u feed children spiritually will affect the outcome - imput = output (Always get a Bible with references 4 related texts). I hv access 2 30+ translations. Iv found the best 2 versions (1 or 2 others r almost as good but not needed). Why I use these 2:
Being wise we know there cant b many versions that can b the best/close 2 the old texts. Theres 3 main types of translations with overlaps/mixtures within each catagory (dependant on agendas or philosophical approach - some may classify some in 1 catagory when they belong in another - especially within B&C below - 2 a degree more than 1 method may b used 4 readability or depending on agendas or theology concepts - some overuse):
A. Word 4 word &/or literal translations
B. Dynamic equivalence or thought 4 thought or overused Literal
C. Concept 4 Concept or paraphrased or overused Literal
1a. Word 4 Word &/or Literal Trans.
I use Bibles based on "word 4 word" &/or some "literal" translation methods - some literal added 4 easier reading. The reason is they adhere best 2 original text. The translations, best 1rst, r King James III (KJ III) (newest update) by J. P. Green - also published a Literal Translation & an Interlinear Version (IV) - includes Hebrew&Greek, **English Standard Version (ESV) - the "easiest good version" 2 read (a related update of Revised Standard Version (RSV - best older translation), New American Standard Bible (NASB) - (update: a little harder 2 read - moved 2 B - like NKJV it has sentence structure issues & errors) & Amplified Version (AV) (harder 2 read & sentence structure/agenda issues).
1b. Older English Versions
Regrettably all other English translations hv inherent problems/errors. Old English versions like the King James Version (KJV), American Standard Version (ASV, AmV), Revised English Version (REV), Darby & similar versions r written in older English thats not been used 4 over 175 years. While it may b poeticly nice the Bible isnt about poetry. The Bible's hard enough 2 understand without trying 2 decifer a long outdated language - even word 4 word/literal methods wont help much.
The truth's hidden in the Bible. It takes lots of time & energy 2 mine it as is. Well-meaning people will tell u the KJV is the only "authorized" version (KJV is authorized by a "human" king not God & it has errors). Many words used in old English rnt even rightly definable any more. Use of OLD so-called "modern" English only helps promote Biblical ignorance, which overrides the value 4 original manuscripts used.
2. Dynamic Equivelance &/or Thought 4 Thought
Be wise stay away from all other popular versions b/c they, 2 1 degree or another hv rewritten passages/verses. While many were well-meaning they watered down/caused significant changes 2 the meaning of God's actual message/block the true power of God's word from being rightly understood.
Many well-meaning people tried 2 make versions so-called easier/more pleasurable 2 read - the Bible isnt a storybook or nove. They were trying 2 please humans instead of God. They used dynamic equivalence, thought 4 thought &/or used some literal/word 4 word methods of interpretation 4 where the original was obviously better. Where these methods went wrong is b/c they tried 2 1 degree or another 2 rewrite verses in their own words (calling them so-called modern English, etc.) or styles. The more liberally applied the worse the version (especially 4 hidden agendas).
These versions include: sad 2 say all Cc versions [especially with inclusion of so-called "lost" or Apocrypha books, which dont adhere 2 the foundation/structure of the rest of the Bible], the (NASB), RE, KJV, NKJV, NRSV, HCSV, CEV, GNB, NCV & others with similarly applied methods.
3. Paraphrased or Free Translation & over usage of Literal
This set includes but isnt limited 2 the LT, NIV, NIRV, NLV, NLT, TNIV, NLV, The Way - Paraphrased + the Message Bible (worst offenders but all versions listed here r almost as bad as these 2 - they make the Bible more like bedtime stories than the word of God). The more liberally applied the worse the version (especially 4 hidden agendas) - perversion 2 1 degree or another.
These translation methods bend/rewrite &/or water down what was originally intended ([un]intentionally 4 various preferences/agendas). If u want 2 know God's actual message dont use these versions - they will give u a distorted picture/message & u could wind up remembering them that way - especially our impressionable children). Use the 2 versions I list under set 1 2 get 2 know what God actually intended.
Then theres other so-called Bibles that cant lead u 2 God - the New World Translation (JWs), BOM (Mormon), the Qu'ran (Islam/muslims) & others claiming 2 b from God, another testament, update or restoration. The true Comforter is God's Holy Spirit not a human.
The Holy One of Israel, Jesus Christ, God's Holy Spirit, the Bible, careful research and observation and personal experience provided by the Most High - He who has the Son has the Father also but he who does not have the Son doesnt know the Father either - it shall be sheer terror 2 understand the real message - God doesnt respect any man or his religions. It comes down 2 do u want 2 know who our real God is? Theres ways that seem right 2 many but its end = death (theres only 1 path [not many] 2 God & thats thru Jesus). Biblical knowledge in & of itself wont save u. Borrowing true knowledge from others wont help u - if u have a good meal poisoned with arsenic adding (patching it) better quality food will not cure the problem but it may prolong your inevitable death but it'll b death nevertheless - its still part of the poisoned tree. Its useless 2 try 2 patch a tire thats full of holes.
Whoever seeks Jesus with all his heart & soul will find Him (u shall know the truth & it'll set u free). But why should God want u 2 live with Him forever if u dont want 2 know Him (reason 4 free will - Jn 1:12-13)? The truth of God remains forever unchanged while things of a man dies with him, including his religions & gods made in his image. Theres eternal hope only in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Sadly, the Catholic church started on a wrong platform & continued 2 add more twisted teachings (Other religions followed suit 2 1 degree or another) & Bibles reinforcing their wrong teachings followed (rewritten 2 suit them).
Whatever is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven still must adhere fully with what the Bible states, what Jesus taught & 1 must have right belief in Jesus 4 it 2 mean anything (what the Cc doesnt understand).
***If Jesus came from God as His only Son as stated in the Bible then the Quran (doesnt agree with the Bible), the Book of Mormon (no such thing as "another testament), JWs (rewrote some Bible verses - New World Translation) & other religions r wrong about Jesus b/c they demote Jesus 2 just a prophet or good man. If Jesus Christ isnt God's Son (false prophet) then the Bible & all others r wrong. We cant have it 2 ways. Theres only 1 Jesus & there can only be 1 true Gospel (II Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6,9; I Tm 6:3). If Jesus is whom He says He is then Muhammad (muslim follower of Islam), Joseph Smith (Mormon = Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints), Jahovah's Witnesses (JWs = Watchtower), Most Catholics, many Protestants, Ellen White (7th Day Adventists), Mary Baker (Christian Scientists), the moonies (Unification church - Rev Moon), Church of Scientology (Dynanetics - L Ron Hubbard), Buddhism, Hinduism & others presenting other teachings & practices r the false prophets & teachers & should be disregarded. But I can assure u the truth is in the Bible (where Jesus was coming from in everything He did & said).
Regarding Bibles I recommend the English Standard Version (ESV) as its an easy 2 read but more accurate version than what others will suggest. Its very important 2 understand the most accurate Bibles r those that r word 4 word or a combination of word 4 word + the right amount of literal translation (4 readability). Presently, theres over 30 versions of the Bible. Only a few r translated close 2 whats in the original text. The ESV adheres 2 the word for word method while making it easy 2 read (literal method) - the best accurate Bible 4 the younger crowd - but its good 4 parents, children & others 2 be reading the same Bible 4 good communication (get 1 with verse references so u can easily look up related text).
Many dont know that God is well aware many would [un]intentionally twist & prevert His Word so He invented a system in the Bible that will never change (Just like God & Jesus - more visible in the word 4 word method translation with right usage of literal translation versions).