Benefice of Boldre and South Baddesley

How to find a bible reading

Check the index in your bible to find out if it numbers all the pages consecutively, or starts again for the New Testament.

Before Easter the first Reading is from the Old Testament. After Easter all but the Psalms are from the New Testament.

Look at the name of the book that you need to find Numbers before the name of the book are part of the name (to distinguish between multiple books with the same name e.g. 1 & 2 Samuel)

Use the index to find which page the book you are looking for starts on and turn to that page.

The first number after the name of the book (before the dot) is the chapter number.

Most bibles use a large print number in the text at the beginning of each chapter. Many also write the book name and chapters on that page at the top of each page to help you find your way around (This is especially helpful in the longer books). Turn over the pages until you find the start of the chapter you are looking for.

The numbers after the dot are the verse numbers, which are indicated by small numbers in the text often raised above the line of the text to stop them interrupting the flow of reading. Once you’ve found the chapter look for the verses that you need to start and end at.


Straight forward
1 Samuel 16.1-13
Book= 1st book of Samuel (in the Old Testament)
Chapter =16 Verses 1-13

More complicated
1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.6-11
Book= 1st letter of Peter (in the New Testament)
Chapter 4 verses 12-14 then skip a chunk and re-start at chapter 5 verses 5 and 6.

Acts 2.14a,36-41
Book= Acts of the Apostles (in the New Testament)
Chapter 2 Verse 14a- means the first sentence of verse 14, then skip a section and restart at verse 36 and read until verse 41

A comma means skip a section, a or b means first or last sentence of the verse. 

Don’t worry if you don’t find exactly the right passage- St Paul assure us that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” so whatever you read will help you to grow closer to God.