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Read This First (ebook)

Read This First ebook

A Simple Guide to Getting the Most from the Bible

from 4 reviews

Help to read and understand the Bible.

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The Bible is the most extraordinary book you’ll ever read; it’s how God speaks directly to us and how his Spirit works to change us. But it can seem intimidating, confusing and even a little bit boring.

In this book, Gary Millar shows you that the skills you need to read the Bible are not beyond your grasp. In a warm, approachable style, he gives you the tools to read and understand the Bible for yourself, helping you move from confusion to confidence as you enjoy refreshment in God’s word.

Whether you are a new believer and don’t know where to start or you have been a Christian for a while but have never got into a regular habit of Bible reading, this book will equip you to get going. As you read the Bible, you will hear God speak, and you will be changed to be more like Jesus. Don’t miss out!

Gary Millar is the Principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, and head of The Gospel Coalition Australia.

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Product details


  • Introduction
    1. Why Bother with the Bible?
    2. Learning to Read
    3. What’s the Vibe?
    4. You Know What I Mean?
    5. King Context
    6. It’s Not about Me (Although It Is)
    7. Over to You
    Appendix: What Is the Bible?
    Recommended Resources


Contributors Gary Millar
ISBN 9781784986872
Format eBook
First published January 2022
Case quantity 50
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Alistair Begg

Bible Teacher, Truth For Life; Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland; Author, Pray Big and A Christian Manifesto

I recently provided new believers with study Bibles filled with notes, maps, quotes, and explanations. Instead of finding it helpful, they were bewildered. If only I could have given them a copy of this excellent book. From now on I will definitely recommend that they read this first.

David Mathis

Executive Editor at and author of Habits of Grace

There is, of course, no better way to learn to read the Bible for yourself than to read it for yourself. Yet we all need help with learning to read—and all the more with the most important book in history and the very words of God himself. Gary Millar is a gifted guide for this most important of pursuits. Learning to read the Bible will not only give you answers; it will give you life—the very kind of life in your soul you’ve been longing for.

Gloria Furman

Author of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full and The Pastor's Wife

What could be more important than learning how to read, understand, and apply God’s word? Read This First is an accessible, encouraging, and jam-packed primer to help you read the Bible. This book answers so many questions­—even questions you didn’t know you had!

Customer reviews

Feb. 27, 2022

“Great introduction to reading the Bible and hearing from God”

(Review written for 'Read This First')

Gary Millar’s new book with The Good Book Co., Read This First, is an introductory guidebook for those engaging with Christianity for the first time or for new or confused Bible readers. Millar’s goal is to help people become confident readers of God’s Word by learning how to discern the differences between genres, the meaning of various texts, and the context within God’s storyline, as well as how to see Jesus throughout all of Scripture. If you yourself are new to reading the Bible, or know someone who is, Millar’s book is a quality, quick read to prepare for a lifetime of reading the Bible and hearing from God.

Millar writes, “Hopefully, reading this book has convinced you that reading the Bible isn't as hard as you thought. Yes, it's from a different ‘world.’ Yes, it's different from any other book. But in God's kindness, he has set things up so that when we read it, we hear his voice, speaking right into our world, right now, by the power of his Spirit. And incredibly, through this book, God speaks to every believer—including you—no matter how long you've been a Christian or how little or much you know. You can hear him just as clearly as someone who's been reading the Scripture for decades! The Bible is God’s precious gift to you.”

Feb. 17, 2022

“good starting point”

(Review written for 'Read This First')

I was very intrigued by this book as I know many believers, new and experienced, struggle to study and understand the Bible. They often have no idea where to even begin. So a book like this would seem to be quite helpful to most.

The book is structured with seven chapters and a special appendix:

- Why bother with the Bible?

- Learning to Read

- What's the vibe?

- You know what I mean?

- King Context

- It's not about me (although it is!)

- Over to you

I love that he starts with the introduction and the first chapter discussing the importance and validity of the Bible. He mentions that the Bible is the number one selling book of all time and thus seems to be a legitimate reason for anyone, believer or not, to seek it. He also provides a list of seven reasons why not to read the Bible - all of which are realistically common within our society but ultimately excuses. Later on in chapter one, he addresses the results of the Bible claiming to be God-breathed.

Each chapter condoles with a "your turn" section. This section provides a scripture reference along with activities and exercises to complete. These are meant as gradual steps to learning how to read, study and understand the Bible.

Having been a believer and done many bible studies, I did not find this book necessarily helpful for myself. For those who are new believers or even non-believers seeking to learn more, I can see where this book would provide some helpful starting points in understanding the Bible and its purpose.

God makes it clear in Scripture that our knowledge and wisdom of the Bible, the Gospel and God is simply because the Father has chosen to reveal it to us. So we can read every book ever written about the Gospel, but ultimately God is the one who will reveal his Gospel to us as He sees fit.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

Jan. 14, 2022

“A Great Introduction to Bible Reading”

(Review written for 'Read This First')

For many of us, picking up the Bible and reading, expecting God to speak to us, is a daunting task! We can be unsure of what certain passages mean, struggle to feel motivated, and have no idea where to start.
Millar shows us the basics (such as the different genres of biblical text) as well as some more advanced techniques (such as interpreting the impact of context). Each chapter ends with "your turn" - an opportunity to read a passage and understand its key point.
Whether you're new to reading the Bible or just want to feel a bit more confident, this would be a really helpful book to get you started.

Dec. 27, 2021

“Not just a “how to guide” but also a very practical resource!”

(Review written for 'Read This First')

As a full time minister I am often trying to convince people to read The Bible, some of them are Christians who are still in the process of becoming spiritually mature, whilst there are those who are exploring the Christian faith and have a lot of questions, most of which could easily be answered if they just read and studied the Bible!

But it is easy for me to forget that when I was a new Christian myself, I really struggled to read the Bible for years and in recent times I have often thought that there is a real need for a simple guide that I could offer to someone who was struggling to read the Bible. The great news is that Gary Millar (Principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia) has just written and published such a book! “Read This First” is the book that I really wish was available when I was a new Christian and already plan to buy a bulk-load of them to keep at the back of the church as it is such a clear and simple guide for reading and understanding the Bible.

Gary Millar writes as someone with all the experience of teaching theology students biblical hermeneutics, expertly helping the reader to get the best out of reading and studying the Bible. Millar begins by taking the reader through the process of starting off with a plain reading of a biblical text, then considering the genre, original meaning, historical and biblical context and understanding how to faithfully interpret its practical application. There are also several helpful practical tools and exercises to complete at the end of each chapter and a useful appendix and recommended resources at the end of the book.

“Read This First” is not just a “how to guide” but also a very practical resource providing the reader with the tools to get the most out of reading the Bible.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

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Read This First (ebook) | Gary Millar |
$8.99 $5.39