Tips for getting started reading the King James Bible

If you’re looking for tips for reading the King James Bible, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m sharing a few tips for getting started — ones I wish I had known when I first started reading it too.

And just for the record, I’ll say it out loud:

When I first started reading the King James Bible, I was intimidated!

After all, I’d heard from so many people over so many years that the King James Bible was hard to read.

I was also skeptical, because — let’s be honest — the version I was reading suited me just fine. And really, just how much better could the King James Bible be? 

The truth is, I didn’t have any intention of giving up the version I had been reading for 18 years!

But my curiosity got the best of me, and I started to read.

I began at the beginning, and read all the way through to the end. 

I wish I’d had someone to encourage me! Someone to tell me that not only was I going to be able to do this, but that I’d even end up loving it more than I ever thought possible. Someone to tell me that reading the King James Bible would capture my heart and change the way I read the Bible. And someone to share tips like these for reading the KJV.

The fact is, I didn’t know very many people who read the King James Bible. And I knew fewer still who could articulate why they read it, or what they loved about it.

And that’s what these King James Bible articles are for:

  • To encourage you in your King James Bible-reading journey.
  • To give you a few pointers so you know you’re on the right track.
  • And to tell you that, if you will keep at it, you will love reading the KJV more than you ever thought possible! Yes, I’m so confident of it that I’ll even be your cheerleader along the way!

6 Tips for reading the King James Bible

Whether you’re a new believer or have been a Christian for years, these six tips will give you a head start in your KJV Bible-reading journey!

1. The only thing you need to start reading the King James Bible is the King James Bible itself!

No other books are necessary — the Bible alone is enough.

Don’t feel the need to bring along commentaries, concordances, or other other versions of the Bible — God alone will provide everything you need in this one Book.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 

—2 Timothy 3:16-17

Perfect = complete, lacking nothing. 

Throughly furnish = supplied through and through.

All good works = all good works.

In other words, if you lived in another time or place where the only book you had was the Word of God, and you couldn’t afford electronics or dictionaries or concordances, you would still be able to find every truth you need for living your life in this one perfect Book. 

Here’s another tip for reading the King James Bible: You may be surprised to find out the KJV even has its own built-in dictionary! (More details on that later.)

God’s got this, I promise! 

That doesn’t mean we can’t consult other believers or read what others have to say — but for right now, when you are just starting out, those things can be too much of a distraction.

So set aside all your devotionals, your commentaries, and your reading plans, and instead set your mind fully on reading what God and God alone has to say through his Holy Bible.

2. Pray before reading the King James Bible.

Each time you open up the Word of God, begin by asking God for understanding.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” 

—James 1:5

“Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” 

—Proverbs 2:3-6

3. Read the King James Bible every day.

This is key. It takes time to get used to the rhythm and language of the King James Version. But if you read every day, you will be surprised how quickly it becomes familiar to you and begins to delight your soul! 

It is also over time that knowledge grows. Remember, the Bible is a book for a lifetime, so if you don’t understand a passage or word today, it may be something God is saving for you for another time.

Even if you’re spending only a little time every day, these are the precepts God will build upon as you beginning cross referencing, to open your eyes to things that were previously hidden or hard to understand.

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line. line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

—Isaiah 28:10

“Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways…”

—Isaiah 58:2

“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates…”

—Proverbs 8:34

“…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” —Acts 17:11

—Acts 17:11

4. Read the Bible all the way through.

Even though reading plans can be helpful, I have come to  believe God carefully curated his word and presented it to us in the order it’s in for a reason.

He intends for it to be read through completely and in order. And then read again, over and over. 

We need the whole counsel of God. This is what will protect us from false doctrine, and from picking and choosing verses to justify our own views. 

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” 

—Matthew 4:4

I’ve often found that God opens my eyes to certain phrases or words because he’ll repeat them a few verses or chapters later. These are things I would have missed if I weren’t reading in order!

Once I read completely through the King James Bible, I start again. And this is where God begins bringing to mind passages and words I’ve already read, connecting the chapters and the old and new testaments with cross referencing. This is when you truly start to experience God’s words as living and active, and where you can really begin to dig deeper into the truth.

5. Listen to the Bible every day.

This is such an important part of getting used to the language of the King James Bible. Gods Word was meant to be heard!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

—Romans 10:17

There are a few ways to incorporate listening to the KJV daily:

Sometimes I listen to the passage I’ve already read for the day. It’s amazing to me how listening brings different things to mind than I pick up when reading silently.

Other times, I’ll listen to the Psalms, or to the book of John, in addition to my daily reading. I find I never grow tired of hearing those two books read aloud.

One of the best free tools for listening is the YouVersion app, where you can select the KJV as your preferred version and listen to it read out loud by Max McLean (2007, Fellowship of the Performing Arts).

If you’re new to listening and want to hear the beauty and musicality of the King James Bible, I recommend you start by listening to the book of John, beginning with John 1:1. 

The more you listen, the more you’ll understand the cadence and rhythm and begin to recognize God’s words so you can discern them from the words of men.

You’ll also begin to read more smoothly and confidently yourself! 

I also suggest reading out loud to someone else, or even out loud to yourself if you are alone. This is a great way to become more familiar with the rhythm and language of the KJV.

6. Have faith.

Actually, this is probably the most important of all tips for reading the King James Bible, because “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). 

If we believe God with our whole hearts, then we know he kept his promise is the Psalms to preserve his words:

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” 

—Psalm 12:6-7

And if he preserved them, then we know we can find them, live by them, obey them. We will find them when we search for them with our whole heart, when we seek them with an undivided heart.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your King James Bible and let’s get started!

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  1. Sarah says:

    This is so insightful, I actually haven’t read KJV I mostly do NIV or The Message version but am inspired to try KJV.

    • tim says:

      Yes!! I feel inspired to, I started to watch Real Bible Believers on Youtube, and they actually lead me here from a quick search. I need to start reading more and more asap daily!

  2. Katie says:

    Thank you for this!

  3. Gloria says:

    2 Timothy 2:16-17 I just wanted to let you know this is 3:16. I became frustrated with my KJV thinking something had to be wrong lol google showed me when looking up the verse itself its chapter 3. Just wanted to pass along. What a great read!!!! I’ve always done NLT and venturing out so this article was greatly appreciated.

    • Michele Blake says:

      Thank you so much! There are probably so many typos on my site, so I greatly appreciate that you caught this! 🙂 And such a great encouragement to read your kind words, Gloria. Getting ready to write another article right now!

    • DP says:

      Thank you for this article! I also believe that God preserved his words. I have been trying to read the King James Bible. I wish I could read faster so I can read it through at least once. This article is very encouraging that I need to keep reading even a little bit each day!

      • Michele Blake says:

        Thank you for such an encouraging comment, Gloria!! And yes, just keep reading! I also find that I get through a lot more when I listen to the KJV read aloud on the YouVersion Bible app — that way I can read while I’m driving, doing chores, etc. It’s a great addition to my daily reading time!

  4. Santiago Orozco says:

    Appreciate you for taking the time to make this article. May GOD bless you abundantly. JESUS is the way!

  5. Timothy says:

    Thank you for this advice on how to read the KJV, I’ve always felt it was the superior translation.
    You mentioned, “Here’s another tip for reading the King James Bible: You may be surprised to find out the KJV even has its own built-in dictionary! (More details on that later.)”
    I can’t locate where you explain that in more detail and I look forward to your response.
    Thank you, Timothy.

    • Michele Blake says:

      Thank you so much for your note! I haven’t written this article yet — I’m just one person over here writing when I have time. But that particular article is in the queue, so I’ll see if I can get to it sooner than later. It’s one of my favorite things about the King James Bible! (It does tie in a little bit with my Cross Referencing post — — though there’s much more to it than that.)

  6. Jm says:

    I have a question I have had the kjv bible for about 3 weeks is it better to read the whole bible first then study it or just study and read along the way as the verses confuse me a lot thx for the answer

    • Michele Blake says:

      I always suggesting reading from the beginning to the end, since Genesis is an easier reading level. However, I also think the book of John is REALLY easy to understand and a great place to start. The Holy Ghost will guide all true believes in understanding, but know that it does take a little time to get used to. I found that hearing it read out loud for a few weeks really helped me get acclimated to the different word orders and ways of speaking. Praying for you!! It’s so worth it!

  7. Patricia Urio says:

    Hello! Thank you for the solid tips. I was given, for the first time in my life, a Bible as a gift, and it was the KJV. I’m Familiar with other versions, but never the KJV. As you said, I just felt intimidated or that the language was too clunky and antiquated. I am going to try reading it every day as you suggested. Thank you so much!

    • Michele Blake says:

      Thank you for your note, Patricia! I will be praying for you as you read. It does take a little bit of time to get used to, but then, once you realize these are God’s very words, you’ll begin to see the beauty and perfection of them! No other version can even compare to the priceless treasures you’ll find. Don’t give up, and be sure to pray each day for God’s help as you read.



Are you interested in studying the Bible but you aren’t sure which version to choose?

Have you ever wanted to read the King James Bible, but someone told you it was too difficult?

My name is Michele, and I’ve had those same questions too. 

In my 23 years as a Christian, I’ve read many of the modern Bible versions. But once I started reading the King James version, I discovered it was unlike anything I had ever read before, and I want to share that joy with you.

I’m here to dispel the myth that the KJV is hard to read. To give you tools and tips to get started. And to encourage you as you begin reading the greatest book that’s ever been written!

Thank You

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