Where to start in the Bible?

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Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 8:01 AM

Kenneth McGuire:
Don't worry that you will not understand it all when you first read it.

Definitely.  Learn what it SAYS first.  You'll gain understanding with time, meditation, and application.  And read more of the Bible, and a little less ABOUT it.  I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of Christians are like someone who sees all the movie previews and writeups but never sees the actual movie.

Longtime Logos user (more than $30,000 in purchases) - now a second class user because I won't pay them more every month or year.

Posts 902
Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 8:28 AM

 

Confused by all the good advice?  Much of it is in agreement, but there is enough conflicting advice to cause anyone to question which way to turn, eh?  So!  I'll add my voice to the rabble and give you my take on it:

  1. I wouldn't start with a book about how to read The Book... I'd just read it through the first time on my own.  I like MJ's advice about reading Scripture the first time without commentary, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through The Word.  There is a blizzard of reading plans available (simply googling "Bible reading plan" is enough to overwhelm anyone), but if you want a "Bird's Eye" overview of the Bible, THIS PLAN will get you all the way through the Bible in 90 days.  Granted it takes the average reader around 72 hours to read through the bible, so you'll spend somewhere around 48 minutes a day to get through the Bible in that time frame.  Also, you'll be reading it straight through like a novel, instead of studying it like a text book... but the end result is a sense of satisfaction for having completed it, a renewed confidence that it wasn't such a Herculean task after all, and a solid overview of the entire Bible.
  2. Next, I'd do an in-depth study of one of the Gospels.  Many have recommended Mark, but I always recommend John because of the perspective (many have described the four gospels as depicting Jesus from a unique perspective: Sovereign, Servant, Son, Savior (take that alliteration naysayers!) and scenes from Jesus' life that are not seen elsewhere.
  3. Now your Logos library comes into its own, and you can do fabulous studies with your Logos books such as those already mentioned, as well as Old and New Testament Surveys, commentaries, etc.

Again, these are only my recommendations, and as you've already read above, many folks have divergent preferences and approaches.  The only crucial thing that any of us have mentioned is that you actually break out of your hesitation or being paralyzed by the magnitude of the Bible, and actually start over reading it again.

 

"I read dead people..."

Posts 21
Brian Durbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 8:59 AM

Pastors (I'm one of them) and Theologians love to recommend John, because it offers such profound theological insights. Here's the problem: most Christians I've met find John confusing. Those of us with 9 years of theological training tend to forget how confusing that book can be to someone unfamiliar with the other gospels. 

John is my favorite gospel, but most people have a much easier time getting through Matthew or Mark (and it sounds like you've had a hard time getting through certain books, so John may not be the best gospel for you to start). 

 

Posts 249
Fred J. Morgan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 12:04 PM

Rosie, left message on your home forum site.  Jeff Smile

Posts 1812
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 12:20 PM

Brian Durbin:

Pastors (I'm one of them) and Theologians love to recommend John, because it offers such profound theological insights. Here's the problem: most Christians I've met find John confusing. Those of us with 9 years of theological training tend to forget how confusing that book can be to someone unfamiliar with the other gospels. 

John is my favorite gospel, but most people have a much easier time getting through Matthew or Mark (and it sounds like you've had a hard time getting through certain books, so John may not be the best gospel for you to start). 

Agree about John.  It is marvelous, but it is easy to get confused in it as well.  Historically probably Matthew and John have been the most influential Gospel accounts.  The "problem" with both of them is that they really both assume the reader has a fair amount of "Jewish" background...  Mark moves along at a nice pace ("and immediately...") and has fun wacky details that are smoothed out in Matthew and Luke. (If you agree with the many scholars who argue for Mark coming first.) Luke is a GREAT storyteller.  The Good Samaritan and Poor Man Lazarus are only there.  His "orderly account" is remarkably literary.  Mark is the one I know best, but would recommend either of the middle two.

 

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Starter, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

Posts 649
Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2012 6:03 PM

I highly recommend the 90 day plan.  http://www.biblein90days.org/  It is quite intensive, but it will take you through the entire bible in 90 days.  Try to find a church that is offering it.  If you can't find a church offering it, either get the materials and do it yourself or invite some friends to join you in it.  It is a real blessing.

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