The Word was with God
“The bible reveals God to us. That’s its purpose. It’s only mission: to illustrate God in a way we can understand.”
What's it About?
The Bible tells us The Story of Jesus. From Genesis, the very first book, to Revelation, the very last book, everything in the Bible fits together, like divine Lego bricks, to tell a larger story: the story of Jesus. Jesus represents mankind’s reconciliation with a divine God, and the Bible has but one purpose: to bring us closer to God.
There’s a lot of ways to tackle this book. But if you are new to it, the worst way to do this is to try and comb through Genesis to Revelation without being familiar with the book and how it is designed to speak to you.
The Bible is a reference book, not a novel. It is arranged by sections: Law, Prophecy, The Writings, The Gospels, and Letters, which we call Epistles. These books form the basis of how we express our faith in God (what we call “doctrine”).
Where Do I Start?
In terms of what we do on Sunday mornings and how we should be living our lives, you should read at least two chapters a night. Start with the Gospel of Mark. Mark is what we call a Synoptic Gospel, a reliable text that summarizes the story of Jesus. Mark was likely written as a missionary book, what we call a tract, for new converts to Christianity. It is simple and easy to understand, fast paced and straightforward. And, at 16 chapters, you’ll get through it in a week.
Then try the Epistle of James. James was Jesus’ biological brother, a leader in the Jerusalem church. His epistle deals almost exclusively with Christian conduct, mainly with how we use our tongue and how we should treat one another. James deals with issues of genuine faith as opposed to a practiced religion, and this book is vital to understanding what church and Christianity is supposed to be about.
After James, swing back to Acts. Acts is like The Gospels Part II. The Disciple Luke, a historian with a great attention to detail, picks up the story of Jesus from where it leaves off in the Gospels, and tells the story of the early Church.
Which Version Do I Read?
However you do it, just dive in. The Bible is a rich and vibrant record that speaks directly to your heart and brings you closer to God. The more you pick it up, the closer you get to God. Skip a TV show (or even half a TV show) and give yourself two chapters a day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make.