A question was posted on HCR:
Blessings all. I have a friend who has recently become a Christian but has “no knowledge of the bible at all”
I normally tell folk that the Gospel of John is a good place to begin coupled with prayer before any reading
<--- their words verbatim, that they very recently just emailed me. (as my quote below reads so far to them) but is that really true?
Originally Posted by me (my response so far)
I pray for understanding of His word, sometimes before I even open the Bible up. But even then, honestly, i still have trouble understanding what He wants me to glean from a particular passage…and some aspects of His word I just don’t know how to interpret it or digest it. There’s tough meat and milk in the bible….and sometimes we try to chew on meat that we haven’t yet developed the teeth for. Feedin on the milk first is what develops the teeth. A good book of the Bible to start with is the gospel John.
What are your thoughts on “where to begin”? I would greatly appreciate any godly wisdom one feels led to offer. God BlessI responded (and my response here is slightly expanded):
I recommend starting with two books: An Epistle and then a gospel.
Epistle: 1 John.
The most important issues a new Christian needs to have down are the requirements of the life of a believer (1 John covers this) and the basics of Who Christ is (John covers this marvelously).
1 Chapter of John per day.
1 Chapter of 1 John per day.
Take notes – either in the margin or on a separate sheet. Tell her to summarize paragraphs or the main themes of each ‘section’ (or chapter). What happens ?
When she gets done, she’ll have read 1 John 4 times (and become VERY familiar with it) and John once. She’ll probably feel like reading John again.
After she reads through John, she should read through either Matthew or Luke (I’m partial to Matthew). And also Colossians. (*I’m currently doing the Luke-Colossians thing now*)
Colossians is 4 chapters, Matthew is 28. She’ll have went through Colossians 7 times and Matthew once.
Same pattern. Same routine.
Colossians 1:1- 2:9 gives us the identity of Christ as well as plenty of information about how Paul loved the believers at the church in Colosse (a model for how we should interact with each other). Col. 1:21-2:15 gives us basic information on the results of salvation. Colossians 2:16-23 and all of Matthew’s gospel will give her a BASIC introduction to some of the OT material and its’ purpose (especially since it is summarized in the Colossians passage). Jesus’ constant appeals to Genesis should pique her interests by this time for the OT.
After this, she can begin at Genesis. Keep an Epistle (Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians), Acts (she needs to know what happened AFTER the ascension with the early church) and start Genesis.
By now, we’re into month #3 and she’s got a notebook full of notes. She’s also gotten into the habit of daily Bible reading. Genesis – Joshua at the very LEAST should be her reading schedule for the next few months.
She can block off more time and read more than one chapter per day (which she’ll probably have already gotten into the habit of doing anyway, since reading an OT historical book always leaves you hanging on the edge waiting for ‘what happened next!).
Small bites (one chapter) and as she grows, she can up that to TWO chapters, three, ten and so on. As long as she covers material daily.