Beginners

Where to begin?

How about in the middle.

The Bible has two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament.  So start with the beginning of the New Testament.  The first  4-books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are written by people who traveled in close association with Jesus.  Read, rather, absorb 3 of the 4 Gospels.  Any 3 will do to begin with.  

Mark is the shortest, Luke the longest.  So maybe Mark and Matthew, saving the longest to digest later.  

The Gospel of John is written differently and talks more of the Spirit, the significance, and symbolism of Jesus. And in so doing, stays away from narrating the stories of Jesus’ journey, such as, Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ birth, the Manger, Wise Men etc.

“So imagine that for 3-years you meet, say, a college professor, then travel day and night with this professor who, in addition to teaching classes, carries a lot of speaking engagements, and, also, would seek to talk spontaneously to individuals or small groups as well.”

My point: the Apostles, or the ‘inner circle’ around Jesus, became believers well learned in Jesus’ teachings.  They also saw the way He lived, and gained insights and abilities as they walked, ate, and rested (in addition to His teachings and interactions with various groups and individuals, His healings of various types, miracles in manipulating natural events, and stories told as parables).  Many people came to came to see what Jesus was all about. The disciples received the inside story: a much greater view of God’s Story to humankind.

Growing Your Faith

Have a Mentor

Find someone who knows the Faith (has a relationship with God) and will answer questions that arise as you grow.  This person should see that your growth is well-rounded and pray with you.

 

The Rest of the New Testament

Following the 4 Gospels, the rest of the New Testament follows in a good order as a history of the early Church — not that history is the focus for reading the Bible — the intent of the authors was to teach, encourage, and show how God interacts with us.  The Old Testament is a bit more historical in its nature; but reveals God’s nature and how people understood God at that time.
 

Develop a Prayer Life

As a growing Christian you need to be fed, and to learn by reading and listening (hopefully you ask questions, but some Christians only want you to see things one way — their way), and you also need to develop a new way of life catering to your Spiritual life in God; filling the mold God has to properly shape you.

Read the Bible — but the point of Bible reading is not to get to know the Bible — to learn how to know God.

Jeff

 

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