Pastor’s Pen: Where do I begin?
I had a teacher in school that seemed to always have the same answer when you asked a question: “Look it up.” He wanted us to research and find answers for ourselves.
The same is true in the Bible. We need to read for ourselves what it says and not depend solely on others. That was part of the passion in printing the Bible in the English language – so everyone could read it, but maybe you have the same question another person had:
“I know I need to read the Bible, but it’s so big with so many pages. How do I know where to begin?”
That’s a great question. Gotquestions.org reminds us that the Bible is “actually a library, or collection, of books written by different authors in several languages over 1,500 years.” Each book in the Bible can be read on its own. You don’t have to start at page 1 and read straight through.
That being said, I do encourage people to start with Genesis. It tells us what God desired and how we got where we are. It also describe people you will see throughout the rest of the Bible.
Moses is one name you will see over and over again. So after Genesis, you may want to read Exodus chapters 1-20. After chapter 20 there are a lot of rules that were very important, but can be difficult to read when first starting out. Note the Passover in chapters 11-12.
You may then want to jump to Mark or John and read about the promised One to come. You may be reminded of some people you read about earlier and even the Passover.
After that, feel free to choose. Here are a few favorites of mine:
Acts describes the start of the church.
Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel each have some great battles with painful defeats and triumphant victories.
If you are struggling in some way, read Proverbs for making wise decisions in every day life, Philippians for joy in difficult times or 1 Thessalonians for encouragement in following Christ.
The point is to get started reading the Bible. If you have questions, I’m sure your pastor would be happy to answer them – especially if you take him to lunch (I’m just saying).
Yes, the Bible is 66 different and distinct books. Each one stands on its own. But there is a major theme running throughout all of them. I would tell you what it is, but you’ll just have to read it to find out.