Friday, February 20, 2015

Going deeper

Delivering on my promise in my post The big picture, here is my suggested approach to reading the Bible for a new-comer to faith.

As before, it doesn't follow the conventional nostrum of starting with the Gospel of Mark.

1. Genesis (at least the first 11 chapters, but all is best)
2. Exodus 1-12; to extend, as before, Deuteronomy (mainly because of 14:26 ;-) ) and Joshua.
3. Ideally Isaiah, but most new Christians would want, I think, to come to know their Lord's time incarnate. I'd suggest a gospel: John, but that just suits me. Others like Mark. Although Mark is simply written, it contains much to ponder on, but John has a better scope, in my view.
4. One of Paul's shorter letters: I'd suggest Colossians.
5. Psalms. Not necessarily entirely, but start. I heard of one person with no particular religious affiliation reading a psalm a day, just because of the great qualities of the psalms.
6. Isaiah: a great 'major' (means 'long') prophet.
7. A 'minor' (means short) prophet. Amos or Joel.
8. Ephesians
9. James
10 Revelation.

After this lot: and this might be a good program for a new Christian's novitiate.

The next year, the new Christian's 'secundus' (second year -- just because I think the Latin is classy) I would suggest reading through the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation with a more experienced Christian. It's a simple objective, only about 4 chapters a day, and many of the shorter books can be read easily in a sitting.

I'll write about the third year later...three years is about enough for a good grounding in the faith. I wish I'd had that, instead of the hit and miss of church. But one has to be very careful to not bind the novice to any particular church, we're not running a cult here...the idea is servant, not leader for the mentor.

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