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How to Read the Bible




Jared:

What advice would you give to somebody who's trying to figure this out for the first time?


Pastor David:

Yeah, I have a couple of suggestions. I think that the Bible obviously is a huge resource, it's massive. One of the challenges of the Bible is context doesn't always translate. So if you don't understand context, statements can be confusing or misunderstood.


Pastor David:

So what I like to do is I like to try to simplify it and give it some clarity of focus. And so I think there are several reasons why you read the Bible, among them are to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ obviously, secondly to learn, thirdly to know and understand God better and also discover yourself and how to conform or live the way God would ask you to live. So those are some of the things that really influence why people search the scriptures.


Pastor David:

So I would say if you're newly starting reading the Bible, I'd give you kind of a couple pointers. The first one is, start with a gospel. And I would say specifically, I would challenge you to go to the Gospel of John, which is the fourth gospel. There's a couple reasons why I do that. First of all, it's a great summary of the gospel. It concentrates on the divinity or the Godship of Jesus. The other thing that it does is the context is interpersonal, you have more interpersonal interactions with Jesus than any of the other gospels so you really see how Jesus deals with people one on one in the most clear terms. Better than Matthew, better than Mark, better than Luke. Not that those are bad gospels, they're great gospels but you're going to still get the gospel story, you're going to still see it all. And almost half of the Book of John, almost half of it is the last week of Jesus' life. Actually, yeah, almost half the book is really like the last 24 hours of Jesus.


Jared:

Yeah, so really focuses and zooms in on that?


Pastor David:

Highly intentional about the things leading up to his death and his resurrection. Highly intentional. So like I said, that week is really concentrated on and you get to see these dynamic interactions. So I really encourage people to read the Gospel of John. And, you read a chapter and it's got clear kind of start stop moments. So chapter one, chapter two, chapter three. So it talks about Jesus in his preexistent, in the beginning was the word, Jesus is the word. So from his preexistent setting to his final victory to speak. So I would highly recommend you read at least a chapter of John.


Pastor David:

The second thing I would do is I would encourage you to read a psalm a day, at least one psalm, you can start in Psalm one, work your way through. Some of them are longer than others, some are shorter than others, some of them are going to feel somewhat repetitive. But you're going to start seeing a theme, there's going to be the exaltation, celebration of who God is, interpersonal struggles, how to relate that to God. You see honesty in I'm beat up, I'm tore up. I'm messed up. "Where are you, oh God?" You're going to hear that, you're going to be able to relate to that. And it's also going to point you to ultimate hope and faith and it is highly devotional in the context of it's teaching you how to worship God in every context of life. So first one is to get to know Jesus, second one is learn how to worship God in every context of life.


Pastor David:

And the third thing I would encourage people to do is read a proverb a day. So there are 31 Proverbs for 31 days of the month. So every proverb, and that's just wisdom, just general wisdom, giving you some real insights into, hey, if you can just live this way, if you can think this way, if you can seek this, you're going to be better off. And so you got wisdom, you got worship and you've got developing in your relationship with God. So John, psalms, proverbs. That's what I would encourage people to do.