June 19, 2016 (Fifth Sunday after Pentecost), 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "Who wrote the Bible - God or people?"
Reading the Bible seriously for the first time? Here's a way to start!
1) Read the gospel of Mark (it is the shortest at 16 chapters, and the earliest gospel we have.)
2) Do a character study of Jesus as you read Mark: Who is he? Who does he spend time with? What does he talk a lot about? What does he say nothing about? Who does he spend time with? What happens to him? What seems to be his agenda? what does he say or do that puzzles you?
3) After beginning with Mark, read the other four gospels (Matthew, Luke, and John) using the character study you made with the gospel of Mark. Is there anything you should add to your character study based on what you read in the other gospels?
4) Now that you have a character outline of Jesus, begin reading the rest of the Bible - looking for places where you see both resonance and dissonance with your character study of Jesus - in what other stories or prophets or psalms or poetry do you see Jesus the most? Where does he seem most scarce?
5) Make notes in the margins of your Bible as you read, keeping track of where you see Jesus and where you don't.