Studying the Bible

I’ve been reading the Gospels, finished the Synoptics and now on Saint John; with the perspective of what if I were a first century Jew encountering Jesus in His ministry. It’s been fruitful; deepening my faith and deepening my understanding of the Word.

So far, I’ve come up with an idea of how to study the Bible. First: I finish reading the Gospels and then going on into Acts; followed by the Letters. Second: I start comparing the Old Testament with the New; probably starting off with the Law, then going on into the Prophets and Writings.

As a side note: I’m thinking, that if I were to suggest a Gospel to start of with, I’d suggest Saint Mark first after reading the Old Testament.

Any suggestions?

I would definitely read the law and ‘historical’ books of the OT first before the prophetic books, that way you have a clue what’s going on. I would at least scan the introduction to the prophetic books before reading them so you know what time period their ministry was in, because their ministry correlates to some point in 1 & 2 Kings / 1 & 2 Chronicles.

For the historical books, you can skip over the Maccabees and save it for last since it is well after the ministry of Ezra and deals a lot with the Greek persecution of the Jews. Not long after Maccabees is when Christ enters the scene.

If you read the NT first, I would make sure to reread it after reading the OT.

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IThanks; I’ll follow your suggestions. Should I read the Wisdom books last after the Prophets? I was also considering leading my eight year old sons in some at home Bible studies. Any body have any suggestions?

The Gospel that is best to start of with is John

Why Saint John? I always thought Saint John was the hardest; because it’s soooo theological and Saint John’s Christ isn’t as relatable as the Synoptics’ Jesus is.

Plus: I think Saint Mark’s would be better; because it’s both shorter and simpler to grasp. Also: I remember reading a study guide, written by a priest; suggesting Saint Mark as the first Gospel.


Hi Michael!

I’d like to mention “The Annotated Jewish New Testament”. You can find out more about it on Amazon. I have a copy and find it useful and informative.

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Interesting. An annotated Jewish New Testament?

Just as a matter of interest, during WW1, all the British soldiers were given a copy of John’s Gospel in a small booklet, with instructions to read it every day.

I first read the Bible from page one in about a year. I still tend to read it in the order that it was written.

I read through the Gospels starting with Matthew then Mark then Luke then John. I think it was a good order

That’s what I’m basically doing.

I have a one-year New Testament Reading plan here: One-Year New-Testament Reading Plan.

This plan doesn’t begin — as many such plans do — with the Gospel of Matthew and then continue sequentially through to the Book of Revelation. The Gospels are distributed through the year, not all “bunched” at the beginning; books by the same, or associated, authors are grouped together; and, as much as possible, groups of longer books alternate with those of shorter books.

I have learned the same thing. Most biblical scholars of all denominations today regard Mark as the first.

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