Many bros ask me, “Where do I start in the Bible? It’s such a big book! I am so confused about what everything means.” It’s an understatement to say that we need community just to start reading our Bibles rightly.
Think about it — what a tragedy it would be to go your whole life reading your Bible wrong. Imagine that all you read was the Torah (the Pentateuch—first five books of the Bible) or something. Your worldview and faith would be a wreck to say the least.
When I am asked the question about where to start reading the Bible, I give them the advice I heard John MacArthur once give.
MacArthur explained in a video that the Bible is kind of like a “Where’s Waldo” book. You know, the guy with the stripes and funny hat? If you don’t know what Waldo looks like, you won’t find him at all in the book. It’s imperative that you first know what Waldo looks like before diving into the crazy muck of an image.
The Bible is ultimately about Christ. It’s message is the good news about his prophecies, birth, life, death, resurrection, accession, and return. Everything has to do with Christ. Miss this and you miss the Bible. Hear me on this—the entire Bible is about Christ. Do I seem crazy to you? Haha. I believe the whole thing is about him.
Leave Christ out of the Bible, and you no longer have a Bible. Hear that, homies.
MacArthur goes on to explain that the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — reveal Christ plainly (the Waldo of the Book). Once you know what Christ plainly looks like, you will be able to see Him among the scattered images. Start by reading through the Gospels.
This has helped many people who I know that have asked the question about where to start. They see Christ plainly there.
All books of the Bible are equally the inspired Word of God, and they all are worthy of study and obedience. However, I think the Gospels are a great starting point because Christ Himself speaks in them, and they are relevant to many discussions people have today.
If you already started in the Gospels and want to move on to another place, I would encourage you to just simply read through the rest of the New Testament. Just read through it, even though you won’t understand everything that you come across. You don’t have to exegetically expound on every verse you read. Just read through it as the Holy Spirit gives you understanding within it’s true context.
I hope this provides a good, brief reason for you to start reading your Bible in the Gospels, so that you can have a clear view of Christ — who’s not only the main subject of the Word of God, but is the Word of God, Himself (John 1:14).