Hi, I recently asked a friend of mine to read the bible with me over the summer and she said yes! I am hoping you could give me suggestions on what bible passages to read with a non-Christian? I want to stick with one of the gospels! I’m not sure how much time we will have to be reading together what with work and going back to school in September, so I want to get the most out of the passages we will be reading that really show the love and hope we have in Jesus! Thanks!
That’s really awesome! I totally applaud you on this.
The best gospel to start with is John. My personal favorite is Mark because it’s short, fast, and incredibly detailed, but John really has a high focus on theology and the nature of God.
Some things to remember:
– The Book of John is structured by seven miracles, each one of increasing power until Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
– There are no parables in John.
– The Book of John is most likely NOT chronological until near the end.
– John was most trying to convey that Jesus is God. Matthew was showing Jesus as a king, Mark wrote Jesus as a servant, and Luke wrote Jesus most as a man.
– John’s main theme is, “God loves you, so love one another.”
Please keep in mind that if you or your friend don’t understand something, or if there’s a moment where one of you are turned off by a sudden strange event, it’s really okay. There is a lot of history and culture in the Bible that won’t make sense until you study it a little, but it’s okay to tell your friend, “I’m not sure what this means, but I promise to look into it.” Then look into it.
Don’t be rushed to even finish it all! You can camp out on a verse or a cool passage. You don’t need all the answers today. Don’t get discouraged if your friend finds it weird. There will still be plenty that you do understand.
The best general commentary for the Bible is Henrietta Mears’ What The Bible Is All About. It’s not a deep academic study, but really helps ground you in the Bible times and is written with an engaging style. I’ve given this book as a gift to my friends more than any other book I’ve given away.
If you want to try another New Testament book for a non-Christian/new Christian, the Book of Philippians is also a good starter. The main theme is “You can rejoice.”
Praying for you both!