What is the first book of the Bible a new believer should read?
I’ve always heard you should start with the Gospel of John. But in Begin, a new book from New Leaf Publishing Group, Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge suggest starting somewhere else: Genesis.
I agree with their logic.
In Genesis we learn the origin of the world. Genesis is where we learn how sin entered the world. We see in Genesis why we need a Savior!
But rather than starting in Genesis and reading straight through the Bible, Begin suggests a different Bible reading plan. After laying the foundation in Genesis 1-11 and Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments), it then moves on to the entire Gospel of John, Romans, and finally Revelation 21-22. Included in the book is the English Standard Version (ESV) translation of the above scriptures. On each page there is also a fact or a cross reference or two. There is room along the edge of the pages for taking notes, and there are also thinking questions throughout the book.
In between the different sections of scripture are short summaries of what happened historically between the two portions of scripture. For example, between Genesis 11 and Exodus 20 there is “A Brief Review of History from Abram to Moses and the Ten Commandments”. These summaries are brief, but would be especially helpful to someone who does not have much prior knowledge of the Bible.
At the end of the book are 2 additional sections that are very informative:
What Does It Mean to Be Saved?
Ten Basics to Boldly Proclaim a Biblical Worldview
I think this book provides an excellent start to studying the Bible. I appreciate the fact that this Bible Study is in fact studying the Bible. So many Bible studies contain very little Scripture, and have in its place man’s opinions of Scripture. Begin would make a great gift for new believers, seekers, or anyone who wants to gain an understanding of the Gospel.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.