Where should a new Christian begin?

I recently received a question from someone asking where a new Christian should begin.  They wondered if they should advise that they just start at Genesis and read cover to cover, or what the best option should be.

My response is below:

That’s a great question, and I’m not sure that there is a single right answer.

My advice would not be to start with the Old Testament.  This is because much of the Old Testament was written for the purpose of creating national Israel.  This is very challenging material for a new Christian to work through.

I would probably recommend that they read first the gospel of John and then the book of Colossians.  Out of the four gospels, John’s has the highest view of Christ and seems to be written for the benefit of Gentile Christians (as compared to Matthew, for example, which is littered with Old Testament references).  Colossians further unpacks the identity of Christ as it relates to who we are.

Note Colossians 3:3-4 which reads, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (emphasis mine)  In other words, because of who Christ is and by virtue of our faith in him, he has become the very purpose for our living.


Matt Bilyeu

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