I have made it one of my New Year's resolutions to read my Bible more, but I'm not really sure how to get started. I've never really studied it by myself; it was always with somebody else leading it. I've read about people using something called a 365 Bible where it has a devotion/lesson for each day of the year. Has anyone ever used one?
Haha, not quite. I'm a Lutheran. I went to a Lutheran school for K-8th grade. I learned from the Bible everyday there, but haven't really been "on top of my game" as of late, if you will. I've kind of fallen off the path and I want to get back into it because I feel like I'm missing something in my life.
Ignore the Old Testament. Start with the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). A true follower of Christ will find all he needs to know there. After that, James is the only book worth reading and applying to your life. I find great inconsistency in any books penned by Paul, and Peter, so don't waste time on them either.
I'd say, 1st step, find a real Bible. Find a DIRECT translation (a Tanakh & a Diaglott). Most translations rape the Bible, ruining the point of several passages (various laws, Christ's resurrection, the Crucifixion being on a cross, as apposed to a tree (error in Galatians)). You can read a Tanakh online, just Google it. But you'll need to buy a Diaglott if you want the new testament as well. I'd say, start with these books, in this order:
Exodus Leviticus (Read Chapter 23 (Sabbath Law) first) Deuteronomy Numbers John Daniel
And then continue with the rest of the old testament prophets (they have their own section if you Google Tanakh), then Revelation (Apocalypse in the Diaglott), then read Matt, Mark, & Luke. Then read all the other books, starting in the OT.
"Think not, that I have come to subvert the Law or the Prophets : I have come not to subvert, but to establish. For, indeed, I say to you, till heaven and Earth pass away, one Iota or one tip of a letter shall by no means pass from the law, till all is fulfilled. Therefore, whoever shall violate one of the least of of these (those in the Law and Prophets) commands, and shall teach men so, shall be called minuscule in the kingdom of the heavens, but whoever shall practice and teach them, will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens."
Koine Greek Translation. Matthew 5:17-19, Early On In Christ's Sermon On The Mount. Christ's own words, all of them.
Notice, the Law and Prophets are capital. The word Law, in Hebrew, is Torah, the word Prophets is Navi/Nav'im. The Law/Prophets is everything from Genisis, to Malachi, just before Psalms (Ketuvim, or Writings, which contain many important books, like Daniel). So you, my friend, are blaspheming the word of God.
Personally I'd recommend starting with the Gospels. From there you can decide where to go. I would NOT start with old testament stuff first. That will come later when you want to "study study" the bible. If you are feeling a bit lost or that you are missing something, I've found a lot of answers in the Gospels.
Recommend just getting a Student Bible. I find NIV easiest to read. It will have commentary to help you understand what the original intent and meaning was. And don't worry about perfect translations, its the message that counts, unless you want to study up on your Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic
Precisely! He's saying, as basically as can be, you can't follow me if you don't know my law, or my history (prophets). I mean, in the most basic terms, the 10 Commandments are OT laws, would you ignore them? No, but many Churches remove the 3rd Commandment (Graven Images, Using Gods Name In Vein), and reword the 4th (Keep the Sabbath). So basically, he wants you to read the WHOLE book; he wouldn't waist all that paper. So "Study and show thyself approved in the sight of the Lord."
It's not really about knowing the languages (I do speak some Greek, however), it's more the fact, that with a line-by-line translation, side-by-side, it's hard to lie; you can see with your own eyes. Even simple things were messed up like John 1:1 Were it says "In a beginning," in the original translation, or were it frequently avoids the word Sabbath.