Andrew Fountain - Benefiting from the Bible


time period The New Testament
Jesus, from birth to
death and resurrection
Matthew, Mark & Luke (John)
Story of the church
from resurrection to
gospel reaching Rome
Roughly same time
period as Acts
Letters to the churches, by Paul, Peter, John and others
End of John’s life Revelation (prophetic)

1. Reading the Gospels

  • Must understand it
  • Don’t be too hasty to jump to “how does this relate to me”
  1. Pray for your eyes to be opened
    • Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvellous things in your law!
  2. Read to understand
  3. Ask yourself three questions (see John 3:16)
    1. what does it tell me about Jesus as a person? (or Father/Spirit depending on story)
      • what can I learn about he relates to people in the story?
      • what encouragement can I get from this?
    2. what issues might I need to deal with?
      • negative: Am I doing stuff I shouldn’t?
      • positive: What would it look like to be straightened out?
    3. how can I be led by this and stimulated to grow as a Christian.
      • How might it be “coaching” me?
  4. Pray through these thoughts

Example of Mark 2:1-12 (Paralysed man let down through the roof)

2. Acts

3. Letters (Epistles)

  • Actually this is Jesus (said he had more to tell them) John 16:12
    1. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
    2. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.
    3. He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

Example of Ephesians 3:11-21

4. Some Practical Pointers

  • Which translation
    • Whatever you find you understand
    • Idea: Message/ESV combo —read first in the message, then the ESV
  • Where to read?
    • Consecutively—not too much at a time
      • unless it is narrative—you are allowed to get carried away!
    • Luke, Mark, Acts, Ephesians
      • Then OT narrative
  • When?
    • whenever suits you, but a habit is good

Updated on 2009-11-08 (r.97) by Andrew Fountain