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Many Catholics have never made a thorough study of the Bible. If you were to decide to read it carefully, however, you could make the mistake of trying to read it straight through, right from the beginning. You might start eagerly at Genesis, but then, once you get to all the abstract legalism in Leviticus, you will get bogged down and give up, saying it doesn’t make any sense.
Therefore, if you’re a real beginner, you might just begin by reading the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament; it’s the earliest and shortest Gospel, or story of Christ (gospel comes from the Middle English word godspell and means “good news”). Mark’s Gospel should give you a basic sense of what Jesus was all about.
Still, anyone, beginner or not, needs to understand Jewish history, or Jesus himself can’t be understood. After all, when Jesus talked about Scripture, he was referring to what we now call the Old Testament. Continue reading here.