Throughout history, humans have stood on planet Earth, looked out at the moon, the stars and the sun with awe. Such a vast universe proclaims at least one thing loud and clear: There is a God! There is something or someone “out there”! Every religion is man’s attempt to know and understand whatever or whoever is out there.
But man has barely moved off this planet. He is limited to his five senses. We can’t discover God on our own. Our only hope is for God to reveal Himself — for God to speak. Wonderfully, the confident claim of the Bible is exactly that: God has spoken!
From the very beginning where we read that God spoke the heavens and the Earth into existence to the very last paragraph of the Bible (Revelation 22) where it says that God “testifies” that He is going to bring all of human history to an amazing climax, God has spoken. And, thankfully, He has made sure that all that speaking and revealing has been recorded for us in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.
RTBT stands for “Read the Bible Together.” It’s a simple name for a simple idea: Reading the Bible together is the only logical thing to do if indeed it contains the truth God has spoken. Throughout history, believers have read this amazing book together, out loud and publicly. RTBT is just one way to encourage that important practice. It provides a resource for helping churches and other groups read the Bible and discuss it in community. The format is simple:
- Books of the Bible are divided up into one-week reading assignments.
- Each person is provided a simple worksheet each week with:
- The assigned Scripture reading for the week — usually 3-5 chapters per week.
- Study questions to help you read well.
- Links to blog posts and podcasts about each passage (to be read after working on “study questions”).
- Group discussion questions.
- The group comes together once per week to discuss the reading and study.
This is a work in progress, so check back periodically for more resources as they are developed.
The Gospel of Luke is a wonderful place to start reading the Bible. Luke tells us who Jesus is and what He did while in the flesh on planet Earth. More importantly, he explains why the life and ministry of Jesus matters to everyone because God has an unfolding plan and story for all of human history and our response to Jesus is the most important decision of our lives.
The Acts of the Apostles is a great follow-up to the Gospel of Luke because together they are a two-volume set explaining not only what Jesus did, but what He continued to do through His Church. Acts is crucial for every Christian to understand because it shows us how to follow Christ in every generation.
The Book of Romans isn’t the first letter Paul wrote, but it’s considered his “magnum opus”. Those who have studied Romans have called it “the most profound book in existence” and “the cathedral of the Christian faith”. William Tyndale called it “the principle and most excellent part of the New Testament”. Why? The gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — explain what Jesus did. Romans explains the significance of what Jesus did.
First Corinthians was written before Romans, but in the New Testament it comes right after it — which is interesting. Romans has been called the mountaintop of the New Testament letters. First Corinthians is like the gutter. Actually, the city of Corinth was a gutter and the church at Corinth was wallowing in it. But 1 Corinthians — the letter — is a broom, a bar of soap, a bath for any church — any believer — who has been spending too much time in the gutters of this world.