What do I say to a non-Christian?

Asked by Nick

I’m talking to a non-Christian friend about Christianity, and I want to give them a Bible to keep. I though of marking out some useful verses to give them someplace to start. What are some useful verses that you can suggest that would impart a working knowledge of the Christian worldview, God and his relationship with humanity, Jesus’s death, ie the foundations of the Christian faith?


Hi there,
Good on you for being keen to pass on your faith to a friend.
I will pray for you as I write this answer!

My thoughts come in two parts.

First, we have to remember that the Bible is a story from beginning to end about God’s plan to save people (well from Genesis 3 to the end!). That being the case, it is important that we introduce people exploring Christianity to this idea. By just giving them a collection of verses, it makes the BIble out to be a wise source book for sagely quotes rather than the story of God’s love for humanity. So I would suggest that you invite your friend to read Mark’s gospel. It is the shortest and easiest to uunderstand and will introduce them to Jesus, what he is on about and why it matters. You could read along with your friend and talk about it together. Say 4 chapters a week over a month or two chapters a week over two months is a good amount of time. If you met weekly to talk about it, I have no doubt your firiend would be challenged by who Jesus is and why he matters.

Second, if you do want some verses, then I go for the series of 3:16’s. They are easy to remember and encapsulate the Gospel and some of the implications. Here are some I recommend for contemplation in no particular order.

  John 3:16, 1 Cor 3:16, Col 3:16, 2 Tim 3:16, 1 John 3:16.

Max Lucado has written a book on the 3:16s I understand that may be worth a look but I have not read it and thus cannot commend it.

It is easier to go the 3:16 route, but I urge you to start with Mark’s Gospel. Being confronted with Christ is the way your friend will be founded in the Christian faith.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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