This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide 1Z0-808 and have Jeanne Boyarsky & Scott Selikoff on-line! See this thread for details.
if you are starting with java I recommended that you first study the fundamments java, O.O and after you can think what certification You can take. the objective of the certification is not learn java. Then learn the language first. this is my opinion.
As you said that you are very new to Java, you should first study the basics. Get hold of a good "Learning Java" type of books.
Even I will be giving my SCJP in March. I am still confused whether to take SCJP 5 or SCJP 6. Between both, SCJP 6 has only one major change, I guess. The one regarding the new classes (NavigableMap). I would most probably go for SCJP 6. It depends how long I take to brush up Java 5.
If you are new to Java and wish to certify I would reccomend taking SCJA first. Of course it is not complsory before SCJP, but it would be a valuable step in preparing you for SCJP, and help ensuring your Java Basics are up to scratch.
be a well encapsulated person, don't expose your privates, unless you public void getWife()!