What Are The Benefits And Downsides Of Reading The Bible In Order
Many people, when they go to read the Bible, will do so from cover to cover. Unless they have purchased a devotional book that instructs them to read a certain passage, a self-guided quiet time tends to follow this pattern.
The benefits of reading the Bible in cover-to-cover order include seeing the whole story of Gods salvation unfold from Creation through Revelation. Reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation can help us to stay organized and on task. If we know weve read 34 books and have 32 to go, we can be encouraged in our progress. Not to mention, we wont experience a whiplash effect of reading the Epistles one day and books of History the next.
Downsides of cover-to-cover reading might include that if someone reads the Bible from cover to cover consistently, they may get bored with the process. Certain stories become blasé if read too many times. Plus, for those who have not read the Bible from cover to cover, youll notice how Leviticus and Numbers dont always provide the most dynamic reading experiences. People may give up and then only read Genesis and Exodus, and not progress further.
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Why Isnt The Bible Arranged Chronologically
Its important to remember that the Bible is a collection of writings. No one sat down and said, Lets write the Bible from start to finish. The scrolls that make up the books of the Bible were written by more than 30 authors and accumulated over thousands of years.
These books were laid out by literary genre:
- The books of Moses
- Final prophecy
At the beginning, the Bible is in chronological order. If you read the books of Moses in the order that they appear, youre reading biblical history in its proper sequence. And of course, the Old Testament is chronologically before the New Testament. But eventually youll come to places where timelines weave together or overlap. And there is benefit to this arrangement, as for example stopping to read a prophet can give you insight into a historical narrative, and reading one of Pauls epistles can clarify events in the story of Acts.
Ask: Does The New Testament Ratify Modify Or Abrogate This Command
I confess, this is not an original thought. I got this from my Hebrew professor in seminary. He said that when we read the Old Testament we should ask this question: Does the New Testament ratify , modify , or abrogate this Old Testament instruction.
How did Jesus teach us to ratify, modify, or abrogate the Law? I believe Jesus ratified the two great commandments, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves . Jesus appears to have modified the Law in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught, You have heard it said, . . . but I say to you. . . . One can read these verses in one of two ways. First, you can read them as Jesus raising the bar, and thus modifying the Old Testament commands. Or, secondly, you may read these texts as Jesus simply teaching what these laws required, but which was modified by men who sought to minimize Gods standards. I believe you can say that Jesus modified the practice of Sabbath keeping, so that one could observe a Sabbath rest on some other day . Jesus did not allow Sabbath regulations to hinder His ministry on the Sabbath .
Jesus clearly abrogated the Old Testament food laws, thereby facilitating fellowship between Jews and Gentiles .
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How Much Of The Bible Should You Read A Day
There really isnt a right or wrong answer to this question. It really depends on what your goals are.
Do you want to read through the Bible in a year?
Do you want to read it in chronological order?
Are you trying to make reading the bible a daily habit?
Are you studying a specific topic?
Is there a specific book of the Bible you want to focus on?
No matter what your goals are there are plenty of Bible reading plans available online for you to choose from. Most bibles have a yearly reading plan already in them.
If you dont want to follow a reading plan, I would suggest you read a chapter a day.
Ask Yourself What Dont I Like About What I Am Reading
I got this question from Francis Chan, and I love it! It comes from a chapel message Chan recently delivered to Azusa Pacific University students:
Chan went on to say that, over the past 20 years, he has noticed a change at APU and in Christian culture in general. While he was clear that he knows he is generalizing, he said he has noticed a trend of people elevating their own thoughts and feelings over the authority of Gods Word. He challenged his audience to evaluate whether there is anything they believe from the Bible that they actually dont want to believe. Or are they comfortable with all their beliefs, meaning they are probably interpreting the Bible to suit their feelings? 7
The Bible is not written the way we like to hear it. The Bible will often speak that which we dont want to hear. Many were those who did not wish to hear what the Old Testament prophets had to say, just as they rejected the words of Jesus and His apostles. But if our interpretation of Scripture is always what we want to hear, we will probably end up with a hearing problem. When we do disagree what we read in the Old Testament, or the New, we should pause to reflect on where our culture stands on this matter. If we are simply reflecting our culture when we disagree with Scripture, then we are on the wrong side.
Psalms: An Expression For Every Feeling
This book of poetry is a great place to find encouragement. In it, you can find the entire spectrum of human feelings expressed in song and poetry unto God. Find comfort in knowing that God values your feelings and has given the expression a significant portion of His Word. Often, many people find comfort in praying through the Psalms.
Introduction to the book: Part of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Book of Psalms is a remarkable collection of poems from David, Moses, and other Jewish writers. Through the Psalms, we learn about the importance of prayer and the acknowledgment of pain, as well as the power of praise and fulfilment of prophecy.
Here are some Psalms that are frequently spoken of:
Psalm 1: Psalm of wisdom Psalm 23: Confession of trust Psalm 46: Song of praise Psalm 51: Prayer of lament Psalm 91: Confession of trust Psalm 139: Prayer of lament
The introductions to each book listed here have been republished from The Bible Project with permission. Videos of most books of the Bible are also available in Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi and Telugu.
Is It Better To Read The Bible In Chronological Order
Should you read the Bible in order? Most people should not read the Bible in order. It is better to start with the books that give an effective overview of the main message of the Bible. This works best for most people because the books of the Bible are not all arranged in the actual order of events.
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Whats So Important About Reading The Bible
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of the Creator God .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said, and you might wonder how?
While God is not one to be boxed in and limited by our understanding of His ways, one channel that God speaks to us is through His word, which is described by the writer of Hebrews as alive .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said , and you might wonder: How?
In the book of 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul tells his disciple, Timothy, that all Scripture is God-breathed. One translation translates it more simply as inspired by God .
The purpose of the Bible? To prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
No one enters into a new relationship without communication as a child of God, our relationship with God is no different.
God desires to speak to us and He often does it through what He has already revealed in the Bible, the word of God .
How Were The Books Of The Bible Established
The books of the Bible were originally written on scrolls. In synagogues, keepers looked after the scrolls and stored them in the order of their choosing, or as they were instructed. Hence, no specific order of the books of the Bible was established in ancient times.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 made it possible to print Bibles and thereby make them more accessible. However, the increased circulation resulted in varying book divisions of the Bible being printed and read.
Over time, the modern-day Bible with the book divisions that we are familiar with has emerged as the most common version of the Bible to be printed and is used as a standard reference for most Bibles today.
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Bible Reading Plan Pdf
In addition, if you are looking for more robust Bible Study features including a monthly reading plan, check out our FREE Bible Reading Plan in PDF format. By signing up below, youll get a scripture reading plan auto-delivered on a monthly basis to encourage reading the scripture every day.
FREE Monthly 15-Minute Bible Study Plan
Each month, get an inbox delivery of an easy to follow Bible Reading Plan that you can complete in just 15 minutes!
You have successfully joined our Christian Bible Study Plan List. Go to your Inbox for your first FREE monthly Bible Study printable!
How Do You Read The Bible In The Entire Year
If youd like to read it in just 12 months, simply read the scripture reading plan for a day and a half every day. Be sure to check off each day as you go along and keep printable in your Bible where you left off. Each months Bible Reading Plan will be sent by mid-month to help keep up with a 12 month Scripture Reading Plan.
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What Each Book Contributes To The Main Storyline Of The Bible
Here is a brief summary of each book on the list, so you can get an idea of the overall storyline. Itll also help you to know what to expect as you read.
God created a perfect world without brokenness. Adam and Eve depart from Gods way and go their own way, leading mankind into the brokenness that results from sin and death. God sets into motion a plan of redemption by choosing Abraham, a man of faith. God promises Abraham land and descendants who will become the nation of Israel to bless all the peoples of the earth .
God delivered Israel from their oppressors in Egypt. God makes a covenant with them on Mount Sinai. God will bless them as a nation if they will follow in His ways and follow His Laws. The Tabernacle is built and the Ark of the Covenant is placed in it, symbolizing Gods dwelling with mankind. Genesis and Exodus are 2 of the 5 books of the Law.
Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, but God calls Joshua to lead the nation into the Promised Land, the land of Canaan.
Samuel is called to be a prophet to call Israel to God. Saul, the first king does not follow God. Samuel anoints David, a man after Gods heart, to be king after Saul.
David rules over the nation of Israel for 40 years. David makes Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
Solomon reigns during the height of the nation of Israel. After Solomon, the nation of Israel is divided into two: the Nothern region of Israel and the Southern region of Judah.
How Should I Study The Bible
The best method to learn materials is to quickly skim or read like a novel, then study everything a second time, finally reread in a regular repeating pattern that covers the entire bible. Heres a suggested order of reading:
Read the epistles the most. Read the Gospels the next most. Then, in order of frequency, I recommend Psalms, Prophets, Proverbs, the books of Moses , and least often the history books.
Everything in the Bible is important, but this type of order will build up foundational knowledge and understanding the quickest.
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Should You Read The Bible Chronologically
Reading the Bible chronologically is all about understanding the context in which things were written. For instance, when reading the Bible in chronological order you will read the Psalms David wrote in the context of what was happening in his life. So Psalm 51 will get paired with 2 Samuel 12 which shed great light on his repentance after sinning with Bathsheba . Likewise, Amos gets placed around 2 Kings 14 and 15 which helps you understand the time period and what was going on in Israel and Judah when he prophesied .
The downside of using some chronological Bible reading plans is that they tend to break up the Bible books so much that you can lose the context of the book itself in an attempt to maintain the narrative of the Bible timeline. One particular chronological Bible reading plan that fixed this problem was created by Bible Study Together. Their plan purposefully leaves certain books of the Bible together if they felt like breaking them up removes the context in which they are written
Bible Reading: Order Of Books To Read
When asked where someone new to the Bible should start reading, I suggested that they begin with the Gospels, specifically Mark and John. But, they also wanted to know where to go from there.
I dont believe there is any one set right order of the books of the Bible someone unfamiliar with Scripture should follow.
But, I do believe it helps to first understand Gods central theme and gain a big picture before getting into some of the more detailed or harder to read books.
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Best Bible Recommendations For Beginners
There are the bible translations that I recommend for beginners based on their accuracy level. Ive also included a sample of the same scripture from each translation.
Word for Word Translation
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God John 1:12
Why To Start Reading The Bible
The Bible is the Word of God, and just like we get to know people by their words, so we can get to know God by His Word.
The gospel of John says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God .
When we look into His Word, we are looking into God His heart and His desires.
Not only is the Bible about God, but it is also about who we are, and who were created to be. It is about a relationship between God and man, and what God did to restore that relationship. .
Heres a list of scriptures that show the importance of the Word.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
How can a young man cleanse his way?By taking heed according to Your word .
But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. .
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. .
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart .
Bible Context On Steroids
If you are looking to read the Bible in chronological order then chances are you want to better understand the context of its writings and how they all fit together. Most chronological Bible reading plans do this a little bit, but the plan created by Bible Study Together takes this to a whole new level. This reading plan puts the Old Testament timeline in chronological order and then inserts New Testament parallel passages alongside the Old Testament chronology. The result is that you get to see how the Old Testament is explained and fulfilled in the New Testament while you daily read through the Bible. All this is done without breaking up the context of Pauls letters so that you can still follow his logic. Some examples are the story of Abraham and Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So if you are looking to better understand the context of the Bible, Bible Study Togethers Chronological Cross-Reference Bible Reading Plan is the best one for you!
So Many Versions Of The Bible Which One Should I Use
Since it is unlikely that youll begin reading the Bible in its original languages , pick any version of the English Bible to start with.
The Bible is Gods Word to us, and He will use it to speak to you, no matter which version you choose.
The technicalities of the translation process can seem like Greek, so suffice to say that major Bible translations differ mainly between a meaning-for-meaning and word-for-word translation.
Some examples of word-for-word translation include the English Standard Version and the New King James Version these aim to preserve the original order of the text in English. In contrast, the New Living Translation is a meaning-for-meaning translation where the focus is on rendering the idea of the text most accurately. Two versions the New International Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible fall somewhere in between.
Pro tip:It is common to use different translations to gain a better understanding of the particular verse you are reading. or Amplified Bible are good options, and this website, BibleHub, shows close to 20 translations for every verse.)
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