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.
Need Help Studying The Bible
At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, we believe Bible book studies are important. Thats why our Biblical Studies degree requires students to take courses in the following Bible books: Genesis, Daniel, John, Romans, and Hebrews. We believe these books are significant in understanding the Christian faith and doctrine.
Were here to help you study the Bible. Consider taking our How to Study the Bible course. We offer it tuition-free every quarter . The course is taught on campus Thursday mornings and evenings. We also offer the course online regularly. Check it out here.
Or, if youre ready to dive inconsider taking some of our Bible book courses. For more information, visit us online at www.ccbs.edu or give us a call at 323-5614.
A Letter To Believers: Ephesians
Unlike the gospel of John and the book of Acts, Ephesians is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus.
Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and teacher, distils the essence of Ephesians into three simple words: Sit. Walk. Stand, and says Ephesians abounds with spiritual riches, and yet is intensely practical.
He writes: Christianity does not begin with walking it begins with sitting.
For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. And we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us not to set out to try and attain it for ourselves.
Introduction to the book: In the book of Ephesians, we see how the Gospel story affects believers everyday lives. God, the Father, planned throughout history for Jesus to create a multi-ethnic community of followers. Consisting of Jews and non-Jews, these followers form the family God promised to Abraham. They live in unity as one body in their families, neighbourhoods, and churches because of Gods grace.
Read Also: How To Read The New Testament In Chronological Order
Which Books Of The Bible Should I Read First
You have just received your first Bible, and you excitedly sit down to read it. You cant wait to read Gods Word. You are hungry for it, but where to start?
If you are like most people, you start at the beginning with Genesis. You read the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and Abraham and you imagine what it is like to be in that time. By the end, you are ready for more and start Exodus and the story of Moses.
All throughout you are learning and growing in God, and it is good. Then you hit Leviticus. You arent even through the first chapter and you are bogged down in all the offerings, and you have no clue what it all means. You try to keep reading but it is not long before you just stop because you are confused.
Now you feel guilty because you know that you are supposed to get to know God through His Word, but thats hard reading. The only thing I can say to you is to join the club. Even mature Christians can get bogged down in those books.
So what do you do?
Simple: dont read the Bible from cover to cover. The Bible is made up of sixty-six books, and many of them can be read independently of each other.
The Five Most Popular English Translations:
According to the Christian Booksellers Association, the five best-selling Bible translations in June 2013 were as follows:
This post will focus largely on these “Big Five” translations and their merits and shortcomings.
Also Check: What The Bible Says About Isolation
So How Long Does It Take To Read The Bible
Some people make it a goal to read the Bible in a year. While others never actually read the entire Bible.
If you are wondering how long does it take to read the Bible, or if you want to read all the books in the Bible, it’s important to focus on how much you absorb when reading as opposed to how fast you read.
You should take as long as you need to read the Bible, as long as you are truly studying and meditating on Gods Word and allowing it to become a part of your life.
If you only read one bible verse or passage a day, and you truly meditate on it and apply it to your life, that is more important than rushing through the Bible in a certain period of time.
Some people can read the entire Bible in a year, but may read it so fast that they miss out on how God wants to speak to them.
Level Three: The Prophetic Books
The last section contains the writings of the prophets. They wrote about a great deal of things, but mostly they spoke about two major catastrophes in Israels history.
In 722 B.C., Israel was destroyed by Assyria, and then in 586 B.C., Babylon attacked and captured Jerusalem. These events were incredibly significant in the life of Israel. By and large, the prophets wrote to warn of, or explain, these events.
The final prophet, Malachi, wrote about 400 B.C., and then there was silence until Jesus arrival.
Also Check: Apocalypse Bible
Some Books Have Multiple Genres
Theres definitely some genre-hopping going on throughout the books of the Bible. Daniel is both historical narrative and apocalyptic literature, and Acts works as both history and Gospel. Proverbs is a wisdom book that includes poetic elements. But the point is that learning to see these books through the lens of genre can help make Scripture reading a lot easier.
I Want To Read The Bible How Do I Start Where Do I Start
The Bible is pretty huge and can be rather intimidating.
So you want to read the Bible. Thats great! This guide will help you get started in how to read the Bible. First well look at what the Bible is and its book structure, then move into picking a translation and starting your reading plan.
Hearing people drop names like Corinthians, Genesis, or Habakkuk may make you wonder if you will need to learn a foreign language just to get past page one. But dont worry, soon youll be zipping between Daniel, Jeremiah, John, and Matthew without problem.
Already familiar with the basics? Heres some tips on how to meaningfully engage with the Bible and some sarcastic reflections on how to be changed by your Bible.
Recommended Reading: Bible Verses On Verbal Abuse
Who Studies The Bible
Lots of people enjoy reading the Bible. Pastors spend a lot of time studying the Bible in preparation for Sundays message. But others who teach the Bible, like Sunday School teachers or small group leaders, also spend a lot of time thinking about the Bible. You dont have to be a teacher to study the Bible. In fact, all Christians should study Gods Word.
Closing Thoughts On Where To Start Reading The Bible
This post focuses on where to start reading the Bible, but its not the sum total of what you should do when read in the Bible. The above will give you a good foundational understanding of the Bible to launch from. But dont stop there.
Ive written many blog posts about how to read the Bible. These posts are what you should do once you know where to start reading the Bible. You can find more under the category:How To Read The Bible
Here are some of the top posts:
Recommended Reading: Does The Bible Say We Are Born Sinners
Sharing Your Faith With Grace And Purpose
You can confidently and lovingly share your faithyou just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the Columbo tactic of asking questions, the self-defeating argument tactic to find holes in your opponents arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.
Is The Bible Meant To Be Read In Order
The books of the bible are arranged according to the type of book and are not meant to be read in order. In fact, most people who try to read from cover-to-cover in order tend to get stuck after a few books. Its better to go for the overview first and then come back to fill in the details.
The books of the Old Testament are categorized into groups: the Law, History, Poetry, Prophetic. The books of the New Testament can get categorized into these groups: Gospels, History, Epistles, Prophetic. The order of 15 books recommended above includes at least one book from each category so you can get an idea of every genre.
There is also some repetition in the Bible. For example, 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles cover much of the same history from slightly different perspectives. The same is true of the 4 Gospel accounts of Jesus. It is better to leave the nuances of the differences until after you get an overview of the Bible.
Also, if you read just 1 of the Gospels first, you can get a good sense of the life of Jesus. I recommend Luke in the list of 15 books above because he gives a thorough and orderly account of Jesus life and ministry. It also fits in well with the book of Acts, as Luke wrote that book too.
Reading for an overview of the Bible first is a good way to not get bogged down in difficult passages or a list of names and numbers that dont make sense. Those can all be read later. Go for the main flow of the Scripture first.
Read Also: 365 Do Not Be Afraid Bible Verses
Where To Start Reading The Bible For The Beginner
If you are asking Where do I start reading the Bible? this post was written for you. There are so many ways we get to this question like maybe we are seeking direction from God, or we want to grow closer to Him, or we have questions about who He is. Well I love sharing my passion for Scripture with others and this is a simple guide to get you started reading the Bible.
Formats For Reading The Bible
Did you know that you can also listen to the Bible through audio and read the Bible on an app?
You can listen to the Bible through Audible or the Bible Reading App.
Or you can read the Bible electronically through the Bible Reading App.
And if you want to watch the Bible come to life, you have to watch The Chosen!
Now I dont recommend watching Christian movies or TV shows as your main source for receiving Gods Word, but when you need some extra inspiration, The Chosen will get you motivated to read more about Jesus and all the miracles he performed in the gospels.
While there are so many ways you can read the Bible, its important to read and study the Bible for yourself. When you rely on hearing Gods Word from your pastors at your church or through others revelations through Instagram, you are missing out on how God wants to speak to you directly.
God wants you to have your own revelations, and reading the Bible for yourself is the best way to hear from God.
Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Saving Money For Retirement
Do You Want To Strengthen Your Relationship With God
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Books Of The Bible To Read First
People often ask me, where should I start reading the Bible?
This is a good question because the Bible is not one book, it has 66 books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
But the question remains, where should you begin? At the first book of the Bible, Genesis? Or should you begin in one of the Gospels in the New Testament?
I want to give you my top 5 Bible books to read if you are starting to read the Bible for the first time. I will list them in my order, give you a little overview and then tell you why I think its a good place to start.
Feel free to jump down the list. But I believe that once you finish reading these 5 books, you will have a new grasp on this wonderful book God has given to us.
1. The Gospel of John in the New Testament
Why this Gospel? John is doing something pretty significant. He is telling us why Jesus came and how His coming to earth has an eternal effect on all of us.
If you want to understand the Mission of Jesus, John lays that out for you in a very nice manner. John tells us the purpose of his Gospel in John 20:30-31.
John is a great book for someone new in the faith or exploring Christianity. He gives us some of the basic teachings of Jesus and places the emphasis on His mission to earth.
John, the author of the Gospel, wrote so that his readers would place their trust in Jesus as Savior and find eternal life.
2. The Book of Genesis is the First Book of the Bible
3. The Book of Psalms
Also Check: How Many Times Does The Bible Say Fear Not
Why Should You Teach Your Kids How To Read The Bible
Were told that All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work .
The importance of reading Gods Word is clear, and its certainly a habit worth passing down to our kids. So, how do we do that? Well, its a bit more nuanced than simply telling your child to read the Bible.
What Version Of The Bible Should I Read Quiz
Read a passage first in a familiar translation and then in a couple different versions to get a sense for the differences in style. There are different things to consider, such as which manuscript bases each one uses, where they are on the dynamic/formal equivalence spectrum, their readability, the scholarship behind them, and more.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
Recommended Reading: Historical Order Of The Bible
Be Very Careful To Avoid The Pious Bias
For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope .
Just what is it that gives us hope from the Old Testament? Certainly, we find hope when we consider the promises and the character of God. He promises to grant salvation to those who have faith in Him . God knows all, and is all powerful. He is also faithful and full of mercy. Thus, we can count on His promises.
But there is another element to consider here, which gives me hope, and it is this: The Old Testament saints are jerks, and so are the New Testament saints. Just look at those who are in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Abraham offers his wife to those who might kill him, to spare his own life. And this in spite of the fact that Sarah is to be the mother of the messianic line. Lot offers his daughters to the pagan men of Sodom, so that two perfect strangers will not be harmed. Jephthah makes a foolish vow. Samson is a womanizer most of his life. Jonah is so hard-hearted he wants to see innocent children and cattle burned up by God. If God can save folks like this, then there is hope for me! But for goodness sakes, quit trying to make heroes out of jerks. Their salvation says a lot about God, and very little about men . See people in the Old Testament as they really are as the author meant you to see them. Put away the rose colored glasses when you read your Bible.