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Reading the Bible?
Here lately I've had this urging to start reading the bible. And i know it may sound dumb, but how do you read it? I mean, can you read it just like a book, or do you look for different scriptures or what? I would really like to know. I preciate ya'lls help.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Well, you can read it however you like. The first five books - the Pentateuch - quite naturally go together. Genesis deals with creation and the birth of the Hebrew race... It's quite good to read about Abraham and I personally think the story of Joseph is brilliant (and the musical's not that bad :) ). Exodus comes next and tells the story of Moses - the descendents of Joseph's father Israel are in Egypt, they have become the slaves of the Egyptians. Moses leads them to freedom... in the wilderness! There are then a lot of laws and decrees, which are also interesting, but in a different sort of way...
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are mostly laws (though some good stories too... Balaam's donkey is great!), then Joshua charts the progress of the "children of Israel" to the promised land. Judges is about how the Judges (who were appointed by God) ruled Israel, and then a quick break for Ruth, which is a rather nice domestic story about a Moabite (Gentile) widow's loyalty to her Hebrew mother-in-law Naomi. 1 Samuel through to the Chronicles (I forget how many they are) are mostly about the kings - King Saul is the first, then King David, then King Solomon, and then numerous others. There are also the prophets, particularly Elijah and Elisha.
Ezra and Nehemiah are all about rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
Esther is interesting because it doesn't mention God at all, although I think there are a couple of coded references. It's about a young Hebrew Queen who has to risk her life to prevent the deaths of her people.
Job deals with suffering - it's written with long speeches and is arguably a parable rather than a true account. There are questions on why God allows suffering.
Psalms is a book of songs (you may find them surprising, so many of them are laments! "Oh God, why have you forsaken me?")
Proverbs is full of... advice, basically. It's a compendium. There's a great bit on why you shouldn't drink too much wine.
Ecclesiastes is a bit of slightly angsty philosophy on how to live a good life. It's quite short and a good read.
Song of Solomon is about love and sex, probably meant to be read for dramatic purposes and sometimes used as an analogy for how God loves us.
Isaiah is the first major prophet. There are many prophecies about the Messiah and about the kingdom, and about justice and divine wrath. It's 66 chapters, and still surprisingly easy to read.
Jeremiah is the second major prophet. He talks about the coming judgement for Israel but also speaks of God's love for Israel - God is mad, but he still loves you! Basically.
Lamentations is a short book, a poem on grief. It's attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, and it's about how desolated Jerusalem is, thanks to the Lord's judgement.
Ezekiel similarly mixes wrath and love. Ezekiel has some visions, for instance one of a valley of dry bones being risen up into a live army. There are also some beautiful prophecies.
Daniel is also a major prophet. You probably know the lion's den story. Israel is exiled to Babylon (they get exiled a lot...) and Daniel interprets dreams, as well as making some vivid prophecies for Israel, and, as some interpreters believe, the world.
To my shame, I don't know much about most of the minor prophets who take up the rest of the Old Testament, with the exception of Jonah, whose story I adore. I can't help but sympathise with the guy.
And then... the New Testament! Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the gospels. They each tell the life story of Jesus, but of course they include what each thought was most important, so obviously each version is a little different. I always think it's quite wonderful that we have four. It means that people can look at all of them and actually make their own minds up! Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the synoptic gospels - they have a similar point of view and Matthew and Luke both probably started off with a copy of Mark, which they then edited of course. John is a bit different.
Acts is written by Luke as the "sequel" to his gospel, it is about how the followers of Jesus took his message out to the world. And then come the letters, or the epistles. Paul wrote most of them - many talk about explaining who Jesus was and explaining his role in salvation. Paul was essentially the first Christian theologian. There are other letters by Peter, John and Jude. The book of Hebrews probably started out as a sermon, and it's addressing the Jews and explaining Christianity to them. Revelation is last, and probably the strangest. It has a lot of picture language and "code", and also contains the promise of a new heaven and new earth.
So I'm afraid I can't come up with a reading plan for you, but hopefully you have a better idea of what the Bible is about and can at least dip in somewhere that interests you? Happy reading!
- Anonymous5 years ago
Some do, but I don't think they should. A lot of the Hebrew writing in the Old Testament was written after the events and transcribed from tradition. I understand some of the New Testament stuff may have been also. I do know Y'Shua's (according to other writings from the time, that probably was Jesus’ real name) words were written later by others. He didn't write anything. I read recently that was true about the Quran. The words are Muhammad's but he did not write them down. Someone else did later. As I noted a lot of people go through a lot of trouble trying to prove every word is true and from God. It is obvious to me a lot is legends and fabricated to influence the Hebrews and, later, the Jewish cult that over a few centuries developed into Christianity. A couple examples are the stories of Samson and Job. I believe they are just lessons about marriage restrictions and loyalty to God. In the Quran, there are things I find very wise, like the warning about vengeance; but there are some things that I suspect might serve mostly Muhammad. One is his rationalization to his wives and another is fighting to the death for Islam. I study religions, and other philosophies, and both books are good representations of cultures' views of themselves, their world, God and the relations between those. Too many people try to put more into them than is in there. That is where the trouble starts. If you want to know about God, close the books and look around you. He is everywhere outside the books. Relatively little of him is in there.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Select an easy to read version like NIV.
Begin with Mathew to get a good sense of Christ’s life and His teachings. Since there is a lot of repetition in the four Gospels, I suggest moving on to Acts after Mathew, which will give you a sense of the time after Christ’s Resurrection and the beginnings of Paul’s travels.
Now read Romans. Then Hebrews.
Then go back to Mark, Luke John alternating with 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians.
This way, going back and forth between the Gospels and Paul’s letters helps to keep perspective, I think.
My understanding is that the Old Testament books were chosen because they are all mentioned at one time or another in the New Testament. They are certainly worth reading, but I think it is very important as a Christian to have a good understanding of the teachings of Christ first.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The best way to learn what the bible has to say is ask questions and see what the scriptures answer. That way you learn what it has to say on most subjects.
For example Mathew 6:10 we see here Jesus shows us what to pray for These are not just words to learn, but rather to set a question that needs to be answered. Verse 10 is asking for God's kingdom to come to earth. So the next thought should be when? How? And better yet, What is God's Kingdom?
What is God's will that is to take place?
To find the answer read Daniel 2:44 and think about it.
Jesus said at Mathew 5:5 that the meek would inherit the earth. Why did he say that? because he knew that his father promised this very thing. Read Psalms37:9-11,29.
What happens to us at death? Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 Ecclesiastes 3:19,
The point I am making is the whole reason to read the bible in the first place to learn what God plans for his earth and where you and I fit into his plans, and what he requires for us to live?
He has made many promises and he keeps them all.
Revelation 21:3,4, Numbers 23:19
If you have questions just ask them and I will guide you as some one else guided me. firstname.lastname@example.orgSource(s): Bible
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- 1 decade ago
I believe you should start with Luke, and then the other gospels. The Old Testament points to Christ, and the epistles after Acts explain Christ, but Christ is found in the four gospels. It is also good to read Psalms if you are feeling emotional. So was David, and his journal (many of the psalms) are full of anger, fear, frustration, and pure joy. He always works through the emotions, coming back to God.
To start at Genesis, you would quit by the time you got to the law in Exodus-Deuteronomy. I study that area, more than read it. But, I would still start with Luke.
Matthew was written to Jews and had a lot of prophecies, which are basic commentary on the events of Jesus' life. Luke was written to people who didn't know Christ, just to tell His life story.
- FreedomLv 71 decade ago
It is important to read Genesis first and then move on to the New Testament. The Book of John is the best book to start with and then move on to the rest of the New Testament before going back to the Old Testament. It is good to get a Bible Concordance to help you to understand what some things mean.
The Book of Genesis has sometimes been called the "seed-plot" of the entire Bible. Most of the major doctrines in the Bible are introduced in "seed" form in the Book of Genesis. Along with the fall of man, God's promise of salvation or redemption is recorded (Genesis 3:15). The doctrines of creation, imputation of sin, justification, atonement, depravity, wrath, grace, sovereignty, responsibility, and many more are all addressed in this "seed" Book called Genesis.
Many of the great questions of life are answered in Genesis. (1) Where have I come from? (answered in Genesis 1:1) (2) Why am I here? (answered in Genesis 15:6) (3) Where am I going? (answered in Genesis 25:8). Genesis has appeal to the scientist, the historian, the theologian, the housewife, the farmer, the traveller, and the man or woman of God. It is a fitting beginning for God's story of His love for mankind, the Bible.
- maguyver727Lv 71 decade ago
Just Read it like a Book, the More you Read the More GOD will get Involved with your Reading!!!
If you move towards GOD
GOD moves towards YOU!!!
I'd suggest Starting out with the Book of John (New Testament) KJV and get an Amplified Version to UnderStand the words in the King James!
Also, stay out of the Old Testament untill you get Grounded in your Faith!!!
satan can Scare the Pants off of you, untill you Really Do UnderStand that GOD LOVES YOU.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
an audio series of 13 episodes that go through the 14 historical books of the Bible, these are books that keep the plot and story of salvation history moving from beginning to end. I just finished it. It is taught by Dr. Scott Hahn who has a Phd. in Biblical theology. I learned alot from it and he teaches it very effectively. Highly recommended. You need RealPlayer installed to listen. To understand and appreciate the New Testament you must know the Old Testament History. God bless!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Before you start reading keep in mind that the King
James Bible first when to press in 1611 and had 44 authors and is stories of old. It was written by people that didn't know about the earth wasn't the center of the universe, the earth isn't 5000 years old, etc. You need to look at thing for what they are and not what some people want them to be.
- )0( Cricket SongLv 41 decade ago
I've read the Bible a few times ... in school and in bible studies. I think it really depends on the motive for reading it in the first place.
If you're looking for lessons on life and parables then read the Gospels. If you're looking for inspirational passages you should read Proverbs or Psalms. The old testament deals with Laws and such. There are some great stories in there as well.