“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
If you’re new to Bible study, it’s hard to know where to begin. In my opinion, it’s best not to begin at the beginning, but in the middle, with the story of Jesus. Oftentimes, I will suggest people start with the book of John. All of the Old Testament points to Jesus and we can’t really understand the Old Testament until we first understand Him.
Now, this can get a little confusing, so read this slowly. Even though Jesus initiated the New Covenant (Testament) when He was observing the Lord’s Supper the night before His crucifixion, the Old Covenant (Testament) all points to Him. It has 39 books; the first five are called the Torah (books of Mosaic Law and the origin of man and Israel. Then the next twelve are called the Historical books, telling about the history of ancient Israel. After that, you come to five books that are called Poetry – books like Job, and Psalms and Proverbs. Then you come to the 17 Prophets of the Old Covenant. When you read the Old Covenant, think B.C. – Before Christ.
But with the New Covenant – think A.C. – After Christ. It introduces the life of Jesus in the four gospels and the beginning of the church in Acts. Then come tons of letters to early churches on what we believe as Christians and how we should live. And it ends with Revelation and the events around Jesus’ second coming and the end of this age.
The Bible begins in a garden and ends in a city – and what a great city! Here’s the key – start with Jesus and when you read it, ask God to speak to you. After all, it is His Word.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about HOW to study the Bible.