I have written few books and I am sure I am the best person who can explain every single word and sentence that I have written in my books. Bible is written by the Holy Spirit of God through human hands who were inspired to write what God wanted, who can be a better teacher than God himself to teach us what he wrote and what he meant.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible is not a mere book (or collection of spiritual books) but its a living word – the Word of God, its own best teacher. The Bible however is not arranged like an encyclopedia. You cannot go to chapter 1 and read everything about God and go to chapter 2 to read everything about Jesus, etc. Remember when reading the Bible the verses and chapter breaks are placed in the scriptures by man. It is better to read by paragraph, these too are man-made but they do conform better to the original language than verses. Some ground rules need to be set up first:
Pray first before opening God’s word. Ask for guidance and to be able to accept what is written and to be able to apply His will to your life. Never, never read the Bible trying to proof your belief on any subject. It is only human nature to take ideas out of context.
When you are reading and come across something that does not make sense, reread the paragraph or chapter again. If you still do not understand, write down the problem area and continue onward. You may discover the answers later in your reading.
Do not read large amounts of the Bible in one setting. Take breaks often. Or stay with about 4-6 chapters a day. Start with the New Testament, people who start with the Old Testament almost never read the Bible all the way through. The New Testament is what is binding on us today not the Old. We need to follow God’s will for us today not what was intended for the Jews.
Forget everything you have ever heard about Jesus, God and the Bible before you start reading the Bible. Don’t take what you want it to say with you first. Now with those in mind, let’s lay out the way to read the Bible to let it build on itself:
- Read “Mark.” (It is written in chronological order.)
- Read “Matthew.” (It goes into better detail of some events and adds more about Jesus.)
- Read “John.” (It contains a lot of the life of Jesus not before read, especially his last two weeks before the crucifixion.)
- Read “Luke” then “Acts.” (Both written by Apostle Paul’s traveling companion Luke. Acts is a continuation of Luke. It describes the early church and contains the examples of New Testament conversions.)
- Read “Galations.” (It deals with the reasons why we do not follow the Old Testament Laws in a more simplified way than does Romans or Hebrews.)
- Then read the rest of the New Testament starting at Romans and going to Revelation. 6. Your voyage through God’s Word will take about 5 weeks.
- It will be the best traveling you can ever take. You will laugh and you will cry. It has everything that makes a very good book, and lots more. It can teach you the most important things for this life and the one to come.
** Courtesy (selected portions): Butch Walker, www.christianlibrary.org