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How to approach reading the Bible in its entirety?

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#41
Lee,

Well what do you mean?

It was you who stated in #37, "its not the reading of the entire bible that gives us guidance revelation and wisdom but that each day we take up our cross and when we read the word of God the holy Spirit reveals to us what food is relevant for us that day".

So in your theology the entire Bible does not provide guidance, revelation and wisdom in obtaining the content of salvation, knowing the nature and attributes of God, demonstrating that God is Trinitarian and not Unitarian, that when sin entered the world it has led to chaos in individuals and in our world, etc.

How is it that the entire Bible does not provide revelation and wisdom in these core theological doctrines?

Or, am I missing something about your beliefs?

Oz
hi

sorry I wasn’t referring to the context of knowledge throughout the bible for equipping and informing us of our foundation and inheritance

i meant within our personal relationships we can read all the contents of the bible over and over but God only reveals revelation and wisdom when it’s in his time and we are ready to receive it no matter how many times we read the word of God

that’s the context of what I was trying to say

Peace
 
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#42
hi

sorry I wasn’t referring to the context of knowledge throughout the bible for equipping and informing us of our foundation and inheritance

i meant within our personal relationships we can read all the contents of the bible over and over but God only reveals revelation and wisdom when it’s in his time and we are ready to receive it no matter how many times we read the word of God

that’s the context of what I was trying to say

Peace
No, brother Lee,

The demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:22-23 ESV) is for every day we live. I don't do them perfectly, but the fruit are qualities that grow in our lives and relationships.

The qualities of character in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) are meant for daily use and we must engage with people on the basis of using them.

'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God' (Matt 5:9 NIV), 'and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us' (Matt 6:12 NLT).

Oz
 
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#43
I've read bits and pieces in the past, but I'm hoping to do a full readthrough now. My only question is whether to start with the Old Testament or the New Testament.

My preference would be to start with the New Testament--it seems more foundational than the Old Testament, and I'm honestly really interested in reading it in its entirety right now regardless of how much I end up believing. I do intend to get to the Old Testament too, of course, but... I'm familiar with what's in there and I know picking it as a starting place is only going to cause me problems.

Would I be missing too much context starting with the New Testament? Is there a preferred order to reading through the Bible that isn't immediately obvious?
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The next best thing you can do, is read the Gospel of John, often, in meditation.
The best thing you can do, is STUDY these exclusively, until you have mastered "Grace",

Romans
Ephesians
Galatians
Colossians
Philippians
--------------
 
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#44
No, brother Lee,

The demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:22-23 ESV) is for every day we live. I don't do them perfectly, but the fruit are qualities that grow in our lives and relationships.

The qualities of character in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) are meant for daily use and we must engage with people on the basis of using them.

'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God' (Matt 5:9 NIV), 'and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us' (Matt 6:12 NLT).

Oz
hi

brother i agree

but i wasn't referring to the fruit of the Spirit lol

i was referring to when the Holy spirit reveals understanding or revelation about certain verses

like you said the beatitudes

blessed are those that are poor in spirit for these is the kingdom of God

blessed were the spiritual poor Jews that were about to be reconciled back to God through a personal relationship with Jesus there messiah and blessed are the gentiles that are spiritually poor for eventfully they were going to offered the same agreement and covenant.

this is what i was referring too as an example

about reading the same chapter and verse days weeks months or years later and then the Holy Spirit reveals a revelation about it

that's all i meant

Peace
 
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#45
I've read the Bible many times over, many different kind of ways. Right now doing Daily Audio Bible, which I can do while I work.

It's got most to do with why the Bible is being read through: If to get a basic functional idea then start with new testament. If as a history lesson, start in old testament. If to get an advanced functional idea it would probably start Genesis, then Revelation, then maybe Romans or Hebrews. Each has it's own advantages, and what you read early on tends to set the framework up.
 
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#46
I've read the Bible many times over, many different kind of ways. Right now doing Daily Audio Bible, which I can do while I work.

It's got most to do with why the Bible is being read through: If to get a basic functional idea then start with new testament. If as a history lesson, start in old testament. If to get an advanced functional idea it would probably start Genesis, then Revelation, then maybe Romans or Hebrews. Each has it's own advantages, and what you read early on tends to set the framework up.
hello vsiv3347, dirtfarmer here

The old testament can get to be boring with all the "begots". If you study those "begots" and trace them through history, ther are some surprises.
 
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#47
I've heard about and worked through a handful of those particular surprises. I find it to be good, interesting, fun stuff. One of those things were you can really mine for gold in the Bible.
 

WIP

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#48
This forum is not for debate. Please consider the OP when responding. If you wish to discuss a topic in detail please open a new discussion in the appropriate forum.
 
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#49
Two months later, but I'm finally grabbing a version with annotations! I just happened across the Jewish Annotated New Testament, which is precisely what I needed. I wanted that solid backing in the original context, and having some reference points should make the Old Testament a lot less daunting.

Still haven't finished Hebrews, unfortunately. I kept putting it off until I finally had to drop it entirely and go back and reread the Gospels. Definitely getting a different impression the second time through the Synoptics than I did the first, though! (I was in the camp that thought claims to divinity only showed up in John and that John was not a terribly reliable source, but those claims are absolutely everywhere else too. Just much less direct.)

Hoping to go to Divine Liturgy next Sunday! I say "hoping" because the last time I tried to go to an Orthodox service, I got as far as the door and then ran away. I've even been putting off having a proper conversation with my current Episcopal priest--I definitely need some real guidance now, but man, am I commitment shy! I think I've gotten far enough in my seeking game to be the one hiding now.
Hi Silmarien,

You're doing better than most people!
You know what helps me when I read the O.T.? I look for Jesus everywhere.
For instance, Isaiah 53 is a given. If that's not speaking about Jesus, I don't know what is.
Psalm 22 is one of the sayings of Jesus from the cross. There are 7. Sometimes they're referred to as the 7 words of Jesus.
They are:

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.

Woman, behold your son, Son, behold your mother.

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (psalm 22)

I thirst.

It is finished.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

If you'd like to read a book about this, try Death On A Friday Afternoon. Richard John Neuhaus

The Offering of Isaac
Genesis 22

Noah's Ark
Jesus is our Ark
Genesis 6:11 to Genesis 7

The Passover Lamb
Exodus 11 and 12

The Crossing of the Red Sea
From Egypt to Israel
Moses is a type of Jesus
He frees the slaves
Exodus 14

You'll find Jesus everywhere.
I hope you're also looking into all the prophecies He fulfilled.
One could be by chance, even two.
But Jesus fulfilled MANY.

You'll find that every time you read the gospels or one of the letters, you'll almost always notice something new.
This makes reading the bible interesting.

So did you go to the Liturgy?
I hope so.
Hope you enjoyed it.
 
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#50
So did you go to the Liturgy?
I hope so.
Hope you enjoyed it.
I did! I didn't realize that they had a double service on Pentecost, so... three hour long Divine Liturgy! Nobody except the poor priest actually stood through the whole thing, though. It's a tiny Russian church--I know some people can run into ethnic issues with Orthodox churches, but everyone at this one was super nice. And the priest invited me to email him or drop by whenever I wanted.

Meanwhile, it turns out that my Episcopal priest was agnostic at one point, so I'm looking forward to having a nice, long talk with him at some point. It's kind of funny to be splitting my time between the most liberal and most conservative church in the country, but it's a very good combination for me.

Of course, everyone is going to think I'm Catholic because all I ever talk about is priests. :lol
 
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#51
Someone mentioned the Chronological Bible. At church, we have a small group that has just started that and it's proving very interesting. Group members keep in touch using What's App and any question on the reading or otherwise is considered and answered. I've always avoided the Old Testament, but this study is making it come alive!

If you do decide to read the whole Bible, consider using a very easy-to-read version, like the New Living Translation or similar, and preferably with study notes. Do take notes as you go and you'll find answers or perhaps other verses as you go along.
 
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#52
Someone mentioned the Chronological Bible. At church, we have a small group that has just started that and it's proving very interesting. Group members keep in touch using What's App and any question on the reading or otherwise is considered and answered. I've always avoided the Old Testament, but this study is making it come alive!

If you do decide to read the whole Bible, consider using a very easy-to-read version, like the New Living Translation or similar, and preferably with study notes. Do take notes as you go and you'll find answers or perhaps other verses as you go along.
A similar approach to translation to the NLT is the NIrV (New International Readers' Version)- available online. It's for a lower literacy level than the NIV and breaks down language into simpler forms and also is available in hard copies.
 
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#53
I've always avoided the Old Testament, but this study is making it come alive!
I used to avoid the OT too, but like you have realized how important it is and that it gives a myriad of examples of situations, what they did, how to handle it that totally apply in today's world and it makes the NT easier to understand once knowing what all happened back then. It shines a LOT of light on the NT!
 

Razeontherock

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#54
I'm enjoying this thread and would like to address everyone's attention to post #12
Hi Silmarien
I never would recommend starting with the O.T.
People who try that end up giving up.
Once you become interested in the Bible and have come to believe and trust in God, then it's a good idea to do what Roro did and just read thru from beginning to end.

I would suggest starting with the N.T. since that is where we meet Jesus - the reason we have Christianity!

Also, try to get a study Bible and read the introduction to each book.

Each book of the bible is written for a different reason.

Mathew was written for the Jews. It has the most references to the OT. It tells of the teachings of Christ, the most important being in chapters 5 to 7, incl the beatitudes. He proves Jesus to be the awaited Messiah.

Mark tells of what Jesus did, and His miracles.

Luke writes for the gentiles and is historic. There you'll find the story of Christmas.

John is the most spiritual and shows how Jesus is God in the flesh.

Acts speaks about what happened to the apostles after Jesus ascended into heaven.

Romans contains all the theology we need to know.
This is true. It's also true that the 4 Gospels each show us Jesus in a unique way that follows the 4 colors God gives us in Moses' Tabernacle in the wilderness, all of which points to Christ, who is our foundation, and our Rock. These colors are purple, red white and blue. (We can say the American flag has all this but without recognizing Jesus as King)

Purple pertains to Matthew announcing Jesus as King. That's how it starts, with the genealogy fitting for a King, and that's the significant difference of His portrayal throughout.

Mark shows the side of Jesus that is our suffering Servant, as the color red indicates His precious blood, poured out to the last drop for us.

The color white is on Israel's flag, and speaks of righteousness; the clouds in the sky that shield us from the hot desert sun. Luke focuses on Jesus as Son of man, moreso than the other 3 Gospels do.

Blue = John, who focuses on and reveals Jesus as the Son of God, so brightly it's like staring into the desert sun and tends to make us want to put on our sunglasses. Blue on Israel's flag points to God's Holiness. Look straight at Him!

I always say start with John, when in doubt go with John: John the beloved, John the theologian, John the revelator.

People like to contrast John to the synoptics, but that does a disservice to the other 3. I hope this helps bring out some of the unique value each of the other three give us ...

Good to see people unafraid to tackle the OT! I do think it's best to do that after we get a handle on the NT though; then we can see Jesus in the OT. Each helps to explain the other, and we have to start somewhere.
Reading Moses can harden our heart and veil our eyes; Scripture speaks to this, (2Cor 3:15) and also gives us the answer which is to turn our hearts to the Lord. Baptism!
 
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#55
Good to see people unafraid to tackle the OT! I do think it's best to do that after we get a handle on the NT though; then we can see Jesus in the OT. Each helps to explain the other, and we have to start somewhere.
Moses can harden our heart and veil our eyes; Scripture speaks to this, (2Cor 3:15) and also gives us the answer which is to turn our hearts to the Lord. Baptism!
That's a pretty good plan. Immerse yourself into the NT first and just absorb it all (The words of Jesus and His teachings!)...and then go back and read the OT front to back, in fact, read the entire bible through at that point. In the OT, look for Jesus, He is there, all over the place! Straight through, keeping a mind towards what types of situations that occur and how the Lord helped them through it (or chastised them as the case may be!)...All the while, keeping in mind that the Lord...does...not...change. What an eye opener!

:eek
 

Razeontherock

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#56
Edward raises a point that is key to dealing with society today. It has become very popular to view God as having changed from OT to NT. He has not! And the horrific things that do exist in the OT are NOT there as something good that we are to follow. This is basic, but so many are confused by this and willing to sweep Christianity aside with Islam because they think they're identical in this respect. Nothing could be further from the Truth!

Believers that haven't yet sorted this out probably shouldn't try to say too much about it to unbelievers, and we should be gentle with them. When we use the phrase "God of the OT," that is a LOT to take in ...

As a whole, the Church needs to be strengthened on this point.
 

WIP

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#57
Let's keep in mind that this forum, Questions for Christians, is for non-believers to ask questions and for Christians to answer. Our comments should be aimed at addressing the questions presented by the OP, who has not been seen since August of 2017.

If you wish to discuss this topic, please start a new thread in the appropriate forum.

Thanks,
WIP
 
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#58
It was relevant to the OP in that reading the Bible in it's entirety is a Good thing to do, but many many times, (especially non-believers) have (been indoctrinated) heard that well, the OT was for the Jews and that stuff doesn't happen anymore, the gifts of the Apostles went away with the Apostles we're under a new covenant so it doesn't even apply to us anymore, and all that stuff...which just isn't true!

God hasn't changed how He deals with man or how He does things. He does not change, and keeping that principle in mind while reading the OT and then the NT...will shed a lot of light upon the NT and upon our walk.

The OT is chock full of shadows of the future with Jesus. Like the old story about the brazen serpent that Moses had them make to cure snake bite. Look to the pole (cross) and have your life be saved...Jesus is all over the OT.
 

Razeontherock

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#59
We can hope that the OP will return. He seems to have a sincere heart, and the difficulties he's expressed are shared by us all ...
 
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#60
Let's keep in mind that this forum, Questions for Christians, is for non-believers to ask questions and for Christians to answer. Our comments should be aimed at addressing the questions presented by the OP, who has not been seen since August of 2017.

If you wish to discuss this topic, please start a new thread in the appropriate forum.
I know this was an older post but I think it's probably relevant to a lot of people, beside the OP. We could start a new thread, but having multiple threads with the same subject is sometimes confusing.
 

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