The Bible is a lot of text to read. For someone picking it up for the first time; how to begin reading such a book certainly is a reasonable thing to be wondering. This holds especially true if you’ve heard folks saying that you don’t read the bible like a regular book. And, “Yet,” it is a book.
For those who’ve never picked up The Bible; you’ve got to start somewhere. So, “Yeah,” starting to read it from the beginning is still allowed. In that regard and for the sake of getting acquainted with its contents; you’ll definitely want to read it “like a regular book” from cover to cover. It’s the only way you are going to get through it all and still keep your sanity.
However, I’ve found that in some ways, The Bible is like a United States Criminal Law Book. Some of the older laws you will read in the beginning are partially altered or just canceled out by the time you reach the end. Some things also might seem to contradict one another; just like some laws in this country of ours might seem to be at complete odds with each other.
So, when I first read The Bible I started at the beginning. When I’m using the bible to help me understand things like God’s desired conduct for me in my relationships with women, or what a church’s attitude towards baptism should be, I process biblical information like this.
- Anything that is a direct quote from God or Jesus trumps all. God and Jesus are less likely to be misunderstood if they are witnessed or heard directly by any of the authors of books in The Bible.
- Those authors of books in The Bible quoting Prophets of God, or Disciples of Jesus are less accurate “to me” in their citing of statements that might have been made. This is largely because it’s more like second and third hand accounting of what the Lord and Jesus may have said. It’s sort of like when someone says something to me and I then attempt to repeat it as accurately as I can to you, “Without altering too much of what I heard from the source.” Because the words are coming from a prophet of The Lord or a disciple of Jesus rather than directly from the Lord or Jesus; you’ve just got to assume that there’s going to be somewhat of a deviation from the original statement.
- The stories in The Bible are great and help to get the brain working towards solving real world problems. We can look to stories in The Bible to help us confront matters of personal and professional conduct, or the lack of appropriate conduct, as demonstrated by one or more parties.
However, I’ve found that it is best to pay the closest attention to those statements being recorded directly from the lips of Jesus or the voice of God. If I cannot find anything spoken by God or Jesus that will help me resolve any issue I’m using The Bible to assist me in dealing with; then I defer to the words of the prophets and disciples.
Sometimes just reading the stories The Bible tells can get anyone moving in a positive direction; regardless as to what the dilemma is they are facing. “It’s not as hard as one might think,” to use The Bible as a guide in the home or professional arena, “Either.”
However, The Bible is most effective as a guide for day to day living, regardless as to what you want to know from it, if you take the time to read it all the way through. While some might criticize you for taking this approach to the greatest book in man kind’s possession; reading The Bible as you would any other kind of book you take off the shelf really is the most effective way to get familiarized with it and is just good old fashion common sense.