"But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, And he reads His law in an undertone day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, A tree that produces fruit in its season, The foliage of which does not wither.
And everything he does will succeed"
The Bible is inspired by God: "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of
God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16,17). "For you know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. 21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke
from God as they were moved by holy spirit" (2 Peter 1:20,21). Forty people participated in the writing of the Bible.
Reading the Bible allows us to know better the mind of Jehovah and
that of Christ: "For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). This allows us to have good relationship with Jehovah God and His Son Jesus Christ, as King of
the Kingdom of God (Psalms 2). The knowledge of God and of Christ can enable us to obtain everlasting life: "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ" (John 17:3).
Reading the Bible allows us to have good thoughts (Philippians 4:6-9). Reading the Bible allows for the memorization of some important biblical quotes, in order to more easily find biblical principles that will guide us in our decisions. More generally,
daily reading of the Bible allows us to obtain God's blessing, and a better quality of life, to the extent that we apply it in our life: "However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. For if anyone is a
hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and
continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does" (James 1:22-25, Psalm 1:2,3).
Some information to know in order to be able
to choose the part of the reading of the Bible we want to read
Some people will prefer to read the Bible in order of the 66 biblical books. Others will turn to a thematic biblical reading that will interest them more. We can use both ways of reading the
Bible. In any case, to better enjoy reading it, there is information to know that will allow us to use the Bible in a more targeted way. The subdivision of each of the 66 books of the Bible, in chapters and verses, makes it possible to locate the biblical
quotes referenced quite quickly. For example Psalms 1:2,3: the name of the biblical book "Psalms", chapter 1, verses 2 and 3. If the biblical reference is not quoted in a biblical article, then you can search for it in the Bible to verify the accuracy of Bible
teaching (Acts 17:11).
The Bible is a book that was written over a period of more than 1600 years, from the 16th century BCE, to the end of the first century AD. The 39 books were written
before the coming of Jesus Christ on earth, in Hebrew and Aramaic. This first part of the Bible is commonly called as the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures. The second part of the Bible, consisting of 27 books, is called the New Testament or Christian Greek
The Hebrew Scriptures
They have three main parts:
1 - The historical part consists of 17 biblical books, which range from Genesis to the
Book of Esther. The narrative begins with the creation of the universe, billions of years ago (Genesis 1:1); the planning of the planet earth to allow plant, animal and human life in six periods of several thousand years (Genesis 1:2-2:24). The account of
Genesis chapter 3 is that of the devil's attack against the Sovereignty of God, Adam and Eve associated with this rebellion and their respective judgment (Genesis 3).
Genesis 3:15, is the promise of God which is the central theme of the Bible: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel".
The understanding of this prophecy provides a good overview of the articulation of the Bible reasoning regarding its history and prophecies. The covenant with Abraham, the creation of the People of Israel, the Davidic kingship and so forth, makes it possible
to understand progressively this biblical enigma. This historical part ends with the return of the People of Israel to Palestine after 70 years of exile in Babylon (The Books of Nehemiah and Ezra).
In this historical part, there is what constitutes the Covenant of the Law, from the book of Exodus to the book of Deuteronomy, interspersed with historical narratives of the Israelites during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. To get a good
general idea of the spirit of this set of laws, read Exodus chapters 20-23.
2 - The poetic part consists of 5 biblical books, the book of Job to The Song of Solomon. The book of Job gives another very important information regarding the devil's challenge against
the Sovereignty of God mentioned in Genesis chapter 3. In Job chapters 1 and 2, we understand that the devil's challenge also includes the integrity of the human being to the trials: "But Satan answered Jehovah: “Skin for skin. A man will give everything
that he has for his life. But, for a change, stretch out your hand and strike his bone and flesh, and he will surely curse you to your very face" (Job 2: 4,5). Jehovah God allowed the devil to cause Job to suffer for a time, without allowing him to kill Job.
This temporary permission of evil made it possible to give a moral answer to the challenge of the devil: would Job remain to be blameless and upright before God, even in terrible trials, in this case, directly provoked by the devil? Job's faith has been victorious,
he remained upright by giving glory to God: "Until I die, I will not renounce my integrity!" (Job 27:5). Jehovah God rewarded the integrity of Job (Job 42:10-17, James 5:11). Genesis 3 and the book of Job allow us to better understand the spiritual challenges
of the temporary divine permission of evil.
The poetic book of Psalms allows us to see examples of prayers that can be addressed to God (Psalms 141:2). It is interesting to note that
this biblical book also has a prophetic dimension. There are prophecies concerning the Messiah (Psalms 2 the heavenly enthronement of King Jesus Christ; 22 the circumstances of the sacrificial death of Christ; 45 the heavenly marriage of King Jesus Christ
with his queenly consort, the New Jerusalem (144000 ) (Revelation 19:7,8; 21:2)). Prophecies about the future earthly paradise (Psalms 37, 46, 72).
The book of Proverbs contains requirements for good relationship with God, with human beings in general
and within the family. The book of Ecclesiastes shows that a human existence without God is futility. To give meaning to our existence, it is essential to obey God (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). The construction of this biblical book is strange because one must
read the very end of this book to understand, in a first reading, its general message.
3 - The prophetic part consists of 17 biblical books, which is from Isaiah to Malachi. It is impossible
to summarize in a very condensed way the contents of these books. The sum of both historical and biblical information is simply astronomical. There are messianic prophecies concerning the people of Israel, Jerusalem, the people around them, the end of time,
the Day of Jehovah (the Great Tribulation), the succession of world powers, the future earthly paradise...
In this prophetic part there are the first three books which are more important
in number of chapters: Isaiah, Jeremiah (associated with the book of Lamentations) and Ezekiel. In Isaiah 53, there are Messianic prophecies regarding the circumstances of Christ's sacrificial death. In Isaiah 11, 35, 65, there is an encouraging prophetic
description of the future earthly paradise. In Ezekiel 38 and 39, there is the prophecy on Gog of Magog, which is just before en during the great tribulation. In Ezekiel 40-48, there is a prophetic description of the future administration of the Kingdom of
God on earth.
After there are prophetic books with smaller
numbers of chapters, from Daniel to Malachi. Nevertheless their prophetic power is just as important as the first three prophetic books. Daniel's prophecy is spiritually very powerful. Moreover, a great part of the prophecies of Jesus Christ about Jerusalem,
the end of this system of things, is mainly based on the prophecies of Daniel chapters 9, 11 and 12 (Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21).
The prophecies on the Day of Jehovah, the great tribulation,
of the book of Zechariah associated with the books of Joel, Amos, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah, give very a precise information about the time of the great tribulation, what will happen and what we have to do to survive.
The Greek Christian Scriptures
They have four parts:
1 - The Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are the narrative of the earthly life of Christ
and especially his teaching. In Matthew of chapters 5 to 7 there is the sermon on the mount. This very spiritually powerful teaching, combines simplicity in the expression of ideas (often illustrated with examples), with a depth in the sense. For example,
in this Sermon, he repeatedly begins his reasoning by citing the Law that all Israelite knew (Do not murder, do not commit adultery, divorce, promises made to God and men and so on...), to give the substance or the biblical principle that supports a specific
law. He has shown that from the point of view of God, it is not so much the action that more important, but rather, the intention that precedes it, especially in the case of laws prohibiting murder and adultery. Hatred and insults often precede murder, and
even at this stage of non-realization of murder, from God's point of view, anyone in this situation is guilty of intentional homicide. It is the same for adultery, often the vision constructs the intention that can lead to action. For Jesus Christ, vision
and intention equals action (even not fulfilled) (Matthew 5:21-23,27-30).
2 - The book of Acts of the Apostles, is the story of the beginning of the Christian congregations,
in Jerusalem, in Samaria and around the Mediterranean.
3 - The letters are written by the apostles and disciples responsible for the administration of the whole Christian congregations,
from Romans to Jude. Most letters are written by the Apostle Paul (Romans to Hebrews). It is interesting to note that the letters written by James and Jude are from the two half-brothers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55, Jude 1 (brother of James)).
4 - The book of Revelation (Greek: Apocalypse): It is a written prophetic fresco, made of enigmatic visions whose general coherence resides in the resolution of the prophetic enigmas. Only God,
through His Son Jesus Christ, allows the understanding and acceptance by faith (Matthew 11:25). This book contains prophecies about the end of this system of things (as Matthew 24,25, Mark 13 and Luke 21) (Revelation 6,14,19) and the blessings of the millennial
reign of Christ (Revelation 21 and 22).
Conclusion on reading the Bible
It is very important to associate our reading of the Bible with prayer. It is important, too, to read it without religious prejudices. Often, our religious education shapes our understanding
of the Bible. This religious education, even Christian, is often imbued with non-biblical dogmas with Greco-Roman origin: the immortality of the soul, the hell of fire where the dead are tortured, purgatory, limbo, the trinity. We must ask God, before each
reading, to help us get rid of these prejudices, to free us to understand the mind of God written in part in the Bible (Matthew 11:25). Jesus Christ said, "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). This spiritual release is in
our head, in our spiritual heart, in our ability to think the Bible using our own discernment that leads us to understand the God’s thoughts through Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Jesus Christ taught his apostles to think for themselves to insight the
God’s thoughts (compare Matthew 16:23 "God’s thoughts" and Matthew 17:25 "What do you think, Simon?"). This is what we must do, praying for God's help, reading the Bible, and applying it every day.