1. Read the whole story of the Bible.
Many of us learned to read the Bible from children’s Bible storybooks made up of individual stories—Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, Jonah and the big fish (of course it was Jonah and the whale back then), the boy’s five loaves and two fish, and so on. We learned to look for stories, snippets of Scripture. And usually these came with a moral lesson about trusting God, making the right decisions, being honest, serving others, or something else.
The other main way we heard the Bible taught was character centric, like a series of mini-bios. We studied the lives of Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Saul, Solomon, Esther, Peter, and Paul. We were taught about their shortcomings and their faithfulness. We learned that they were examples for us to follow, just not perfect ones.
We must learn to read the whole story of Scripture from beginning to end. The Bible is God’s story of redemption, the revelation of Himself and His plan for the world. All those stories and all those characters are parts of the whole, characters in the drama, but none of them are the point. They all point to the point: Jesus Christ came, lived a perfect life, died an innocent death to save sinners and kill death and sin, and will one day return to right all the wrongs. Sure, some parts of the Bible are confusing and dry, but they fit in the whole too. And when we understand that there is a whole narrative, even those parts start to make sense in their context. When you're wondering how to read the Bible, it's un understanding the greater story being told.
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