“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
My point here is to focus on the word “all.”
While the Bible was written a book at a time, over a very long period, it has amazing continuity. Genesis through Esther is the chronological history of God’s Old Testament people and introduces is to them and the grace by which they became God’s family. They reveal the blessings and responsibilities of that status. The poetry books (Job through the Song of Solomon) speak to how we live as the people of God – how we handle trouble, how we worship, and how we love. The prophets (Isaiah – Malachi) urge God’s people to faithfulness and promise a time when the family of God will be open to everyone – not just Israel – an opportunity God Himself would make possible. The Gospels show God working to make this blessing possible in the story of Jesus and the book of Acts shows how it all came to pass. The letter literature encourages God’s people to live up to their calling, and, like the prophets of the Old Testament, point to the struggle of early Christians to do so. The final book of the Bible again speaks of this struggle, but also reveals the blessings of victory.
Of course, throughout the narrative there are more points than I have mentioned here, but you see, all the Bible fits together as a cohesive whole, and that’s why I encourage everyone to read the Bible through – every year. You can’t see the big picture and marvel at the divine mosaic of God’s revelation if you aren’t getting acquainted with the whole book. As Bible scholar Keith Stanglin writes: “Only when readers have been permeated with biblical literature will they be able to see the intertextual connections in Scripture and then be able to make the connections to the faith and life of the church.”
If you’ve never read the Bible through, today is a good day to begin. Four chapters a day (less than 20 minutes) will get you through by the end of January next year. If you have trouble, come back to this blog. You will find information on nearly every chapter of the Bible here – as well as summaries and outlines of every book.