I was just wondering if I can read the new testament first, or do I have to start with the old first?
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Absolutely! The Bible isn't written like a modern novel (start at the beginning and read to the end). It's a collection of documents that, together, tell one great story of God's relationship with His creation. You can begin anywhere—certainly in the New Testament. Here are a few places you might want to start: 1. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection from four different perspectives. The Gospels of Mark and John are especially friendly to new Bible readers. 2. Paul's letters to churches. Paul wrote many letters to congregations across Europe, and in these letters we find rich Christian teaching and practical application. I'd especially recommend Romans, Ephesians, and Philippians. I hope this helps!
It is indeed advisable and commendable to always read the Bible from the first book (Genesis) in the Old Testament (OT) to the last book (Revelation) in the New Testament (NT). However, this is also dependent on; at what stage are you reading the Bible? For example; if you are a first time reader, then it is advisable to begin with the OT to the NT. However, if you have read it before, then it will be dependent on what you are looking for in the Bible. But it is also no harm if you read it as many times as you can right from the first book in the OT to the last book in the NT. So far, I have done so two times and I am still going on. The very reason we should read the Bible not only beginning with the NT, but begin with the OT, is that; the Bible is a flowing book that is arranged in the order of when and why events took place. One story will interestingly lead you to another, e.g the beginning of the nation of Israel, with Abraham to Isaac and Jacob. If you are a first time Bible reader, and you begin with the NT, you may not understand why the NT is what it is today. You may also miss out so much on how scriptures interestingly connect with each other in terms of prophecy. One writer had this to say about the importance of both the OT and the NT in terms of reading and understanding them; “the OT is incomplete without the NT, and the NT is baseless without the OT”. Meaning; each of the two testaments depends on the other. Each of the two has something to do with the other. The NT is the fulfillment of the OT without which, none of them would be. Many people of all walks of life read the Bible, each for their own personal and non personal reasons. However, I am talking to that genuine Christian who would love to read and understand the Bible in its entirety. To that person, if you are a first time Bible reader, it is of so much meaning if you begin from the first book in the OT to the last book in the NT. Jesus had this to say in the book of John 5:39 “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” The whole of the OT is wrapped up in the NT in Jesus the CHRIST. As that, you may not exactly understand who Jesus the CHRIST is if you do not begin with the OT when reading the Bible. The following are some of the prophecies about Jesus in the OT that have been fulfilled in the NT: 1) He would be born of a woman; Genesis 3:15-Matthew 1:20, Galatians 4:4 2) He would be born in Bethlehem; Micah 5:2-Mathew 2:1, Luke 2:4-6 3) He would be born of a virgin; Isaiah 7:14-Mathew 1:22-23, Luke 1:26-31 4) Soldier would pierce Him; Zechariah 12:10-John19:34. Etc There are also so many other prophecies in the OT which aren’t exactly about Jesus as a person, which have been fulfilled in the NT. In view of all the above and in conclusion, it is very enriching to a Christian to read both the OT and the NT. Yes, we do live in the NT times, but we must also understand how it all came to be what it is today. We should therefore try all we can to avoid being opportunistic readers of the Bible. We should first read it for our own selves and make it apply in our lives. Both the OT and the NT are equally important. God bless
Certainly you can read the New Testament as ALL Scripture is "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," (2 Timothy 3:16). Having said this (and because of the above Scripture) it is profitable to be reading the Old Testament also. My advice would be to do both. First, use one of the many Bible reading plans that will take you through the whole of the Bible in a systematic way. This will equip you with an overall view of Scripture. As well as following the above plan, spend time going slowly, prayerfully and carefully through one of the recommended New Testament books. Whatever you decide to do remember that God desires to speak to you through His Word. Therefore, pray beforehand that He will help you to hear what He wants to say to you. It isn't a race, God can just as easily speak through a few verses as through many chapters. When I was a young Christian I used to imagine my reading of the Bible like the reading of a letter from a loved one. I would spend time reading over and over again what my loved one had to say to me. God loves you, He has written to you, He wants you to grow in your love for Him. Every blessing on your journey through the Bible.
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