I love the Bible. I love to study it, read it, ponder it, chew it, apply it, and let it shape me into greater Christlikeness. It is the Word of God and an incredible gift.
I know many Christians feel the same way. However, getting into the Bible can be a challenge for many of us. Sure, we may be familiar with a few books (the Gospels, Psalms, and one or two of Paul’s epistles seem like a safe bet), but what about the other ones? What about the books that we can’t even pronounce? What about the books that are difficult and boring to read? What about the books that feel completely disconnected from our lives here and now? What are we supposed to do with those books?
My experience (both personally and pastorally) leads me to believe that many of us end up simply avoiding these books altogether. Maybe at some point in the past we tried to engage them, but we quickly found ourselves lost and discouraged. We gave up, assuming there was no hope in getting a handle on what was going on in these Scriptures and how any of it relates to us. I know that I’ve found myself in that place many times over my 23 years as a follower of Jesus.
But we don’t have to stay stuck in discouragement and confusion! In many cases, getting a basic overview of the context of each of the Bible’s books can be massively helpful and illuminating!
That’s why today I’m going to be starting an extended blog series providing an overview of each book of the Bible. My hope is that you’ll use it to familiarize yourself with each book’s major themes, people, places, etc. Furthermore, as you engage the Scriptures personally or together with others, you’ll be able to jump to a particular book summary post and get a 3-minute grounding in the immediate context of the passage(s) you’re exploring. That will go a long way in helping you understand how what you’re reading a) fits within the larger Scriptural narrative and, b) how it connects with your life and calling as a Christian.
Full disclosure: I’m acting as content facilitator for this series, not content generator! None of what you’re going to read is my own work (ok, maybe I’ll chime in a few times!). For the most part, however, each blog post will incorporate the fantastic work of three theologians I’ve been blessed to discover this year: Jeffrey Kranz (www.overviewbible.com) , Ben Myers (@FaithTheology on Twitter), and Joseph Novak (www.minimumbible.com). Each of these guys provides a powerful angle through which to understand each of the Bible’s 66 books, and I’m simply going to be pulling their efforts together into one cohesive space. I think doing so is going to be hugely awesome. As I’ve tracked with each of their respective projects my passion to engage the Bible has only increased!
The book of Genesis goes up later today. See you then!
In his dust,