5 Major Facts You Need to Know About the Bible Before You Start Reading It
With a compilation of 66 books, I can see how reading the Bible can be intimidating. And it may not be the number of books of the Bible but the content of it that can be most daunting. But knowing a couple of things about the Bible can enlighten your reading and give you some clarity.
You could be like me and read it head-on and not know what you’re reading. When I first started most of my reading consisted of question marks. It isn’t until a decade later that I learned a few important facts about the Bible.
I’ll share these things with you to save you time and confusion. These facts will help you better read the Bible as you keep these things in mind.
Five Facts About the Bible
Knowing these five things will give you a helpful perspective of Scripture as you read.
1. The Bible is alive
You read that right. The Bible is a living and breathing book. I’ll tell you how. The Bible is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. And Jesus is Alive. I’m not saying the Bible is Jesus. And I’m not saying Jesus is the Bible. I hope you get the gist. But it’s in these very Scriptures you find Jesus- that testify of Him (John 5:39).
The Bible is also alive in the sense that you may never read the same verse in the same way. Let me explain… You could read a specific verse or chapter and not learn anything. Or nothing may stick out. But the next time you come back around to it it’s different.
(A little side note. Have you seen pictures of burnt-down buildings where everything is ruined- yet the Bible survives? Look it up, it’s pretty neat. The Word of God is alive.)
2. Don’t read one verse and assume it is a whole truth
This is the most important one to remember always. You cannot read a verse and claim it to be the whole truth. In most cases, it is a partial truth, as in, there may be more to it.
The perfect example of this is when Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Whatever verses Satan (who is well versed) throws at Jesus, Jesus responds with, “It is also written.” You can read this for yourself in Matthew 4:7.
Taking the Word of God out of context is dangerous and misleading. Even more so if done with ill intent and for manipulation. This is a tactic of the enemy. So when you read something that sticks out to you don’t run with it. Study the verse and wait to find out if there is another part to it.
3. Jesus found all throughout the Bible
Jesus is found all throughout the Bible, not just in the Torah. If you didn’t already know, the Old Testament is full of prophecies of the coming Messiah, the Christ Jesus. These are the promises of His first arrival. And these prophecies are fulfilled in the New Testament along with more prophecies to be fulfilled.
With that said the Old Testament is about the first coming of Jesus. The New Testament is about the promise of His second coming. So as you read through the OT be on the lookout for these prophesies. And as you read through the NT be on the lookout for fulfillments of Jesus and prophecies about His return.
4. Questions and answers in the Old and New Testament
The Old Testament will often leave someone with more questions than answers. And that is because the answers to most, if not all, of these questions, are found in the New Testament.
My Bible study teacher put it this way: the Old Testament is a question mark and the New Testament is the answer. She gave this example: “Don’t muzzle an ox,” found in Deuteronomy 25:4 . What an odd thing to read, right? Even trying to read it in context is confusing. But if you read 1 Corinthians 9:9 you find out what it means.
You will often find Jesus quoting or referring to the OT. It is in the NT when He reveals or explains the meaning of things.
5. Not all answers are known to man
This I learned recently: not all answers are found in the Bible. Nor will they be known in this present time. God leaves some things to mystery. And when will the answer be revealed if not in this present age?
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end.” And “He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.’” This is in the book of Daniel chapter 12 verses four and nine.
So as you read some things will not be revealed until the end of time. One can study the Bible cover to cover or know the historical background. But no one can have the answer to everything as God will not let it be known until the end of the ages. Only then will the mystery be known.
Sooner Than Later
Of course, you may have already been reading the Bible. If you have, I hope these five facts will give you insight and you continue reading with a new mindset. It’s never too late to learn but isn’t it better sooner than later?
So to recap: the Bible is alive. Don’t read a verse and accept it as a whole truth. Jesus is written about all throughout the Old and New Testaments. The OT produces questions and the NT reveals the answer. And lastly, God has sealed words that will not be revealed until the end of the age.
Now there are more interesting facts I could share but these are my favorites. Like or let me know in the comments if you would like a part two.
Credit to my online Bible study teacher “C” for teaching me most of these facts :)