Reading The Bible Together.

The Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 men over 1,600 years. While it is alright to study each book individually, we must realize that the books of the Bible flow into one another.

Take the 5 Books of Moses for example. The Book of Genesis tells the history of the Hebrew nation (how they came about). Exodus tells how they became slaves in Egypt and were delivered from bondage. Leviticus discusses how the religion of Judaism came about. Numbers reveals how they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. Deuteronomy restates what happened throughout the wilderness journey, and gives instructions as they enter the Promised Land. So the five books should really not be separated. They explain and flow into one another.

Also, the historical background for the Psalms may be found in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings & 1 & 2 Chronicles. The characters and events in the Psalms can be found in these books.

See Psalm 34 for example. Notice the heading of the Psalm:

A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

So there was an incident where David feigned madness. It was around this time that he wrote this Psalm (Psalm 34). You find this incident recorded in 1 Samuel 21:13.

1 Samuel 21:13 (NKJV)

13 So he (David) changed his behavior before them, PRETENDED MADNESS in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 

He did this because he was afraid, vs. 12 tells us that, “Now David took these words to heart, and was VERY MUCH AFRAID of Achish the king of Gath” (1 Sam 21).

This information then explains Psalm 34.

Psalm 34:4 (NKJV)

4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from ALL MY FEARS. 

We may understand this statement because we know from 1 Samuel 21 that David was afraid. The Bible works this way—it explains itself!

Furthermore, the historical background for Paul’s Epistles can be found in the Book of Acts. For instance, Paul wrote two Epistles to a Church at Corinth. The Book of Acts tells us more about Corinth.

Acts 18:8 (NKJV)

8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And MANY OF THE CORINTHIANS, hearing, BELIEVED AND WERE BAPTIZED. 

Their repentance happened because of Paul’s missionary work there (see vv. 1-7). So we understand Paul’s relationship with Corinth by reading Acts. The Bible explains itself. The Books of the Bible are all interconnected. They must therefore be read TOGETHER.

Furthermore, the Bible has different genres. Books like Genesis and Joshua are history. They are in prose form.

Psalms and Proverbs are poetic and use very figurative language. See Psalm 22:14 for example, “I am poured out LIKE water, and all My bones are out of joint; my heart is LIKE wax; it has melted within Me.

The word “like” indicates the use of a figure of speech (similie). His heart is not really wax. It had melted LIKE it.

Note as well that all portions of Scripture should be read LITERALLY unless they call for you to read them figuratively. This is important to note, especially in prophecies, which uses highly figurative verbiage (read more on prophecies here: How to Interpret Biblical Prophecies).


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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