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Should I read the Old Testament or the New Testament?

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  • Should I read the Old Testament or the New Testament?

    I would like to purchase a Bible and read it all the way through. I have never read the entire thing. I went to catholic school from 1st to 5th grade so I do have that much education on the Bible. Now my question is: which one should I read? The Old or the New testament and what exactly is the difference between the two?

  • #2
    Originally posted by fairytalelover
    I would like to purchase a Bible and read it all the way through. I have never read the entire thing. I went to catholic school from 1st to 5th grade so I do have that much education on the Bible. Now my question is: which one should I read? The Old or the New testament and what exactly is the difference between the two?
    fairytalelover,

    Read the New Testament first - starting, I suggest, in the gospel of John. Then go to one of the letters - perhaps a shorter one - say Philippians or 1 Thessalonians. IOW, don't feel like you need to read it in order. You could read just one of the gospels, or two perhaps say, before moving on to one of the letters of Paul. You can always go back. But do start in the gospel of John - the 4th book in the New testament (NT).

    May I suggest a new Bible coming out in April 1st? You can read it online at www.crosswalk.com - the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible - or sometimes just CSB). I suggest it as it reads well, yet is quite accurate. The NT is available now. You can try on several translations at that link, however. When reading more historical stories, I'd use a more readable version.

    The OT gives us the story from creation to the coming of the Messiah ("Christ" comes from the Greek - CRISTOS - a translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah - "Annointed One.") The NT starts with the 4 gospel stories of Jesus' life here on earth - about the last half of each of them tell the story from his last week on earth and His final words to His disciples before His "passion." Acts tells the story of the beginning of the church after Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven before the disciples' eyes.

    Then the rest of the books in the New Testament (NT), except the last one - Revelation, are letters written to people or churches to tell them how to grow up in Christ. Revelation is prophecy

    The OT is valuable in order to know the back ground for the NT stories - but the NT is definitely where to start.

    When you have read much of the NT, then start in the OT at the beginning - Genesis - which tells the story of the creation, Noah and the flood, Abraham and his descendents until they are slaves in Egypt. Exodus, of course, tells the story of their escaping from Egypt by the power of God. Read those books. I'd skip Leviticus for now. If you insist on reading it - then just skim it lightly. Then read on through Joshua - which tells the story of their entrance into the promised land. Read Judges as well which tells of the story of the judges - such as Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, etc. Read the story of Ruth - a beautiful love story in which a woman trusted God to take care of her.

    You can always read portions of the Psalms and Proverbs as you like. They are devotional in nature and speak of our relationship with God and practical things about living.

    I hope this helps. Can I ask yo ua question? Were you spurred on to this through watching The Passion of the Christ?

    Oh, and what fairy tales are some of your favorites? because, though it is truth - not fiction or mythological, many of the stories in Genesis are magnificent.

    And feel free to come here and post some questions about what yo uare reading - many will be happy to help. You could just post them on this thread.

    BD
    3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

    BadDog!

    Comment


    • #3
      BadDog,

      Thank you for your detailed response. As for what sparked my interest in reading the Bible, well actually the movie really didn't have anything to do with it. I have been wanting to read it all the way through for many years now. Like I said, I went to Catholic school for 5 years when I was little and that introduced me to Catholicism and the Bible and it's stories. I always enjoyed learning about the different stories of the Bible. Not to mention that I am a history buff and love to learn about historical events.

      So, I have always wanted to do it. But never actually took the first step to just buy a Bible, bring it home and start reading. I suppose maybe the movie motivated me to follow through with my long time urge to buy a Bible and read it. After the movie came out many people have been discussing how historically accurate is the movie in relation to the Bible and I decided that rather than taking people's word for it, I would like to read it for myself and find out if the movie followed what was depicted in the Bible.

      As for what my favorite fairytales are, well I am a huge Disney fan and love Cinderella. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are my favorite. In fact I am having a Disney Cinderella fairytale wedding next year at Disneyland. I will be brought to the ceremony in an actual Cinderella Crystal Pumpkin coach with white horses and costumed footmen, just like in the book. I am very excited about that. Plus I am also a Disneyland annual pass holder. So we go there about twice a month.

      Anyway, about the Bible, my question for you is this: Why do you reccomend that I read the NT before the OT even though you stated that the OT gives necessary background for the NT?

      thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        2 Timothy 3:16

        All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.


        I recommend that when reading the Bible you never leave certain spots unread. An idea might be to start reading the new testament from beginning to end. At the same time do the same thing with the old Testament.

        In this way you get to read the New Testament often but you won't miss out on the pictures and lessons to be learned in the Old Testament.

        Comment


        • #5
          It would be my pleasure to send you one of my bibles if you have not purchaced one yet. Just pm me a po box. Take care, Jeannine

          [If you spend alot of time on line there are many free bibles available]
          While it is true that politicians can use any word they want, we reply that language works only when those using it agree on what the words mean, and that the meaning of words cannot be unilaterally changed by someone without the agreement of others. -William Lutz

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Beden Dingle
            2 Timothy 3:16

            All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.


            I recommend that when reading the Bible you never leave certain spots unread. An idea might be to start reading the new testament from beginning to end. At the same time do the same thing with the old Testament.

            In this way you get to read the New Testament often but you won't miss out on the pictures and lessons to be learned in the Old Testament.
            I don't understand. Are you saying I should read both the Old and New testament at the same time?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fairytalelover
              I don't understand. Are you saying I should read both the Old and New testament at the same time?
              There are various ways to read through the Bible... everyone has got an opinion! The Bible is really a beautiful book and there are various methods of reading through it that will give you new insights.

              I agree with BadDog... start with a Gospel such as John. Then work your way through the rest of the New Testament. You will find that the Old Testament will be cited over and over again. Once you've done that I would work through the Old Testament as BadDog suggested. I think what Beden Dingle is saying is that the Old Testament shouldn't be short-changed and I agree. Don't just read the New Testament and stop there - the Old Testament takes more effort to read through but it is well worth it. But I think you will have a greater understanding of what is said in the Old Testament - where there is alot of foreshadowing of what is to come - by starting out in the New Testament.

              Please keep in touch... I would sure love to hear about your progress. Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it's best to start off with the New Testiment reading the gospels.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Places to start

                  FairyTaleLover

                  While I generally agree with BadDog's suggestions and emtully's,
                  you also might want to consider working reading some books which are being discussed in the new BibleStudy forum -- Ephesians, Psalms, Mark, or 1 Thessalonians -- just because you would then have a group of people to discuss them with.

                  Just a thought.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Take the Bible....pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you.....and start reading. Let God lead you in what to read first....you will find this exciting, cause the Holy Spirit is the best teacher there is.

                    Dont go with formulas. Just let the Holy Spirit take you through the pages and different books.

                    God Bless,

                    Morne Ahlers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fairytalelover
                      BadDog,

                      Thank you for your detailed response. As for what sparked my interest in reading the Bible, well actually the movie really didn't have anything to do with it. I have been wanting to read it all the way through for many years now. Like I said, I went to Catholic school for 5 years when I was little and that introduced me to Catholicism and the Bible and it's stories. I always enjoyed learning about the different stories of the Bible. Not to mention that I am a history buff and love to learn about historical events.

                      So, I have always wanted to do it. But never actually took the first step to just buy a Bible, bring it home and start reading. I suppose maybe the movie motivated me to follow through with my long time urge to buy a Bible and read it. After the movie came out many people have been discussing how historically accurate is the movie in relation to the Bible and I decided that rather than taking people's word for it, I would like to read it for myself and find out if the movie followed what was depicted in the Bible.

                      As for what my favorite fairytales are, well I am a huge Disney fan and love Cinderella. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are my favorite. In fact I am having a Disney Cinderella fairytale wedding next year at Disneyland. I will be brought to the ceremony in an actual Cinderella Crystal Pumpkin coach with white horses and costumed footmen, just like in the book. I am very excited about that. Plus I am also a Disneyland annual pass holder. So we go there about twice a month.

                      Anyway, about the Bible, my question for you is this: Why do you recommend that I read the NT before the OT even though you stated that the OT gives necessary background for the NT?

                      thanks
                      Because the NT is the most relevant to us. I've heard it expressed like this by the Navigators, though it isn't original with them:

                      The Old is in the New revealed
                      The New is in the Old concealed.


                      So the one that has by far the most relevant information for us is the NT. But reading Genesis is important (and subsequent books in the 1st 17 books - the historical section of the OT) as it explains the background of the NT. I suppose it's kind of like the Hobbit. It gives some helpful background info. for the Lord of the Ring series, but start in with the Fellowship of the Ring first.

                      The central figure of the Bible is Jesus Christ - both OT and NT. So the best place to start is in the gospels. We need to get Him right first before any of the rest makes any sense.

                      FYI, my favorite of all the Disney animated films has always been Beauty and the Beast. Our family have annual passes also to the two parks there. About 6 - 8 months ago I saw a couple dressed up in their wedding gown and tux still who went to Disneyland right after their wedding. They were staying at the Disneyland Hotel. Looked like fun, though it must have gotten kinda hot at that time of the year! (Met them at the Mad Hatter and struck up a conversation.) I think going to Dland after weddings may be more common than I'd realized.

                      My daughter is nearly 15 - don't know what she wants to do when she gets married, though I'm sure she's done lot's of thinking about it already!

                      My wife is a history major, and teaches history at a local Christian school. I've always been interested in history also. I've been reading through some historical fiction series by some Christian authors the past three years or so and took a church history class over a year ago..

                      Take care,

                      BD
                      3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                      BadDog!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scruffy Kid
                        FairyTaleLover

                        While I generally agree with BadDog's suggestions and emtully's,
                        you also might want to consider working reading some books which are being discussed in the new BibleStudy forum -- Ephesians, Psalms, Mark, or 1 Thessalonians -- just because you would then have a group of people to discuss them with.

                        Just a thought.
                        Yes - Scruffy makes a good point. If you can find a Bible study group in your area going through a book of the NT - preferably a gospel, that would be quite useful. There's an organization called "Bible Study Fellowship" which does just that. They have men and women studies. But that's "Bible study," which will go through the Bible at a much slower pace, FYI.

                        I love to study and read the Bible. I hope you develop a thirst for the Bible as well.

                        BD
                        3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                        BadDog!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fairytalelover
                          I would like to purchase a Bible and read it all the way through. I have never read the entire thing. I went to catholic school from 1st to 5th grade so I do have that much education on the Bible. Now my question is: which one should I read? The Old or the New testament and what exactly is the difference between the two?
                          For casual reading, don't get an expensive bible that you will worry about getting dirty, dogearing pages or the occasional tear. Get one with print comfortable to read and a wide gutter (Columns away from the binding) so you can comfortably see all the print.

                          Then, take it to bed with you. Read yourself to sleep every night. Don't worry about the lack of understanding the first couple times through. Look up things online during the day but during the evening, just read. Get the gist. Get the context. Pray for understanding and read. You'll find yourself going to bed earlier the longer you keep this up because the Bible becomes very interesting in context. Some people think too much and thus fail to enjoy the bible as a whole. It is a fascinating work of the Spirit. Just read it! Study can come later -- after you are familiar with it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would like to thank all of you for all of your wonderful advice. I will be utilizing all of your suggestions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              hear ye him

                              The NT wasnt around when Jesus was here. He taught from what God told him to say and from the OT. Stick with the books of the gospel till ya know it by heart and go where ever Jesus sends ya. He does point to alot of places.

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