Welcome back to the blog and a new study tip. I think I have things in hand well enough to get back on schedule. Thank you for your patience!
Next time you begin a new study of a book of the Bible, sit down and read the book through in one sitting. (Okay, Genesis, Psalms, Jeremiah and some of the others may take more than one.) Don’t make any notes- just read it like you would any other pleasure book. Take the pressure off yourself to retain, or to analyze it. Just read it. This does two things for you. First, it makes Bible study less of a chore and more like enjoying time with your Father while you read this wonderful journal He left for you. Second, it gives you context for deeper study.
This quick, overview read is like a view from a helicopter. When you fly over an area, you get an idea of the topography, the roads or waterways, and the landmarks. In a quick read, you get the tone of the book – Job ‘sounds’ different than Jeremiah. You also get the big themes and ideas. If you read the Kings, you see there were good kings and bad kings. In Leviticus, there’s a lot about offerings and feasts. In Luke, the Son of Man is on a mission. In Philippians, there is joy.
I admit, this is a tough one for me. I like the details, and I find myself easily pulled into a word by word examination. However, the overview is critical for a deeper understanding of Scripture, especially how the parts relate to the whole. It may help to read in a different translation than you typically use, especially for the narrative books like the Old Testament histories or Acts or even the Gospels.
Next week, we’ll try a ‘drive-by’ reading to follow the ‘fly-over’.