In this article you will read about the Bible reading method “Reading the Bible in chronological order”. You will learn a lot about the pros and cons and get a few tips for this method.
The first part of the Bible reading method series was about the most popular method: “Reading the Bible from beginning to end” . The second part is about the method of reading the Bible chronologically! Chronological means nothing else than chronologically arranged in the correct order.
Read the Bible chronologically
The many books of the Bible are for the most part not arranged according to their age or the time of the events described in them, but according to other criteria such as text genre (e.g. prophets to prophets) and length of the book. In the Bible books themselves, there is sometimes no indication of the time. For example, the Bible reader without information on the time and place of the respective book (e.g. in study Bibles) can find it difficult to understand something correctly or to get a general overview of the Old Testament and also of the New Testament. For some readers, this is difficult even with a Bible study.
Since our brain finds it helpful to be able to classify events historically, the Bible reading method of reading the Bible chronologically was born. This method cannot do without the help of a Bible reading plan! That means someone had to do the work beforehand and sort the respective books and chapters. Many plans are time-based (read through in a year) – which does not necessarily have to be (good).
The aim of this method is to be able to better classify individual described events historically and to develop an overall historical understanding.
Advantages of this Bible reading method
Each method of reading the Bible has advantages and disadvantages that one should be aware of. The advantages of reading the Bible chronologically are:
Individual chapters of the Bible and some books of the Bible are better understood through the historical classification. This, in my opinion, is the greatest advantage of this method. Interesting are, for example, the classification of the prophets in the history of kings (OT) and the classification of the apostolic letters in the Acts of the Apostles (NT). The historical background in particular makes some texts understandable or distinguishes their particularity.
Another big advantage is the clearer historical overview that can result from it. God’s great story with us humans is exciting and honors God!
In this method one reads through the whole Bible. Since the whole word of God has meaning to us, it is also necessary to read the whole Bible.
This method is suitable (with restrictions – see disadvantages) for Bible readers who do not have a historical overview but would like to gain this basic understanding. It will also be of interest to those who have just read the Bible from cover to cover.
Tips for this Bible reading method
Because of these drawbacks, the following tips should be kept in mind when using this Bible reading method:
Before reading the Bible chronologically, you should take the trouble to work out a historical overview with the help of biblical literature and follow it while reading (undetailed example image below).
In order to fully exploit the strengths of this method, one should read historically coherent texts in the shortest possible time. In some cases, these can be very extensive sections. But it’s worth it!
With this method of reading the Bible one shouldn’t dwell long with incomprehensible content-related statements. It is important to understand the big picture and especially the rough developments.
It is noticeable that the arrangement of the books and chapters is sometimes different.I think the top plans, where even the psalms are assigned to the respective time, are the best.