Published 7:51 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018
One of the things that every Bible reader should understand is that the Bible is not like any other book. While the Bible does reveal historical facts, it is not a history book. It is true that it contains philosophical principles, but it is not a book of philosophy. The Bible has large sections of various types of poetry, but it is not a book of poetry. Most Bibles have reference markers — book, chapter and verses. However, the Bible is not a reference book like an encyclopedia or dictionary.Neither is it organized like any of these various types of books. Most books of history are laid out chronologically, i.e. in the order of events from earliest to latest. A reference book is laid out topically so that everything the books says on a particular topic is in one place of that book — like an encyclopedia. Bibles, however, are organized by genre (law, history, poetry, prophecy, etc.).
Reading straight through your Bible, with regular daily readings, is a great habit to have. However, it can’t take the place of deeper Bible study to get the whole picture of God’s scheme of redemption. Without understanding the historical context of what you’re reading you are missing a lot of information essential to a deeper understanding of the biblical text. There is a great deal of insight to be gained from placing the writer in his historical setting at the time of the writing.
A good chronological Bible, like Nelson’s “NKJV Chronological Study Bible,” can be extremely valuable in your deeper study of God’s word. In a chronological layout, the Old Testament prophets and poetry are placed within the context of their historical setting. The life of Christ is harmonized chronologically across the four Gospels and many of the epistles are harmonized within the historical context of Acts.
So, in answer to the question, I personally really like chronological Bibles. In my opinion, it is best to do your daily reading and personal study from the same Bible. The more you use that Bible and become familiar with it, the more able you will be to find what you need when you need it. So, rather than reading from a different Bible, when I study chronologically, I use my daily Bible with a chronological study Bible. I use the chronological Bible like an index to read the references in my daily Bible.
Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange.