The Bible is big!
The Bible is four times larger than the Quran. You could, of course, begin at the first page and close it at the last. But you may be discouraged. So I propose you a route of discovery, by which you can start to have a fairly complete idea of the Bible.
– In the Torah
This begins in Genesis chapters 1-4 with the story of the creation of the world followed by that of the first humans Adam and Eve. You will discover the account of their sin and their expulsion from paradise, it is the dramatic “fall of man”, which is why today we live in a world where sin, violence, suffering and death. This ends with the great judgment day when the Flood of Noah swept over the whole world.Noah and his family continued to carry the promise of the Messiah into the new world after all mankind had been swept away.
God did not intend to leave men in their miserable condition, he devised a plan to save them. The call of Abraham, the father of all believers in the Messiah is a central focus of this plan. The detailed account of his life is read in Genesis, chapters 12-25.
The extraordinary story of Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham, is read in chapters 37-50 of Genesis. Joseph is an “picture” prefiguring Jesus in the sense that Jesus also suffered from his brothers (the Jewish people) and then pardoned them and offered them the remedy: he saved them from starvation.
Exodus 1-15 tells the story of Moses from his birth at the end of Egypt with the people until then enslaved. You will read how Moses baby escaped death, how he was brought up in the family of Pharaoh, how he was called by God and by what extraordinary miracles he forced Pharaoh to let him leave Egypt with his people. You will discover the meaning of the sacrifice of a lamb during the feast of Easter, the prefiguration of Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29.
In Exodus 19 and 20 and Deuteronomy 4 to 6 you will discover the covenant that God made with the descendants of Abraham and the commandments he gave them to respect their will and live.
– In the other books of the Old Testament
In 1 Samuel chapters 16-31 and in 2 Samuel 1-8 you will read how David (Dawud) became king despite his enemy King Saul and how he began his reign.
The Psalms (Zabur) were mostly composed by David, they illustrate the prayers and worship of David throughout his life, in happy and tragic moments. I advise you to read Psalms 1; 2; 22; 23; 32; 38; 51; 63; 73; 103; 107; 11; 139; 146. Many of these songs speak of the Messiah and of the sufferings through which he was going to pass.
In 1 Kings Chapters 3 and 4 you will see how Solomon (Souliman or Slimane) began his reign, what wisdom was given to him by God.
In Proverbs 8 and 9 Solomon compares wisdom and folly.
Isaiah is one of the greatest prophets, he spoke in the name of God for more than sixty years. In Isaiah 6 we read how this ordinary man became a prophet of the Most High God. In Isaiah 9, verses 1 to 6, the coming of the Messiah is clearly announced, similarly in chapter 11. Isaiah 53 and 55 describe the mission of the Messiah and the call he addresses to men. Isaiah 58 indicates what fast God approves and which one he disapproves.
The prophet Jonah (Yunus) lacks courage and obedience. However, God sent him to Iraq to warn a criminal city. We see that God can change the curse into a blessing if there is repentance (the regret of his sins and the desire to change).
– In the Gospels
You can read the whole Gospel of Luke to know the life of Jesus on earth from his birth to his ascension to heaven. You will discover that Jesus came to seek and save, not those who believe themselves righteous, but those who recognise themselves as sinners.
The Gospel of John chapters 1 to 4 begins with the most profound words ever uttered about Jesus and describes the beginnings of His ministry, how he chose disciples, the first miracle he performed. Jesus speaks as well to a respected religious leader as to a woman laden with sins, for both of them also need to be saved.
John 14-17 presents words so profound that it is as if heaven opened to reveal the intimacy of God. What is written there is of the utmost importance, for the very nature of God is revealed: God is love, and He wants His adopted children to love one another. It shows Jesus announcing the coming of the Holy Spirit (Ruh-al-Kudus) into the heart of the believer. After that, let yourself be accompanied again through the account of Jesus’ arrest, his trial, his condemnation, his execution and his resurrection (John 18-21).
– In the other writings of the New Testament
The coming of the Holy Spirit is described at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, another history written by Luke. You will also discover how the Gospel spread in the Roman Empire through the power of this Holy Spirit, and it was accomplished without any military conquest, without the use of arms, amidst a thousand difficulties and persecutions. You will discover the personality of Paul, a man who was the worst of sinners and whose life has been transformed from the total to the total since he became a servant of God.
Romans 1 to 8 is a journey through Christian doctrine outlined by Paul to Christians at Rome. It reveals all that concerns us personally as well as all the riches and promises contained in the grace of God to which you are called.
1 Corinthians 15 will help you discover how believers will be raised.
The letter to the Galatians (Gaul living in Turkey) can be read in its entirety in 20 minutes, it shows the danger of moving away from the Gospel to a religion based on a law and its external ceremonies. Such teachings must be refused, even if an angel from heaven came to bring them. There is much talk about the faith of Abraham and the conduct of the believer.
In Ephesians 5 and 6 you will find instructions to live as God wants you to in your family and in society. What is extraordinary is that it is God who gives you the desire and power to live in this way.
The two letters to the Thessalonians will give you important details about the hope of the resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11 Speaks of the faith of all the prophets and shows that it is only with faith that God is pleased and that difficulties are overcome.
In the Apocalypse the apostle John, then very old and in exile, has a vision of Jesus Christ that you will read in chapter 1.
Revelation 18-22 describes the dramatic fall of the economic, religious and political system that dominate the world and seduces all men and is called here “Babylon”. It describes the return of Jesus as well as a description of eternity in paradise.
Jesus makes a final appeal for the Gospel to be believed and received as well as a serious warning to those who want to change it.