Bible Study Plans: How to Study the Old Testament

One big hindrance to studying the Bible is the Old Testament. And this is one big hindrance considering there are 929 chapters in the Old Testament in 39 books. Below, we’ll examine how to study the Old Testament when you begin to study the Bible. Contact AtoZMomm today to learn more!

HOW TO STUDY THE OLD TESTAMENT

As with most large tasks, breaking it down into easy-to-manage parts makes the whole process doable and not overwhelming. Unlike the New Testament where we follow Jesus’s life from beginning to end and then the life of his apostles, the Old Testament is not in chronological order. Below is my recommendation for organizing the Old Testament for study.

  • Read Genesis. This is where it all began, so you have to start there. Some of the best stories of the Bible are in Genesis, including the fall of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, and Noah. Powerful stories with equally powerful lessons to teach.
  • Exodus through Deuteronomy. These books teach the Law, otherwise known as the Old Covenant, which is how God’s people where to live their lives before Jesus’s crucifixion.
  • Joshua through Esther. These books are known as the historical books of the Old Testament. It is here that we learn how God’s people survived after they inherited the Promised Land. You’ll learn the history of the period of the judges, the history of the kings, and the prophets Ezra, Nehemiah.
  • Next, read the books of wisdom and poetry.
    • Job. Job is the epitome of faith when all is seemingly lost in life. Said to be the oldest recorded book, Job follows his story of how he was tested by God, how he endured, what he learned, and what God expects of us.
    • The Psalms are writings by the various kings of Israel (including David and Solomon). These are full of life lessons of how to live a life following God.
    • The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs, was written by King Solomon in his youth before he fell into sin. This is one of the greatest love poems ever written.
    • Proverbs. Proverbs was written again by King Solomon, but written by him when he was on the throne of Israel. They show hard lessons of life to live by.
    • Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is the opposite of Proverbs per se. This book teaches you how not to live your life. It was written by King Solomon when he was an old man as he looked back on his sinful life
  • Next, are the five major prophets of Old Testament times:  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, & Daniel.
  • Finish up the Old Testament with the 12 minor prophets.

Reading three chapters per day of the Old Testament will take you 10 months to finish. Remember, everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus. Yes, there are exceedingly dense sections of the Old Testament that you’re just going to have to slug through. But remember, every word in the Old Testament is not there by accident. God is speaking; you just have to listen.

If you get bored, skip that section, save for later, and find an exciting story such as Esther or Joseph. The Old Testament is just as valuable as the New Testament and has many truths to teach us. Contact me if you have questions!

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