Linking Up the NT Books

For busy Christian men and women, we tend to do Bible Study in piece-meal fashion. We read a few verses daily and meditate on them. Sometimes, we have enough time to read a full chapter or two. Reading Bible in this form causes us to see the Bible as a big set of fragmented truths. We tend to rely on others to show us the linkages. It is also very easy for us to take verses out of context and thereby leading us into wrongful thinking.

I am now studying the Bible, at least for the New Testaments, and especially the Epistles in book by book format. I wish to spend more time to see the relationships between sections of text in each book - to see the flows and development of doctrines, practices, and stories. It will be good to show what are the similarities and differences between the books. We would be able to see the growth and development of doctrines and the authors too; e.g. Paul.

By having a top down structured map of the books, I believe we can memorize the Bible better, gain a better understanding, and to be able to stay in context, letting the Bible interpret the Bible.

The Bible books chronologically reading plan is shown here.

For the Epistles, we have Galatians, 1 & 2 Thes, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Tim, Titus, 1 Peter, Hebrew, 2 Tim, 2 Peter, Jude, 1-3 John and Revelations. Another possible order is Gal, 1&2 Thes, 1&2 Cor, Roman, Hebrew, Eph, Col, Php, Phm, 1 Tim, Titus, 2 Tim. The time period is roughly from 49 AD to 67 AD. Paul's death was around 67-69 AD.

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle--not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ
1Th 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle
Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints,
Php 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

Paul started strongly as a God commissioned apostle, to least of the apostles, to least of all the saints! As Paul grows older, he got more and more humble and Christ-like.

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