Making the Bible smaller


by Richard Mansel, managing editor

The Bible contains 66 books written by some 40 authors. Even with fine print and two columns, it is around 1,000 pages. The audiobook version of the Bible requires 60 hours of listening time.

The Bible requires more than a lifetime to master because of the vastness of its content. Yet, we can learn a few principles and the Bible will seem much smaller. Moreover, we will become more confident that the Scriptures are inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

First, study the Jesus thread. In the Gospel of John, the evangelist begins with the most astounding introduction ever recorded.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5).

Following these threads will shorten the field. As John sets out to defend his position, we find that Jesus brought God to earth (John 1:14; 14:9) and he is the central theme of God’s entire plan of salvation (John 3:16).

In Hebrews, we find that Jesus was the ultimate goal of all of the Old Testament (Hebrews 1). Accordingly, the Bible story becomes singularly focused and therefore smaller and more accessible.

Second, study prophecy. The prophets delivered the Word of God to man over the millennia of the Old Testament to prove his majesty (Jeremiah 28:9).

Peter wrote, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

Third, study typology. “A type is a shadow cast on the pages of Old Testament history by a truth whose full embodiment or antitype is found in the New Testament revelation.”/1

For example, we find Noah’s Ark as a type of the Church and Joseph as a type of Jesus. Throughout God’s Word, we find God working through humanity to prove to future men and women the veracity of his teachings.

The more we study God’s Word, we more we realize how much we still need to learn. However, at the same time, we see how much smaller and interesting the Scriptures become.

Dive into God’s Word and see the glories contained within its pages!

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

2 thoughts on “Making the Bible smaller

  1. This is a very good article and certainly gives good guidance on how to study. I am sure there are many ways to approach a study but sometimes trying something new will give you a fresh understanding of the Scriptures. You have a gift for writing Richard and I am so happy you are using this talent to the fullest.

  2. “The more we study God’s Word, we more we realize how much we still need to learn. However, at the same time, we see how much smaller and interesting the Scriptures become.”

    This is definitely the key. Frequent study is required to not only develop a habit, but to learn what all the words mean so that the whole story becomes continually clearer.

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