Top 10 Books of the Bible to Study as a Whole

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There are many different ways to study the Bible, all beneficial. Getting deep into God’s word provides guidance, understanding, and peace. Specific issues are best addressed using topical studies. But there is something special about the study a book of the Bible. You start to better appreciate the intent of the writer. Verses have context that can deepen your understanding. You have the opportunity to engage with the entire book in the way it was originally meant to be learned.

Studying a whole book of the Bible takes a different approach than most Bible studies. This type of study attempts to see the book as a complete unit instead of a combination of its parts. The purpose is to understand its overall contents, purpose, and main themes. Individual passages will make more sense and you gain a better sense of the larger story. Here are 10 books of the Bible to get you started.

10. Romans

This book is a treatise by St. Paul on the doctrine of God’s justification of us through Christ. By justification through faith, God frees us from our past, secures our future, and initiates His transformational work in our lives. Romans is about a makeover of the soul. While undergoing this growth, we are given the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us.

9. Joshua

This book is the story of the conquest and partition of Canaan. Joshua walked for 40 years in the desert to reach the promise land. There is no wonder that he approached with a bit of trepidation. It took extraordinary faith to trust in God to fulfill his promises. God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. God was true to His word and led the Israelites to the promised land of milk and honey. Joshua teaches us how to live a life of extraordinary faith.

8. Job

This book is the story of the trials and tribulations of Job, a holy man of Edom. It is indeed a literary masterpiece on top of being the true word of God. It is a story of a man who lost everything. He endured much pain and sorrow, but in the end, he was blessed with twice as much as before. He trusted God in his darkest hours. He knew that God was worthy of worship despite what was happening in his life.

7. Psalms

This beautiful book is a collection of poems, mostly by David, intended for use in the worship of Jehovah. Emotions can be troubling, frustrating, and sometimes untrustworthy, especially for Christians. We fluctuate from deeply spiritual emotions to downright sinful ones. Psalms helps us sort through these emotions and learn the difference between godly and ungodly ways of managing them.

6. Ecclesiastes

This book is a single poem on the vanity of earthly things. It conveys the meaninglessness of life without God. The world, despite its promises of fulfillment, cannot truly satisfy the longings of the human heart. Ecclesiastes reminds Christians to fear God and trust in His promise to restore creation through the power of the gospel.

5. Lamentations

This book is the utterance of Joshua’s sorrow when Jerusalem is captured and the temple destroyed. It reminds us that loss is essential to growth. Despite Joshua’s lamentations over the effects of sin in the world and the judgment of a holy God, he speaks of hope. His faith stands strong in the midst of darkness.

4. Colossians

In this book, St. Paul warns his disciples against errors and encourages them in certain duties. It teaches the principles of living a good Christian life in a sinful world. It is about standing against the tide of a non-Christian culture.

3. Ephesians

This book is a treatise by St. Paul on the power of divine grace. There is a lot of confusion around sin, fear, and doubt. How can we possibly be God’s masterpiece? Paul describes a God that is so full of love for us He could never abandon us to our current state. Ephesians encourages us to allow God to mold us and to accept our identities as members of God’s family.

2. James

This book is a treatise on the unity of faith and good works. James explores spiritual maturity and what it means to be a Christian full-time, around the clock. It covers the realities of following Jesus through temptation, suffering, social justice and compassion, speech, and prayer.

 1. I Peter

This book speaks to the Christian life and includes warnings and various predictions. It shows us how to think differently in a way that ultimately affects our behavior. Obedience to God helps us make the right choices under pressure. It teaches us to trust in God even through suffering.

If you are interested in learning more about the word of God, the way international prides themselves on seeking out the truth of God’s Word through research teaching and fellowship. Immerse yourself in God’s word and dedicate yourself to learning His teachings.

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1 Comment

  1. HONEST TO GOD on

    Shell Harris, I can tell you have considerable faith, which is amazing, and that you are a very good writer as well.

    However, I’m about to tear into your beliefs with the utter conviction and clear conscience that only an ex-believer can have. Forgive me if you must, or don’t- the truth doesn’t care about our feelings.

    Dear readers:

    The Bible is full of inconsistencies, outrageous claims that can’t be proven until you’re dead, and empty promises from a “loving” God whom, as your Heavenly Father, you cannot see, talk to, or know, UNTIL you’re dead(notice a theme here?).

    In the beginning, God in his infinite wisdom saw fit to give his beloved creations Adam & Eve absolute freedom in the Garden of Eden, then tempted them by telling them NOT TO EAT THAT BEAUTIFUL FRUIT FROM THAT ONE TREE, for reasons He can’t bother to explain right now. That’s like a deadbeat dad leaving his children in a room with a loaded gun, telling them not to use it without explaining the danger, and then being shocked to find them shot upon his return.

    Furthermore, despite being ostensibly perfect, as well as the self-proclaimed Alpha and Omega of existence, not to mention the “one, true god”, the Christian deity still happens to be insanely jealous(of what?).

    This supposedly all-powerful being is also highly insecure, needing the unending praise of all mankind while disallowing any direct contact with them, communicating (allegedly) through rumored revelations and cryptic riddles, and providing no proof that he even exists.

    Also, he needs 10% of your money, for reasons. DON’T ASK!!

    And, despite being capable of all things, God decides the only suitable way to forgive mankind of our supposed transgressions against him, called “sins” (which we’re born with, by the way), is by sacrificing his “only begotten Son” (wait, aren’t we all his children?) as a blood sacrifice.

    However, this intermediary figure, called “Jesus”, claims co-divinity with his Father-God, contradicting the part of God’s Word that says there is only one god, so in order to bridge any cognitive dissonance, Jesus by faith is officially deemed a form of God himself, and since our current, sinful state keeps us out of reach of God, God uses a “Holy Ghost” (which is also a form of God) to interact with us. (*whew*)

    So, the only way to achieve forgiveness from God is by asking God the Son to forgive you so that God the Father will deploy his alter-ego God the Holy Ghost to cleanse you of your sins. Got that?

    Just remember, God loves you, but if you offend him in any way, he reserves the right to throw you into a lake of fire called Hell to burn forever and ever, amen. (Despite the fact that the book of Exodus shows that he can influence the hearts of men who don’t believe like Pharaoh, God is still down with us fumbling in the dark throughout our lives in fear and ignorance over whether or not we’ve chosen the correct combination of denomination, faith, fidelity, good works, and atonement to make religious BINGO! and be allowed into Heaven).

    Which leads me to another point: Don’t be conceited and think that we above all creatures are granted eternal life. Before you were born, you weren’t conscious, and when you die, you won’t be again. Only hubris tells us we continue on. You already know what death is like every time you sleep without dreams. Also, if you kill flies and other pests without any consideration of their souls; what makes you so high and mighty as to think you have one?

    I could go on and on and on, but this is the truth: it was only when I stopped teaching at Church, which meant lying to children, selling them the same un-truths I was sold as a child, that I became a stronger and more confident person, losing the depression which had intensified over the years I drank the Kool-Aid of fundamentalist Christian dogma.

    If you still need advice on how to live, I offer three suggestions: believe in yourself, do good, and don’t be an a**hole. This mantra has served me better than the Bible ever did. Have a nice life, ya’ll.

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