By Billy Doolittle
At the beginning of this year, like many other Christian, you resolved to read the entire Bible. According to Business Insider, 80 percent of people fail their new years resolutions by February. I want to challenge you to continue your pursuit to read the entire Bible if you have slumped, but in an order that may be new to you. Now that you fell off your reading rainbow so to speak, consider reading the Bible in its original order.
Biblical literature is a unique composition including spoken and written histories. However, once these oral traditions are written and composed, they become written history. Michael Shepherd states that “… the Sinai law is not only in written form, but also it is set within a larger narrative and composed framework that provides its own context for interpretation.” So, these written traditions have been compiled and set in the canon purposefully. The biblical authors have written and arranged all the material in scripture for them to read as one whole in order to provide interpretative “key” for one another. The Hebrew canon contains three main sections, the Torah (law), Prophets, and the Writings. Each of these major sections contain a bridge to the next section. This provides an arrow from the author in the direction he wishes the audience to go.
Evidence of this is plenty in the Hebrew Bible. I will show you 2 major evidences of these “arrows” Deut 34:9 to Josh 1:8-9, providing the bridge between the Torah and the Writings. The author wants the readers to see the expectation of the prophet like Moses, specifically in Joshua. At the end of the Prophets in Malachi 4:4 reflect the words spoken to Joshua in Josh 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” which then creates the bridge to Psa 1, the beginning of the “Writings”.
I would suggest reading the Bible in the order of the Leningrad Codex. It is the oldest complete canon of the Hebrew Bible.
TORAH: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy;
PROPHETS: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Book of the Twelve;
WRITINGS: Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles.
Reading the Bible canonically points to the “prophet like Moses” Israel was expecting.