The key to reading the Bible is context. Each verse is read in context of its chapter; each chapter in context of its book; and each book in the context of the other books of the Bible. The Bible is the entire collection of scripture, which are inspired writings. Each writing is referred to as a book. There are sixty six books in total.
The Books are divided into two portions, the Old Testament and the New Testament. A testament is a legal word describing a will. A person beginning a will starts with “This is the last testament and will of…” People leave wills to others to provide an inheritance to their heirs. God who never changes proved us with two key heritages, the law and the gospel.
Gods words are sweeter than honey comb and more precious than gold (Psalm 19). The words in the pages of God’s inspired scriptures are full of life and tell us the truth. I will describe what it means to say that the scriptures are inspired later but first let us talk about structure of the Bible.
Understanding the difference between the Old and New Testaments is critical. The Old Testament begins with the five books of the law, then continues with prophets, poets and historical accounts. Jesus explained as recorded in John 5:39 that the Old Testament speaks of him. The New Testament starts with the four books of the Gospels, then a book about the History of the early spread of the gospel, and then goes through the letters of the Apostles, concluding with the great final prophesy, the Revelation.
Seeing Jesus is the Bible is critical. As Jesus said, the Old Testament speaks about Jesus (John 5:39). It does this through promises and prophesies of his coming. The New Testament speaks about Jesus. It does this by revealing his coming. The Old Testament points forward to Jesus and the New Testament points directly at him (Gospels) and back to him (Acts on). It does this by proclaiming him. Essentially the Old Testament is Jesus Christ concealed while the New Testament is Jesus Christ revealed.
Speaking of Jesus 2 Corinthians 1:20 says “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” The promises of God are contained in the Old Testament as they foretell the coming of Jesus. These promises find their “Yes” in him, which means they are fulfilled, completed and true in Him. A promise is fulfilled when the one promised arrives and completes the promised work. Jesus did this on Calvary. The phrase “we utter our Amen to God for his glory” indicates that the apostles (“we”) are proclaiming Christ Jesus as witnesses to Him.
Now, I promised I would speak of what it means that the Bible is “inspired” writings. Let me begin by an example. If a lawyer is writing a letter and dictates to her secretary the content of the letter and the secretary writes the letter as dictated, the letter is considered that of the lawyer and not the secretary, despite her personally typing it out. The person dictating the letter will usually sign off to confirm they are the sender. When God “inspired” scripture the writers of scripture spoke “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21 KJV).
I working and will update with two points below.
Brief explanation of citations
Best translations (very brief explanation)
2Pe 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”