The Bible presents a unified story that leads to Jesus Christ and yet is comprised of sixty-six books written by various authors over the period of 1,500 years.
The Bible consists of two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The word, “testament” refers to a covenant between God and the human race. God’s desire and plan have not changed throughout history.
“You shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Ezekiel 36:28; Jeremiah 30:22) is at the heart of God’s covenant throughout the Bible. It is to establish a relationship between God and the human race.
The Old Testament is when God made a covenant of law with the people of Israel (offspring of Abraham). It is a relationship between God and Israel based on the law.
Jesus ushered in a new covenant. It is a relationship based on grace.
Instead of the people of God keeping His commandments to remain in a good relationship with Him, God established the permanent relationship through Jesus His Son.
If you are new to the Bible, first read the Gospel of Mark (short and fast-paced). Next, read the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts (also written by Luke). After Acts, read the Gospel of John and then the Gospel of Matthew. After the Gospels, you can read the rest of the New Testament. We suggest Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians first.
After you have read the Gospels, you can also begin reading the Old Testament. First read Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings in this order. These books will show you the overall history and the story of the people of Israel.