A Chronological Bible


Posted by Matt Postiff May 7, 2018 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Interpretation  General 

Today's question:

I have heard that there is a chronological Bible in a number of versions. I know little about it. What do you think about a chronological Bible vs the "regular" one? I am concerned about the change. Should I be?

And my response:

I don't own a chronological Bible, but I don't have a problem with the idea of a chronological Bible.

What is a chronological Bible? It presents the contents of the Bible in the order in which the events occurred. So, after you read a certain portion of Acts 20, then you would read Romans, because that's when Paul wrote Romans. Or, since Isaiah ministered to such and such Israelite kings, you would place his prophecies during the narrative of those kings in Kings and Chronicles.

Such a Bible can be helpful to put together the Bible's history, which is important for us to understand things properly. After all, we believe in a *historical*, grammatical, literal principle of interpretation. So, we need to get the history right.

The order of books in the Bible is not inspired. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible's order of books is different than the English Bible's order. I don't lose any sleep over that issue, but it is interesting to know that fact and why.

I have a slight concern if a particular chronological Bible splits a book in pieces and rearranges those pieces into various locations. The reason for the concern is that the Holy Spirit superintended the authors to write the books in a certain order. Splitting sections may have an important contextual impact on the study of certain sections.

As long as the chronological Bible is a supplemental tool in your "study tool box," we need not worry about the above concern.

You don't need a special chronological Bible. You can find a chronological reading schedule and just read your regular Bible in a different order than you normally do.

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