Back-to-front Bible?

Have you come across people, not believers, who have decided to read the Bible from cover to cover to check it out, only to get discouraged and give up round about the book of Numbers? I know I have.

There must be a better way!

Who says the Bible has to have the Old Testament first and the New Testament second? Yes, I know that is the broad chronological order, but who says that has to be the way it is?

In my last post, I pointed out that the New Testament supersedes the Old in many ways, because the covenant of the NT replaces the covenant of the OT.

That makes the New more important than the Old, because it tells us about the life of Jesus, the most important person in the world. No christian seriously disputes that.

So why not publish the Bible with the New Testament first, followed by the Old? Those who start out reading it right through would get the most important part (the gospels) first, and we would emphasise that Jesus and his covenant is the most important. What’s not to like about it?

Some will object that it downgrades the Old Testament. But I would respond (1) it is no more than is fair, and (2) it already happens, with many gospels and New Testaments published without the Old. (For example, I have an old ‘Good News’ Scripture which consists of the whole NT followed by just the Psalms from the OT.)

Who knows, I might even write to the Bible Society suggesting this move. What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. Why not include the Essence gospels that were recently found in Israel? They may be more original versions of Jesus. After all the Bible was written 200 years after Jesus died. I just saw on YouTube that more writings of Jesus ( looks like) are found in a Buddist Monistary kept hidden until just recently. Something to be more inspired by. ..not blocked!
    King James from England was hardly a devout Christian didn’t really believe in Bible but changed it to suite the times. How much was lost in the real translation we don’t know.
    The best is to have the Presence in physical to Truely guide us. That’s why there is always a knew lightbulb that comes for the true seekers. Seek and yea shall find…knock and the door will be open… Better than any book! God Bless you in your true seeking!

  2. Hi Dawn, it is good to see someone engaging with these issues. I think your questions are worth asking. Here is my brief response, hoping you’ll find them food for thought.

    “Why not include the Essence gospels that were recently found in Israel? They may be more original versions of Jesus. After all the Bible was written 200 years after Jesus died.”

    Most scholars don’t think the New Testament was written 200 years after Jesus died, but less than 100 years. The 4 gospels are generally considered to have been written in the period 60-100 CE, i.e. 30-70 years after Jesus died. Many other “gospels” (i.e. biographies or stories or teachings of Jesus) exist but they weren’t included in the New Testament because (i) they weren’t written in the first century and (ii) they weren’t written by apostles or people close to the apostles. The only exception is the Gospel of Thomas, which some think was early, but most don’t. I’m not sure of the “gospel” you are referring to, but I don’t think it was written in the first century and gives accurate historical information about Jesus.

    “King James from England was hardly a devout Christian didn’t really believe in Bible but changed it to suite the times. How much was lost in the real translation we don’t know.”

    Translation is always a tricky thing, but nothing has been lost by King James. Modern translations use the very best ancient texts and are not affected by anything King James did or any previous translation.

    “God Bless you in your true seeking!”

    Thanks you. And may God bless and guide you too!

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