Did you realize that the original New Testament was a series of letters and written accounts and not the “textbook” that we have now, all chopped up into little bitty pieces?
The titles of the books, chapters, versus and all the little subdivision headings and notes were added hundreds of years after the New Testament was written. As well, it is out of order chronologically. All of this conspires present a much different “healing” than what the original readers would have experienced.
There is a huge difference between reading a personal letter written during circumstances that you are well aware of versus pulling bits and pieces out of a textbook of which you have no basic understanding of the background in which it was written.
This will serve to make the Bible and rather impersonal study guide or textbook rather than maintaining its natural flow in rhythm. I’m not saying in any way that our standard Bibles of today should be tossed aside or are somehow hindering God’s will. Not at all.
What I am saying, is that if we were to go back and read Acts as a storyline rather than a history textbook, he will have a much different feel. I’m saying that if we were to read the Pauline letters like personal letters with an understanding of the background we would be that much closer to understanding the original intent.
Much confusion in the Christian world is caused because we use the Bible for prooftexting, which is the process of listing verses out of context to create a meaning which may or may not have been originally intended. This is easy to do with the textbook but much more unnatural with a letter.
The link below will allow you to download personal copy of the New Testament I created where I have grouped the books (Acts, Pauline letters, Heb-Rev, Gospels), put the Pauline letters in chronological order and I have removed all of the numbers, headings and subdivisions. I have also included a brief background of each book so that when you began to read you will have an understanding of why the book was written and who was written to. Read the first page of the document for more explanation.
I realize that the Bible is in many ways our textbook as Christians but it is also a personal word from God. I hope that you will find reading it in this format to be a blessing as I have.
Start with a small book like Galatians that you can read in a few minutes. Read some of the other smaller books just to get the feel of what I am talking about before you move on to the bigger books.