Read Romans Through Philemon

Some people feel we need to read the Bible through every year. Please, allow me to relieve you of this unnecessary burden. The truth for us, today, is found in the letters of Paul. Yes, Paul mentions people and events of Old Testament times, but only when lessons from the past are a necessary tool to illustrate present truth. If Paul thinks it’s important, he’ll mention it. Other than that – forget it.

You don’t need to read the books of Numbers and Chronicles once a year, or once every ten years, or – frankly – at all. If you want to say you’ve “read the entire Bible,” then go for it; slog through. I have read the Bible through several times, and that’s enough for me. Why would I want to read over and over again about treachery and deceit; children being run through with swords; adults being impaled upon poles; mass killings; women having their babies ripped from their bellies; women eating their babies; and King David saying things like, “Kill all my enemies, Lord!” Sure, it’s fun reading it the first time, but the joy goes away.

This is why Paul gives us the Cliff Notes. If there is something in the OT you need to know about, Paul will tell you. Paul never handed any of the nations copies of the Hebrew Scriptures and said, “Here. Read this.” Why would he want to depress, demoralize, and mislead them?

God is not challenging you to wade through Israel’s history once a year. Life is too short—and you need the latest truth. Read Romans through Philemon over and over again, instead. I am convinced that, these days, it’s all you need.

ZenderMMartin Zender
Clanging Gong News, Volume 3, Issue 12 (2011)

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