In studying your Bible, it is very important you realize the Bible is segmented and classified into different parts depending on your focus.
But of all the classifications, the most important one is the classifications Jesus and the Apostles gave it. Let’s see it.
For all THE PROPHETS and THE LAW prophesied until John.
On these two commandments hang all THE LAW and THE PROPHETS.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in THE LAW, and THE PROPHETS, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by THE LAW and THE PROPHETS;
So generally we can say the Old Testament is divided into 2 classes:
THE LAW (Genesis to Deuteronomy) and
THE PROPHETS (Joshua to Malachi)
Although sometimes Genesis is separated from the Law (rendered as The Beginning) and Psalms too are sometimes separated. But we cannot go into that details now.
For the New Testament section, let’s see:
Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were EYEWITNESSES, and ministers of the word;
2 Peter 1:16
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were EYEWITNESSES of his majesty.
So we see there are the EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS. The Eyewitness Accounts would be those Books that are journalistic in nature where men reported what they saw or reported from those who saw them. The Gospels and Acts would be in this category.
However since Jesus died and resurrected between the Gospels and Acts, we have to separate Acts as Post-resurrection Eyewitness Account.
Finally, we have the Segment called THE EPISTLES.
1 Thessalonians 5:27
I charge you by the Lord that this EPISTLE be read unto all the holy brethren.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our EPISTLE.
2 Thessalonians 3:14
And if any man obey not our word by this EPISTLE, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Now let’s summarize this, the Bible is segmented into 5 classes:
1. THE LAW
2. THE PROPHETS
3. THE GOSPELS (or Pre-Resurrection Accounts)
4. THE ACTS (or Post-Resurrection Account)
5. THE EPISTLES
Someone may wonder, why this segmentation?
Well, the segmentations are there because of the different PATTERN OF COMMUNICATION in all those books. Even though the entire scripture testify of Christ, these segments communicate same message differently.
1. Communication in THE LAW is mostly in types and shadows.
For THE LAW HAVING A SHADOW of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
You would see a lot of events, activities and practices which are shadows pointing to Christ.
2. Communication in THE PROPHETS is in prophecies. There you will find more light as the Prophets spoke concerning Christ.
1 Peter 1:10
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who PROPHESIED of the grace that should come unto you:
3. Communication in THE GOSPELS was focused on the senses because it was to account for the life of Jesus in the sense realm, similar to what John described:
1 John 1:!1
That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN WITH OUR EYES, which we have LOOKED UPON, and our HANDS HAVE HANDLED, of the Word of life;
4. Communication in ACTS is focused on the outward result of the work of Christ in believers. It does not focus on the reality of Christ which eyes cannot see. Those can be found only in the Epistles.
5. Communication in THE EPISTLES is direct explaining the details of Christ beyond the physical, facts of redemption which eyes cannot see. It’s the explanation of the shadows in the Law and the prophecies in the Prophets. The believer must be very conversant with this above all others as it carries the greatest light.
2 Corinthians 3:12
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
The Bible student must read with understanding of these classifications as this will aid his interpretation of scriptures. For instance, you may draw doctrine directly from the Epistles, or sometimes from Acts, but you may not be able to do that from other segments without decoding the pattern of communication there.
I hope you see this?