Many years ago, I decided I was going to master the Bible. I was going to begin with Genesis and read through Revelation, and I wasn’t going to put it down until I understood it. I soon became hopelessly entangled in a jungle of fantastic stories, unpronounceable names, broken plots, unanswered questions, and endless genealogies. I stubbed my toe on Leviticus, sprained my ankle on Job, hit my head on Ecclesiastes, and fell headlong into the mud on Habakkuk.
I was defeated. I threw my Bible down, concluding that the Bible was a series of unrelated stories put together in random order!
Then one day I discovered a key. With this key, the fog that enshrouded my understanding of the Bible began to lift. Not that things came into sharp focus, but at least I began to see shapes on the horizon.
The key: Learning the structure of the Bible. If you want to learn architecture, you must first learn how the buildings are put together. If you want to learn sailing, you must first learn how ships are put together. And if you want to learn to understand the Bible, you must first learn how the Bible is put together.
The Old and New Testaments
The Bible has two major divisions: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament begins with creation and tells the story of the Jewish people up to the time of Christ. It is made up of thirty-nine individual “books” (the Book of Genesis, the Book of Exodus, etc.) written by twenty-eight different authors and spans a period of over two thousand years.
The New Testament is the records of the birth of Jesus, His life and ministry, and the ministry of His disciples, which was carried on after Jesus was crucified. The New Testament is composed of twenty-seven books written by nine different authors and covers a time period of less than one hundred years. The total number of books in the entire Bible is sixty-six.
Taken from 30 Days to Understand the Bible by Max Anders.