Question:

What books would you recommend reading in the Old Testament? I read Genesis, Leviticus and Numbers at the beginning of my turn to God and Jesus Christ. I was just haphazardly picking books at random then.


Answer:

What I would recommend first is reading are the books on practical, everyday wisdom.

  • Proverbs - Proverbs is a bit odd in that it filled with short statements that don't become really meaningful until you puzzle over them. Even the order of the topics is a puzzle and is designed to get you to think. What is interesting is every time you read Proverbs something different pops out at you because of events in your life.
  • Ecclesiastes - Addresses the question: Why did God create man?

Next, I would recommend getting the history of the Old Testament:

  • Genesis (Skim the genealogies)
  • Exodus
  • Numbers (Skim the lists of counts and land assignments)
  • Deuteronomy (Moses' last speeches to Israel, mostly a review)
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • I Samuel
  • II Samuel
  • I Chronicles (Same story as I and II Samuel but told from a religious point of view. Skim the genealogies, but there are some interesting stories buried in them.)
  • I Kings
  • II Kings
  • II Chronicles (Same story as I and II Kings but told from a religious point of view)
  • Jeremiah
  • Daniel
  • Esther
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah

Finally, I would suggest two more books to round out your understanding:

  • Job - This takes place in the days of Abraham or a bit earlier. It is a discussion about where suffering comes from
  • Psalms - This is a collection of poetry, but Hebrew poetry is different from Western poetry. Ideas are compared and contrasted instead of sounds and rhythms being played with.
These will give you the basic framework to understand the New Testament better and to understand the laws and prophecy books that I left out.