Why study the short books: The Bible is a collection of many unique books which collectively tell one story of God’s nature and power as He redeems and prepares a people with whom to dwell in holiness and fellowship. Seeking the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), helps us to understand this story, keeps us from confusion about God’s character, and shows us the proper way to respond to God in a loving relationship through Jesus Christ.
The small books give particular insights into the larger books just as the larger books help explain what is written in the small books.
Guideline to aide studying the short books: Understand what’s not there. Being a short book, there is very limited information conveyed. The human response is very often to criticize scripture for not speaking exhaustively on subjects that matter to us at particular times for various reasons. The flaw in this critique is that it asks the Bible to tell my story. Remember that the Bible tells us God’s story, invites us into God’s family and teaches us to recognize God’s voice. The miracle of God’s Word is that understanding God’s story as revealed in the Bible invites every reader to become part of the story and to live a life of eternal purpose and destiny.
It is the height of arrogance to impose our beliefs upon Scripture. It is the depth of depravity to manipulate Scripture. It is the mark of humility to seek the Scripture. It is the fullness of humanity to follow the pattern of Scripture.