Six underrated books of the Bible
If you poll people about their favorite books of the Bible, chances are that the results will be heavily weighted in favor of the same grouping of the gospels, Romans, James, Genesis, Exodus, and the Psalms. And while all of those are definitely terrific, there are some books that don’t seem to get as much recognition or study from Christians as they should.
So to encourage all of us to branch out in our Bible reading, I want to present a list of three Old Testament and three New Testament books that are underrated — and definitely worth your time.
Old Testament: Deuteronomy
A lot of people struggle to get through the rule-dense first five books in the Bible, but Deuteronomy (literally, “Second Law”) is a great recap of God’s Covenant with his people, has amazing verses (such as the Shema in chapter 6), and marks the transition between the desert wanderings of the Hebrews and their move into the Promised Land. Deuteronomy’s retelling of the Law is useful for us today to reflect our sinful patterns back to us, restrain us from future sin, and reflect on the nature of God.
New Testament: Ephesians
Ephesians is what I call “Romans Cliff Notes” — an abbreviated version of Romans’ elaborate systematic theology in an easy-to-read format. Plus, Ephesians has a lot of practical advice for daily Christian living — and don’t forget about the Armor of God passage in the last chapter!
Old Testament: Ezekiel
Clocking in at 38 chapters, Ezekiel is a massive book! It’s also a gripping saga of a priest of God seeing the apocalypse of Judah happen. God uses Ezekiel and many object lessons to try to communicate the message of this judgment — but also hope for the future restoration that would come. The metaphor of the Valley of Dry Bones is a wonderful one for us Christians, who were dead in our sins but God made us alive again.
New Testament: 1 John
Have you ever worried if you were truly saved? 1 John tackles this issue and offers a whole lot of reassurance for the believer whose hope is in Christ. It’s also a powerful series of essays about the love that Christians need to bear for each other, which is always something we should revisit on a regular basis.
Old Testament: Micah
If you love courtroom dramas, then you might find Micah absolutely fascinating. It’s basically a court case between God and Israel, with God as the prosecutor and the plaintiff and Israel as the defendant. But even as the sentence is being passed on a criminal nation, God vows in chapter 5 to bring salvation out of the very smallest portion of Judah… a small town called Bethlehem.
New Testament: 1 Peter
The first of two of the apostle Peter’s letters is a rousing call to persevere as Christians even in the midst of suffering and trial. We discover who we are as Christians in this book: a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. There’s so much encouragement here that you can’t but feel your heart lift and your lips sing when you read these words!