Reading the Bible in Machete Order

On the first day of my class on the Bible, I ask students what order we should read the Bible in. This year I made explicit reference to “machete order” – the approach to Star Wars that maximizes suspense by starting with Episode IV and V, then jumping back to the prequels (some recommend skipping Episode I entirely), and then jumping back to Episode VI and now beyond.

What would the equivalent order be in which to read the Bible? Keep in mind that this isn’t simply reading in the canonical order, nor just reading in the chronological order in which things were most likely written. What order of reading the Bible maximizes enjoyment of and appreciation for the collection as a whole? And which works if any are the equivalent of Star Wars Episode I, in that you would recommend skipping them in a machete order approach to the Bible?

I look forward to reading your answers in comments. Once you’ve come up with your own, you can take a look and see what others have already proposed.

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