Nothing will prepare you to read and understand poetry, stories, culture, history, and any literature better than reading the Bible. This is because of the Bible’s quality, time span, depth, and complexly woven story line.
The Bible begins at the start of recorded human history, even earlier. Adam and Eve lived before 4,000 BC; 1,500 years passed before Noah and the flood, but only ten chapters passed in Genesis. The rest of Genesis spans another thousand years. That covers many vital events of history in just a few short writings.
Then, those events prepared all other events through the rest of the Bible. Moses came along almost two thousand years after Adam and Eve, over two thousand years before Jesus’s day. Everyone in the Old Testament learned about Moses—thereby shaping and bringing context to their stories.
One by one, more events unfold in the Bible. Kingdoms and families rose and fell for hundreds of years, many of them with little mention. But in those eras, people told stories of the people before them, Moses among many others. Those people died and people in the next era told stories about them—and the next era—all with little mention. Some of this is recorded in the Bible. Different events—centuries and millennia apart—all different cultures that were built on the previous—they would talk about the societies before them. This shaped who they were. They were all connected.
Then, we finally read a longer story in the Bible with more details. Noah was linked to Ruth. Samson was connected to Jonah. The more we study, the more connections and themes we see. The more we learn about what archaeology says about those times, the more we see how accurate the Bible is. We progressively learn more about this complex, interlinked story; but we also learn more about history—our real history.
Then, we have poetry, wisdom literature, cultures, and ancient languages. These also connect to the real events of our history. By understanding what’s in the Bible, we can understand any other literature much more easily because nothing runs as deep. Yet, those who don’t study the Bible never understand why diligent Bible students do.