The Bible is the inspired revelation of God to mankind. It was preserved for us in written form. (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:20,21).


Origin of the Bible The Bible

The Bible came into existence as God revealed Himself to human agents in such a manner that they recorded accurately and free from human error whatever was divinely disclosed to them (2 Tim.3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21) This process is called inspiration, which means that God breathed His Word into the minds of the human authors. They, in turn, under the Holy Spirit’s control wrote down what was given to them (see also 1 Cor. 2:6-16). The result of inspiration is a written revelation once for all given and thoroughly accredited. Fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and the fulfilling of God’s will through human experiences, all attest to the fact of the inspiration of Scripture.


What the Bible consists of

The Bible consists of 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament. These 66 books together form one book, the Bible.


Producing The Scriptures

The Old Testament came into being from around 1400 B.C. (the time of Moses) to 400 B.C. (the time of Malachi). The New Testament was produced from about A.D. 40 to A.D. 100.


Theme of The Bible

The Bible reveals God’s plan and purpose for the redemption of fallen man. Thus the central theme of the Bible is the redemption and reconciliation of mankind. (2 Cor. 5:17-20; Eph. 1:7-10; Col. 1:19,20).


Central Figure of the Bible

The central figure of the Bible is Jesus Christ. Everything hinges upon Him. He is the author and finisher. (Heb.2:9,10; 12:1,2).


Languages of the Bible

Hebrew is the language of the Old Testament, with a few small portions written in Aramaic (Dan.2:4-7:28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Jer.10:11) Both Hebrew and Aramaic belong to the Semitic group of languages, spoken by the decedents of Noah’s son Shem (Gen.10:22).

 

Greek is the language of the New Testament—not formal classical Greek of the intellectuals but the common or “koine” Greek, the universal speech that came into the Greco-Roman world following the conquests of Alexander the Great. This language was widely spoken from 300 B.C. to A.D. 330.


Why The Bible Was Written

To reveal God.

To reveal truth.

To reveal the meaning of life.

To reveal the origin and nature of mankind.

To reveal sin.

To reveal Jesus Christ.

To reveal salvation.

To reveal the destiny of the soul.


Establishing The Proper View

To understand the Bible properly, it is imperative that one first establish the proper view. The proper view is a “Bird’s Eye View,” Looking at all 66 books of the Bible as one connecting and evolving story. That story is the redemption and reconciliation of the human race (Col. 1:19-20). The Bible must be understood and taught within its proper context. The Constant Theme Of The Bible is The Redemption & Reconciliation of Humankind.

  

A helpful way to describe the story of the Bible is like the unfolding of a drama:

Act 1: Creation (Genesis 1—2).

Act 2: Sin & The Fall Of Mankind (Genesis 3—11).

Act 3: What God Plans To Do About Sin (Genesis 12—Malachi).

Act 4: Jesus: The Coming Savior (Matthew—John).

Act 5: The Church & The Gospel (Acts—Revelation).

Act 6: The Consummation of all things. 



Bible Library

Act 1: Creation (Genesis 1—2).

         A) God creates all things beautiful & perfect.

             1) The earth, space, & all life.

             2) God demonstrates the goodness of His nature through creation (Rom 1:20).


Act 2: Sin & The Fall of Mankind (Genesis 3—11).

         A) Adam & Eve disobey God (the human race progresses further away from God).

              1) God enacts His eternal plan of redemption & reconciliation (Gen. 3:15).

              2) God begins to intervene among mankind to ensure the success of His plan.

                  a) The Flood.

                  b) Tower of Babel (dispersing of nations).

                  c) Calling & promises to Abraham.

                  d) Protecting Jacob & his family

                  

Act 3: What God Plans To Do About Sin: (Genesis 12—Malachi).

         A) God continues His promise by making Israel a great nation.

             1) The children of Israel (Jacob) become numerous.

             2) God calls Moses to free them from slavery & make them a holy nation.

             3) Israel constantly rebels, God judges them, but keeps them as a nation.


Act 4: Jesus: The Coming Savior (Matthew—John).

         A) The Life & Death of Christ (God was with Him, Acts 10:37-38).

             1) God raises Jesus from the dead & appoints Him as Lord & Christ (Acts 2:32,36).

             2) The story of the Bible culminates in Christ (Luke 24:25-27; 44-49).


Act 5: The Church & The Gospel (Acts—Revelation).

         A) The Church is the promised kingdom of God that will endure forever (Daniel 2:31-45).

             1) The church is the Grand Holy Body & Kingdom that God planned from eternity:

                 a) Ephesians 1:3-10.

                 b) Ephesians 2:12-22.

                 c) Ephesians 3:1-10.


Act 6: The Consummation of all things.

         A) Once all of God's will is completed, the earth will be destroyed, man will be judged.

              1) Acts 3:19-21.

              2) 2 Pet. 3:1-14.

              3) 2 Cor. 5:10

              4) 1 Cor. 15:24-28; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Thes. 5:1-11.


Proper Approach Is Crucial

Did you know that how we read the Bible is just as important as reading it? The Bible is a book containing a collection of books. Books are meant to be read in their entirety.

The Bible is a self-revelation of the one true God, therefore it must be interpreted in light of the intent of the original Divine author through a human writer in a specific historical setting.

The Bible was written for all people. God accommodated Himself to speak to us clearly within a historical and cultural context. God does not hide truth—He wants us to understand! Therefore, it must be interpreted in light of its day, not ours.

The Bible cannot mean to us what it never meant to those who first read or heard it. It is understandable by the average human mind and uses normal human communication forms and techniques. The Bible has a unified message and purpose. It doesn't contradict itself, though it does contain difficult and paradoxical passages. Thus, the best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible. Although we can never be absolutely certain we know every original intent of the author, many indicators point in its direction: The genre (literary type) chosen to express the message. The historical setting and specific occasion that elicited the writing: The literary context of the entire book. The textual design (outline) of the writings as they relate to the whole message. The specific grammatical features employed to communicate the message. The words chosen to present the message.


Inappropriate Methods of Bible Study

1) Ignoring the literary context of the books of the Bible and using every sentence, clause, or even individual words as statements of truth unrelated to the author’s intent or the larger context. This is often called “proof-texting.”


2) Ignoring the historical setting of the books of the Bible by substituting a supposed historical setting that has little or no support from the text itself.


3) Ignoring the historical setting of the books of the Bible and reading it as the morning hometown newspaper written primarily to modern individual Christians. 


4) Ignoring the historical setting of the books of the Bible by allegorizing the text into a philosophical/theological message totally unrelated to the first hearers and the original author’s intent.


5) Comparing a doctrine, or contemporary issue unrelated to the original author’s purpose and stated message. This phenomenon often follows the initial reading of the Bible as a means of establishing a speaker’s authority. This is often referred to as “reader response” (“what-the-text-means-to-me” interpretation).


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