Relevant Bible Teaching "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
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Overview of the Bible
 
The Bible totals 66 books by various human writers and ultimately one divine Author. The Biblical doctrine of inspiration is presented in 2 Timothy 3:16, which says that “all Scripture is inspired by God.” This means that God used human authors to write but, in essence, gave them all of the thoughts and words that He fully intended. The books chosen to be part of the “canon,” the fully revealed Word of God, were put together by counsels of godly men only decades after the documents were first written. They determined through much prayer, discussion, and analysis which writings had evidence of divine inspiration and which were writings of mere men.  
 
The Old Testament chronicles the time period before Christ under the old covenant which required the Jews to keep many moral, civil, and religious laws. If they did, they would be blessed. If they did not, they would be cursed. We learn later that salvation under the old covenant was based upon faith in God to forgive their sins, not upon their system of offering sacrifices which was more of a foreshadowing of Christ’s ultimate and final sacrifice on the cross. The new covenant was prophesied about in the Old Testament, and it came with Christ who made it possible for us to have direct access to God. Through faith in His sacrifice alone is salvation. The church of Jesus Christ, which is compromised of believers, was born. The temple of the Old Testament where the presence of God dwelt is now in the heart of every Christian man and woman. God makes His home in our hearts, and we are able to go to Him directly in prayer, without the need to go through an earthly priest.
 
The Old Testament
 
The Old Testament has 39 books and chronicles the history of man and of the Jewish people until the coming of Christ. We see that God keeps His covenant with His people even though they do not keep their covenant with Him. The coming of Jesus as Messiah is also foreshadowed and foretold over and over. It begins with Genesis and the creation of a paradise-like world and of man. Man falls into sin because of Satan’s temptation. Man and the earth are cursed to physical death and other evils. The world grows more evil and God floods the earth to wipe out all the evil, saving only righteous Noah and his family. God makes a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants, the Jewish people. God leads the Jews out of captivity in Egypt, where they had become slaves. God leads them eventually to the land of Canaan which is to be their homeland. Their kingdom reaches its height under David and Solomon. Then the kingdom is divided and both northern and southern kingdoms are carried off into captivity because of their rebellious ways. God continues to warn them through His messengers, the prophets, but they refuse to listen. God spares a remnant who return to Him in the closing books. Then there are four hundred years where God is silent until Christ comes to the earth. The books of the Old Testament and their divisions are as follows:
 

Law
History
Poetry
Major Prophets
Minor Prophets
Genesis
Joshua
Job
Isaiah
Hosea
Exodus
Judges
Psalms
Jeremiah
Joel
Leviticus
Ruth
Proverbs
Ezekiel
Amos
Numbers
1 Samuel
Ecclesiastes
Daniel
Obadiah
Deuteronomy
2 Samuel
Song of Solomon
 
Jonah
 
1 Kings
Lamentations
 
Micah
 
2 Kings
 
 
Nahum
 
1 Chronicles
 
 
Habakkuk
 
2 Chronicles
 
 
Zephaniah
 
Ezra
 
 
Haggai
 
Nehemiah
 
 
Zechariah
 
Esther
 
 
Malachi
 
 
The first five books are called the Law because God gives His law and makes a covenant with His people. Moses is believed to be the main author and chief composer. Job was written at a very early point in history and narrates the story of a righteous man who endured a trial, chronicling the lessons that he learned about God. Joshua chronicles the conquering of the promised land of Canaan. Judges chronicles the cycle of faithfulness, rebellion, repentance, and deliverance of the people, after arriving in Canaan. Ruth is the story of a faithful woman who lived at about the same time, and through whose faithfulness became part of the line of Judah which connected to King David and Jesus Himself. The next six historical books chronicle the period of the kings of Israel, most of which were evil. Most of the Psalms are written by King David and most of the Proverbs are written by his son, Solomon. Solomon also authored Ecclesiastes, his reflections on his wasted life, and Song of Solomon, discussing the joy of a godly relationship between a man and a woman. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel prophesy during the time of the divided kingdom and into the exile. They are called the major prophets because they are longer books. The prophets are concerned mainly with rebuking the present evil of the nation, but they also foretell the coming of Christ as well as His second coming. The minor prophets prophesy at the same time except for the final three, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, which prophesy during the time of Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah. These final historical books tell of the remnant of Israel that God preserves in the last days of the old covenant before Jesus is born to Mary.
 
The New Testament
 
The New Testament consists of 27 books. The first four are the gospels, which chronicle the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, written by four eyewitnesses of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Acts is an historical account by the disciple Luke about how the church was born and of its early days. Revelation is an account of a vision given by God to the disciple John discussing Christ’s return, how the age will end, and what is yet to come. The remaining books are letters written by Paul, John, James, Jude, and Peter to individuals and churches about doctrinal issues and how church and family should function, among other things. Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament books, as God had chosen him to be the missionary to the Gentiles. All people of all nations have the opportunity to become God’s people through Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. Hebrews is the only book where authorship is uncertain, and it is written specifically to the Jews to explain the new covenant to them. Here is a table to help break down the New Testament into categories:
 
Gospel
Accounts
Historical
Account
Paul’s Letters
Other Letters
Future Prophecy
Matthew
Acts
Romans
Hebrews
Revelation
Mark
 
1 Corinthians
James
 
Luke
 
2 Corinthians
1 Peter
 
John
 
Galatians
2 Peter
 
 
 
Ephesians
1 John
 
 
 
Philippians
2 John
 
 
 
Colossians
3 John
 
 
 
1 Thessalonians
Jude
 
 
 
2 Thessalonians
 
 
 
 
1 Timothy
 
 
 
 
2 Timothy
 
 
 
 
Titus
 
 
 
 
Philemon
 
 
 
 
  • View a chart of when the books of the Bible were likely written and the various human authors who composed them