The entire King James Holy Bible dramatized audio recording.
The entire King James Holy Bible dramatized audio recording.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years. The Bible claims to be inspired by God and completely inerrant (without error). It is the single most reliable and true work of writing extant. It’s words give us wisdom, believing them makes us safe, and acting on them makes us holy. It contains within its living pages a revelation of the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. It’s doctrines are holy, it’s precepts are binding, it’s stories are true, and it’s decisions are immutable. The Bible contains light to direct us, living water to quench our thirst, and comfort to cheer us in times of despair. Jesus Christ is the grand subject of it all, and everything centers upon him. The Bible is the account of the work of God in history bringing to fruition his prophetic declarations concerning Jesus. It’s also the account of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, freely giving all mankind a way of reconcilation to God.
Dr. Michael A. Milton
The Bible is the Word of God written for His people, spanning 66 books in the Old and New Testaments combined. It is the best selling book of all time with over 50 billion copies sold and distributed. According to Wycliffe Global Alliance, at least one portion of Scripture has been translated for 3,350 of the 7,099 existing languages; the Bible in its entirety has been translated in 683 languages.
Is the Bible like every other “sacred text” in world religions then?
The answer must be an indelible, “no.” “Of course, you would say that,”
some might respond skeptically, “All religions make the same boast. All
of their books are written by their respective deities? Right?” Well,
actually, no. There is a dramatic difference between the Bible and other
collections of “holy” writings.
The Holy Bible Was Written by God
C.S. Lewis was not only the extraordinarily gifted writer of now-classic works such as Mere Christianity but one of the greatest medieval English literature scholars of his time, serving at both Oxford and Cambridge. In one of his essays, he wrote that the Bible was different from all the other books in the world. The other sacred texts that we read — and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t read them to learn more about what others believe – come off as something more akin to mythology. Mythology was a considered study of Dr. Lewis. In fact, the Chronicles of Narnia come out of C.S. Lewis’ command of the mythological genre, as well as C.S. Lewis’ faith. Lewis told the reader to consider the Bible alongside other sacred texts and folklore.
The Bible reads nothing at all like mythology. To be sure some of those books called the Apocrypha have a decided ring of fable. There is important historical content to be considered but the Apocrypha lacks the authenticity of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Thus, that collection of 15 books did not make it into the Canon of Scripture, recognized by the Church as divinely inspired. And that last phrase, “divinely inspired,” leads us to answer the question, “Who Wrote the Bible.” We are back to the original answer and that reply that you assumed I would give: the Holy Bible, containing sixty-six books was written by God.
Indeed, the celebrated, late Scottish Bible scholar, John Murray, of Westminster Theological Seminary, began his essay on the subject with a brilliantly simple but carefully crafted summary:
“CHRISTIANS of varied and diverse theological standpoints aver that the Bible is the Word of God, that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it occupies a unique place as the norm of Christian faith and life.”1
But as the Lord God ordains whatsoever comes to pass (or He couldn’t
rightfully be the Almighty), He does so by means: secondary forces
orchestrated by God to bring about His will. Thus, it is with the Bible.
God wrote the Bible through 40 writers, possibly fewer
or more depending on how one views the authorship identification in
respective books (e.g., The Epistle to the Hebrews), in 66 books, across at least 1,500 years,
and in both Near Eastern Ancient culture and the Greco-Roman culture of
the first century. The singular message, the “scarlet thread” of truth
that binds each of the books together as one, the witness of Jesus of
Nazareth, and the witness of the Holy Spirit all converge to make the
Bible, alone against all other revered texts, a revelation of God to
The Scriptures Self-Attest that the Bible is the Word of God
The Bible attests to the authorship of the Almighty in numerous places. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,” (Heb 1:1).
In fact, biblical writers write unequivocally that the Bible is divine over 3,000 times!2 Dr. Michael J. Kruger, a noted New Testament scholar, rightly affirmed, “the Bible bears evidence within itself of its own divine origins.”3
One of those places of self-attestation is in the Psalms. Psalm 19 is one of the better-known Psalms of King David. The Psalmist composes a sacred song to the glory of God’s revelation to humankind. Psalm 19 is divided into two parts. The first part of the song says that we know God from (what theologians call) General Revelation. Consider verse one as it describes how we know God through creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
For six verses, David extols God for having revealed himself through creation. The second half of Psalm 19, beginning with verse seven, begins with these words: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”
Theologians call this way of knowing God as Special Revelation. In summary, Psalm 19 teaches that while we can know God through creation — standing in an open field and looking into the incomprehensibly deep and dark night-sky studded with innumerable stars, a million suns illuminating other unseen galaxies, twinkling like diamonds against black velvet — but we do not know God personally through this observable form of revelation. When David writes that the Lord is perfect converting the soul, he is saying that we recognize there is a God in general creation, but we come to know this God and His will for our lives through special revelation. This special revelation is the Word of God, “the law of the Lord that is perfect, converting the soul:” that is, the Holy Bible.
So, the Bible self identifies as a supernatural “word from another world.”4 But how do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?
Jesus Declared that the Bible is the Word of God
Jesus knew the Word of the Lord from infancy. The doctrine of His nature, fully God and fully Man, yet never mixed or confused, let us recognize that as God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus knew that the Triune God wrote the Bible. But as a human being, from infancy, Jesus received the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. Each Shabbat Jesus gathered with his family at the synagogue to hear the lectionary readings. He learned the Bible at home. He sat under others. We know that at 12 years of age He was instructing the rabbis and the priests. But there are clear instances in our Lord’s life when He declared the authorship of the Bible, its inerrancy, infallibility, and intent. While each of them should be considered, none is more explicit that the resurrected Savior’s attestation of the Bible concerning His being raised from the dead:
“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things’” (Luke 24:44-48).
The Holy Spirit Witnesses to Us that the Bible is the Word of God
When we read the Bible, it is unlike any other book. God’s Spirit breathed out His Word. And the Holy Spirit in the Word recognizes the activity of the Holy Spirit in you and brings the two together.
When I was in seminary, many years ago, I inquired of my professor, the late, great Dr. Laird Harris, “How do we know the Apocrypha is not inspired?” He answered by telling me that one of the ways we know the Bible is inspired is the witness of the Holy Spirit. “Mike, this weekend I want you to read two books in the Apocrypha. Then, immediately read the Gospel of John. Let’s talk on Monday.” I did as the master scholar directed. On Monday, he asked me, “Well, Mike, what is the answer? How do you know the Bible is inspired?” I answered, “Dr. Harris, I know because the Lord attends the reading of His own Word. He spoke to me through the words of John.” “Very good! Now, did you have that same reaction from reading the Apocrypha?” I smiled at Dr. Harris. My smile communicated that “No, I didn’t recognize God attesting to His own Word in the reading of the non-canonical books. Something is different.” Dr. Harris turned to the entire class to make the point:
“Now, you know. God speaks to us in His Word. Never forget that after all of the other evidences are considered, which they should be, the greatest proof remains the lives that have been transformed by the Spirit of the Living God brooding over His own Word and applying it, with divine intent, to the hearts and minds of those who read.”5
Who Wrote the Bible?
By: Norton Herbst
The Bible is considered by some to be holy. But who wrote the Bible?
The Bible is a unique book. Well, more accurately, the Bible is a unique collection of books. For some, the sixty-six books of the Bible are Holy Scripture. Others see these writings as merely fanciful tales or historical curiosities.
Christians consider the Bible to be the Word of God. Though they recognize that God used various people to pen each part of the biblical canon, Christians view God as the ultimate Author of the Bible. They believe that God reveals himself and his purposes for us through that text.
But no matter their faith background, most people agree that the Bible is a magnificent, somewhat daunting work of literature. And all who read it eventually ask an important question: Who wrote the Bible? Who were the people who first penned the words of the most popular book of all time?
To begin, we must recognize that the writings of the Bible come from dozens of different authors, and space does not permit an exhaustive treatment of each here. Plus we’re just not sure who wrote most of the books of the Bible. No book, in its original form, came with a title page, and few provide details on authorship. In essence, most of the books of the Bible are simply anonymous, a common feature of ancient literature.
Another feature that complicates this discussion is the role of other people in the whole process. Many ancient authors used secretaries to transcribe their works; sometimes they even gave these secretaries freedom to paraphrase. Other works were edited and compiled from numerous sources. For instance, some Old Testament historical works were put together from court records, royal documents, and several different existing accounts.1
We should also remember that the message of these books was invariably more important than the authorship. For example, few cared who actually documented the law codes that became large portions of several Old Testament books. What was important was the legislation itself. The same was true of historical accounts and the messages that prophets preached.
There are exceptions. Of course, a letter from one person to another had a personal element that made authorship relevant. But on the whole, the writings of the Bible are not typically concerned with identifying their authors.
With these features in mind, let’s take a closer look at five biblical books and their authors.
The book of Exodus is famous for its stories of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses by God. Tradition assigned authorship to Moses. Jews and early Christians believed he was the most likely person to record these stories and laws for posterity. However, there are very few indications in the book itself or historical evidence that Moses was the author. It’s possible, but we do not know with certainty.
The book of Amos is a prophetic book. We know very little about this man named Amos except what we learn from the first line of the book: he was a shepherd who lived during Jeroboam II’s reign in Israel. The rest of the book is a collection of his messages. In a way, we can say that this man named Amos is therefore the author. However, our knowledge of him is extremely limited. We should remember that someone else likely collected, edited, and published these messages at a later time.
Luke and Acts
The book of Luke is one of the four gospel accounts of Jesus’ life. Strictly speaking, the book is anonymous; Luke’s name is not mentioned within the text. But the book is addressed to a man named Theophilus,2 and the book of Acts is addressed to Theophilus as well.3 Moreover, writing style and emphases are similar in the two books—so much so that most scholars see them as two volumes by the same author.4
According to evidence from the book of Acts and early church tradition, Luke—a traveling companion of Paul—was the author of both books. Some scholars have offered alternative options, but the evidence for Luke’s authorship is quite compelling.
The short book of Philemon is a letter that opens with these words: “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.”5 Paul also later writes: “I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.”6 This is one instance in the Bible where authorship is obvious in the text itself.
Old Testament Authorship
Given the above examples, here are some suggestions regarding authorship for each major section of the Bible.
The Old Testament, also called the Hebrew Bible, describes events that took place between roughly 2000–400 BCE. The final process of editing and compiling the books happened between 400–100 BCE. Given how genuinely old these documents are, historians have less confidence about their original authorship. The same is true of other ancient literature from this time period.
“Pentateuch” means “five volumes” and refers to the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Traditionally, Jews and Christians believed that Moses wrote them. He most certainly had a role in shaping the books’ content given his leadership of the tribes of Israel and his mediation of their law codes during that time. But scholars now recognize that these five books were compiled from many ancient sources.7 We simply cannot name a sole or primary author.
The books of the Old Testament from Joshua through Esther follow the history of the nation of Israel after their settlement in what they called the Promised Land. These books, too, were compiled from many ancient sources. It’s possible that some of their narratives come from their namesakes—such as Joshua, Samuel, and Ezra—and an unknown author designated by scholars as “the Chronicler.”
Poetry and Wisdom Literature
The books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs include poems, prayers, songs, proverbs, and wisdom literature. Some portions are attested to David, others to Solomon, still others to lesser-known figures. But given how old these works are (especially Job), we cannot be certain of their authors.
The prophetic books of the Old Testament stretch from Isaiah to Malachi. Each is named after its presumed author. (The lone exception is Lamentations, a book of poetic laments about the destruction of Jerusalem, traditionally ascribed to Jeremiah). We have background information about some prophets, but we know very little about others. For many of them, it is likely that their messages were later compiled, edited, and published by others.
New Testament Authorship
The whole of the New Testament was likely written sometime between 40–100 CE. It contains historical accounts, letters, and an apocalyptic book. Given the claims these books make about Jesus and the wealth of manuscript evidence to study, scholars have debated their authorship more rigorously in recent years.
Gospels and Acts
The four accounts of Jesus’ life are named after their presumed authors: Matthew and John (each one of the twelve disciples), and Mark and Luke (companions of Paul). As previously discussed, Acts describes the early church movement and is Luke’s second volume.
The gospel accounts do not self-identify their authors; they are only called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because early Christian leaders believed these men were the authors. Some modern scholars have questioned this authorship. They suggest that the accounts were written much later than first thought. Other scholars believe the books were written earlier and that there is good reason to trust the original titles and authorship claims.
There are twenty-three letters included in the New Testament. Thirteen are attributed to the Apostle Paul. Most of those, like Philemon, are fairly undisputed. Some, like 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, have been challenged. The other ten letters in the New Testament, from Hebrews to Jude, are attributed to other authors. Hebrews is the only book without any claim to authorship; suggestions have been offered, but no one can be certain.
Revelation is unlike all the other books of the New Testament. A letter typically described as apocalyptic literature, it was likely written by the Apostle John (the same John purported to have written the Gospel of John and the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John).8
Authors and Author
Questions about who wrote the Bible are important. Sometimes Christians get so caught up in the religious aspect of the Bible that they forget its very human quality.
These were real people: shepherds, soldiers, fishermen, and at least one tentmaker.9 Some were elite: Solomon was a king. Some were outcasts: Jeremiah was imprisoned by the king. All lived in a world very different from ours. But all answered the calling they believed they had been given to communicate what was true, important, and worth recording for future generations.
Yet we should not discount the possibility of a behind-the-scenes Author. For centuries, people of faith have believed that God himself brought together the stories of the Bible for a greater purpose. Perhaps he inspired men and women to put doubts and prayers, hopes and dreams into writing. Using ordinary people, he gave us an extraordinary message.
The Book of Books
Step 5: The Bible
- The Book of Books
- The Central Person of the Bible
- Authority of the Old Testament
- Authority of the New Testament
- The Power of God’s Word
- The Need for God’s Word
- Private Bible Study Methods
The Bible is God’s Holy, inspired Word. It is the most powerful and most quoted book in the world. Some of the greatest men in modern history have had a deep respect for the Bible:
Abraham Lincoln: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
Immanuel Kant: “The existence of the Bible, as a book for people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”
Robert E. Lee: “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
Daniel Webster: “If there is anything in my thought or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me early love for the scriptures.”
Hundreds of millions of people have read its sacred pages, making it the best-selling book of all time.
The composition of the Bible is indeed amazing. A library of sixty-six books, it was written by more than forty different human authors under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These writers wrote independently, knowing almost nothing of the other’s part. None had anything in common, and their literary qualifications were diverse. Moses, for example, was a man of learning, trained in the best universities of Egypt. Peter, on the other hand, was a fisherman without claim to formal education. Yet, each wrote the wisdom of God with powerful force.
It took the Old and New Testament writers fifteen centuries to complete the Bible, which was written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and on three continents. Indeed, this collection of books is really one, not sixty-six, for it is coherent in content and progressive in truth.
The Bible is composed of 1189 chapters (929 in the Old Testament and 260 in the New) and utilitizes 773,746 words to convey its life-changing message. This literary masterpiece contains history, laws, poetry, prophecy, biography, dramatic stories, letters, and revelations.
In the words of Sir Isaac Newton:
“There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.”
Christian church leaders of the fifth century A.D. decided upon the list of books to be included in the Bible. This collection of accepted writings came to be known by scholars as the “canon,” and were considered inspired and authoritative.
In this lesson you will study the various names of the Bible, survey its construction, and gain insights that will make your own Bible study more meaningful.
Various Names of the Bible & It’s Construction
List the various names the Bible is called according to the following references:
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Ephesians 6:17.
To become familiar with your own Bible, leaf through it and look at these divisions and books as you progress through the lesson. If possible, use a Bible with headlines to help you answer the questions.
The Bible is composed of two main sections: the Old Testament, containing 39 books, and the New Testament, containing 27 books.
Read Genesis 1 and Revelation 22. From these two chapters, summarize the scope of the contents of the Bible.
Divisions of the Old Testament
The Old Testament can be divided into five parts:
Pentateuch. The first five historical books, written by Moses, are also called the books of the Law. Genesis | Exodus | Leviticus | Numbers | Deuteronomy
Historical Books. The next twelve books tell of the establishment of the kingdom of Israel, of Israel’s repeated turning from God to sin, and finally of the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles — God’s punishment.
Joshua | Judges | Ruth | 1 Samuel | 2 Samuel | 1 Kings | 2 Kings | 1 Chronicles | 2 Chronicles | Ezra | Nehemiah | Esther
Poetry. Of the next five books, Psalms — the Hebrew hymn book — is probably the best known. Job | Psalms | Proverbs | Ecclesiastes | Song of Solomon
Describe how God may have used any of these books or sections to comfort and strengthen you in a difficult situation.
Major Prophets. Written shortly before Israel was taken into captivity and during the exile, these books prophesied the coming Messiah and other world events. They also contain warnings of impending disaster if Israel did not turn from her wicked ways.
Isaiah | Jeremiah | Lamentations | Ezekiel | Daniel
Minor Prophets. These last twelve books of the Old Testament are called minor prophets only because they are shorter, not because they are less important. They are mainly concerned with Israel and the coming Messiah. Read one of the books from the choices below, and summarize it’s main points.
Hosea | Joel | Amos | Obadiah | Jonah | Micah | Nahum | Habakkuk | Zephaniah | Haggai | Zechariah | Malachi
Divisions of the New Testament
The New Testament can be divided into five parts:
Gospels. The first four books of the New Testament tell of Christ’s life and ministry.
Matthew | Mark | Luke | John
What was Jesus last command to His disciples in Matthew? How does this apply to you today?
Acts. This history of the early church, which also describes the ministries of Peter and Paul, consists of only one book. What is its significance for us today?
Pauline Epistles and Hebrews. Thirteen of the epistles (letters) were written by Paul, and were named for the church, group of churches, or individual to whom they were sent. Although the author of Hebrews is not identified, many believe Paul also authored it. Romans | 1 Corinthians | 2 Corinthians | Galatians | Ephesians | Philippians | Colossians | 1 Thessalonians | 2 Thessalonians | 1 Timothy | 2 Timothy | Titus | Philemon | Hebrews
Write down any favorite verse you have from any of these books and explain why it is meaningful to you.
General Epistles. There are seven general epistles, and they are named not for the recipients, but for the authors. James | 1 Peter | 2 Peter | 1 John | 2 John | 3 John | Jude
Revelation. The last book of the New Testament is one of prophecy. It describes the end times and the triumph of Christ in His second coming. Describe the central message of the book (Revelation 22:12-17). What are its promises to those who overcome? (Revelation 2,3)
What warning does the writer of this book give? (Revelation 22:18-19)
What new insights about the composition of the Bible have you gained from this study? How will this help you in your daily life?
To know the Bible well and to be able to find scripture references quickly, you should memorize the names of the books in the order in which they appear. Master one group, and then go on to the next.
Focus on one division each week until you have memorized all the books of the Bible. Review these frequently until they are fixed in your mind.
Today, commit to memory the books of the first division, the Pentateuch
The Central Person of the Bible
Step 5: The Bible
- The Book of Books
- The Central Person of the Bible
- Authority of the Old Testament
- Authority of the New Testament
- The Power of God’s Word
- The Need for God’s Word
- Private Bible Study Methods
Jesus is the most remarkable and fascinating person in history. He has inspired more hope, taught more compassion, and shown more love than any other man who has ever lived.
Jesus is the central figure of the Bible. His birth as the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world was prophesied by Old Testament authors. Their writings contain more than three hundred separate references to the coming of Jesus, with many unique details. Christ fulfilled 100 percent of all the Old Testament predictions of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah.
The New Testament makes an even more revolutionary claim: that Jesus Christ is the center of all biblical prophecy. The Scripture proclaims:
“Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through prophets [in visions, dreams, and even face to face], telling them little by little about his plans. But now in these days he has spoken to us through his Son to whom he has given everything, and through whom he made the world and everything there is.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
And the book of Ephesians declares:
“God has told us His secret reason for sending Christ, a plan He decided on in mercy long ago; and this was His purpose: that when the time is ripe He will gather us all together from wherever we are — in Heaven or on Earth — to be with Him in Christ, forever.” (1:9-10)
The precise fulfillment of the immense body of biblical prophecy is found in one unique and revolutionary Man — Jesus of Nazareth. Claiming that He was the predicted One of old, Jesus stepped into time. And the pieces of the prophetic puzzle slipped into place. We can clearly see that He was the center of God’s revelation to man.
What Christ Said About Himself and the Old Testament
What did Christ say of the Scriptures in John 5:39?
Read Luke 24:25-27, 44-48. What was Christ’s claim concerning the Old Testament teaching about Himself? What parts of the Old Testament did Christ say referred to Him? (Verse 44)
What do you think Christ wants you to understand about the Old Testament from verses 26, 46, and 47?
What the Apostles Said About Christ and the Old Testament
What did Peter conclude in Acts 3:18?
Keeping in mind that the New Testament had not yet been written, how did the Apostle Paul use the Old Testament to show that it contained the “good news” of Christ? (Acts 17:1-3)
What three things occurred in Christ’s life that Paul said were taught in the Old Testament? (I Corinthians 15:3-4)
What did Paul conclude in Romans 15:8-9 about the ministry of Christ?
Old Testament Prophesies Concerning Christ Fulfilled in the New Testament
All of more than 300 Old Testament prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah were fulfilled in the life of Christ. Here are a few of them.
Compare these Scripture references and record the prophecies fulfilled.
COMPARE WITH FULFILLMENT
I Samuel 16:19,
Isaiah 11:1 Luke 1:31-33
Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4 ,
Numbers 24:17 Matthew 2:2,9
Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:23
Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:1-3
Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-11
Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34
Psalm 34:20 John 19:33,36
Job 19:25-27 Galatians 3:13,
I John 3:2
What is your impression after seeing these Old Testament prophecies and their New Testament fulfillment?
Christ, the Central Person of the New Testament
The four Gospels are the history books of Christ’s ministry. (Read Matthew 1:1, Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1-4, John 20:30-31.) In what ways did the disciples know Jesus? (I John 1:3)
Do the four Gospels purport to record all that Jesus did? (John 20:30) Why were the historical facts and teachings of Jesus Christ written? (John 20:31)
The Book of Acts is a historical account of the acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. Who wrote it? (Luke 1:1-3, Acts 1:1) How do you think the passage in the book of Luke applies to the Book of Acts?
The Epistles are letters written to show the church the practical outworking of the life of Christ in the lives of those who wrote them. By example, they teach us regarding our membership in the body of Christ, and about our privileges, responsibilities, and destiny. Read Colossians 2:6-8. What are Christians to do? How are we to do it? Of what are we to beware? What would you say our greatest responsibility is?
The Book of Revelation is the only New Testament book of prophecy. Read Revelation 1:1-3. This book is the revelation of whom? What is its purpose? Who gave such knowledge? How was this knowledge given, and to whom? How will studying Revelation affect your life and under what conditions?
How will recognizing Jesus as the central figure of the entire Bible affect your Old Testament reading?
What do you see as your individual responsibility in fulfilling the commands of this person? (See John 15:16 and Matthew 28:19-20)
Authority of the Old Testament
Step 5: The Bible
Researchers in Israel subjected the first five books of the Old Testament to exhaustive computer analysis. They came to a different conclusion than expected.
Skeptics had long assumed that the Torah, or Books of Moses, was the work of multiple authors. But scripture scholar Moshe Katz and computer expert Menachen Wiener of the Israel Institute of Technology refuted this belief. They discovered an intricate pattern of significant words concealed in the canon, spelled by letters separated at fixed intervals.
According to Katz, the statistical possibility of such patterns happening by chance would be one in three million. The material, suggests a single, inspired author — in fact, it could not have been put together by human capabilities at all. “So we need a nonrational explanation,” he said. “And ours is that the Torah was written by God through the hand of Moses.”
The Old Testament was considered by its writers to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. Our Lord Himself, the New Testament writers, and the early church, also affirmed its authenticity.
Of Moses it is said, “Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.” (Exodus 24:4) David said, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.” (II Samuel 23:2) The prophet Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me saying…” (Jeremiah 1:4) Ezekiel, Daniel, and Amos made it perfectly clear that their messages were absolutely and wholly from God.
Jesus frequently referred to Old Testament scriptures during His earthly ministry. In confronting the unbelief of the Jews, Jesus affirmed that “the Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35) During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, until Heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18)
While teaching in the temple courts, Jesus cited Psalm 110:1 and declared that David spoke by the Holy Spirit. (Mark 12:35-36) After His resurrection, Jesus said to His disciples, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” Then Luke notes, “He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45) The Jews used the expression, “The Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms” to represent the entire Old Testament.
Concerning the birth of Christ, Matthew records, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.” (Matthew 1:22) In quoting the song of Zechariah (Father of John the Baptist) concerning the birth of Jesus, Luke included the affirmation, “as he said through His holy prophets of long ago.” (Luke 1:70) And the writer of Acts records Peter’s speech concerning the fate of Judas who betrayed Jesus, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David.” (Acts 1:6)
Many other passages testify to the authority of the Old Testament, often with the words, “that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” or “for this is what the prophet has written.” Peter affirmed, “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origins in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (II Peter 1:20-21)
As the early church grew, differences in doctrines surfaced. But no matter how much the church fathers differed in their teachings, they were unanimous in one thing: that the entire Old Testament, God and Christ, the incarnate word of God, spoke by the Holy Spirit through men. They affirmed the writing of Paul to Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16) Unlike other doctrines, the authority of the Scripture was indubitable.
Belief in the absolute authority of the Scripture is foundational to your faith. I encourage you to study this lesson carefully and prayerfully so you will be able to assure others of the divine authority and sureness of God’s holy Word.
Testimony of Its Writers
The phrase, “Thus says the Lord,” or its equivalent, occurs more than 2,000 times in the Old Testament.
Write out these statements concerning inspiration made by the following writers:
David (II Samuel 23:2), Isaiah (Isaiah 8:1,5,11), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:9), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:4)
What is different about each one? What is the same?
What two statements of Moses in Exodus 31:18 and 32:16 show that God actually wrote the Ten Commandments?
What statements made by David shows that the pattern for the temple was dictated by God? (I Chronicles 28:19)
Testimony of Christ
The New Testament had not been written during Christ’s earthly ministry, and His references to the Scriptures refer to the Old Testament writings. He never once denied or made light of Old Testament Scriptures; He related Himself to them as their fulfillment. He said: “These are the Scriptures that testify about Me.” (John 5:39)
How did Christ describe those who did not believe the Old Testament prophecies? (Luke 24:25)
What is the result of not believing in the Old Testament? (John 5:46-47)
What did Christ think of His responsibility concerning Old Testament prophecy? (Matthew 5:17-18)
What was Christ’s view of the story of man’s creation as recorded in Genesis? (Matthew 19:4-6)
What authority did Christ use to answer Satan? (Matthew 4:4-10) Men? (Matthew 22:29-32, 43-46)
Summarize Christ’s attitude and view of the Old Testament.
Testimony of the Apostles
It is evident from their inspired writings that the apostles of Christ considered the Old Testament Scriptures prophetic and inseparable from the authority, power, and ministry of Christ.
Peter. From whom did the apostle Peter say the writings of the Old Testament came? (II Peter 1:21, Acts 1:16)
How did Peter feel about the Old Testament historical account he recorded in I Peter 3:20? Who did Peter say were inspired by God? (Acts 3:20-21)
Paul. How much of the Old Testament is inspired by God, according to Paul in II Timothy 3:16? What did Paul believe the Old Testament to be? (Romans 3:2)
James. Acceptance of the Old Testament writing is evidenced in the Book of James by references to whom? (James 2:21, 25, 5:11, 17)
John. One of the many evidences that John believed the Old Testament is his acceptance of which story? (I John 3:12)
The writers of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Apostles of Christ, and the early Church Fathers all say of the Old Testament, “This is the inspired Word of God.” What do you say? (John 8:47, I John 4:6)
Describe how the information in this lesson give you confidence in the authority of the Old Testament.
Write down several proofs of the authority of the Old Testament that you could use to explain to someone who doubts it.
Authority of the New Testament
Step 5: The Bible
As you prepare to start this lesson, pick up your Bible and thumb through the pages of the New Testament. Have you ever thought about its origin and how its twenty-seven books were collected together into one volume?
Since the first of the books was probably not written until about A.D. 50, the church did not have a “New Testament” for the first twenty years following our Lord’s ascension. Instead, the early Christians relied on the Old Testament and the eye-witness accounts of His disciples.
Christianity began with the preaching of Jesus but was spread word-of-mouth by the faithful witness of His followers. Eventually the oral Gospel and the writings of the apostles to the churches were preserved for us in the books of the New Testament.
The New Testament grew book by book, beginning with the writings of Paul. As Paul established churches in new communities, he kept in touch with them by letter. Beginning with letters to the Thessalonians, Paul corresponded with his churches until his death. He letters were copied, compiled, and circulated among the churches until they became known throughtout the Christian communities.
As the years passed and the number of living eye-witnesses became fewer, the Gospels were written to preserve their accounts. Mark wrote his Gospel first, followed by Matthew, Luke, and John.
In addition to Paul’s letters and the Gospels, other epistles, the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation soon appeared until the church had in its possession all the books of our New Testament by the close of the first century.
These twenty-seven books, however, represent only a few of the numerous writings produced by the early Christians, many of which attempted to reinterpret the sayings and teachings of Christ. For more than two hundreds years, the church fathers could not decide which of those works should be considered written under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit and thus be approved for reading in the public services of the church. The need for unity in belief and practice among Christians eventually led the fathers to separate the writings that were in harmony with the teachings of Jesus from those that were not.
The authoritative list of books developed slowly and gradually under the influence of the Holy Spirit until by year 400 most Christians had accepted the twenty-seven books that now comprise our New Testament. Today almost all of Christianity — Catholic and Protestant groups of many kinds — have placed their approval upon them.
In 1874 the Scriptures were under severe attack by critics, and John W. Haley pubished a defense entitled, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible. In the preface he wrote:
Finally, let it be remembered that the Bible is neither dependent upon nor affected by the success or failure of any book. Whatever may become of the latter, whatever may be the verdict passed upon it by an intelligent public, the Bible will stand. In the ages yet to be, when its present assailants and defenders are moldering in the dust, and when our very names are forgotten, (God’s Word) will be, as it has been during the centuries past, the guide and solace of millions.
Authority Given the Apostles By Christ
What four things did Christ say the Holy Spirit would do for the apostles? (John 16:12-15) Why do you think the apostles could not know all the truth at that time, and how would they in the future?
What authority did Christ give the apostles? (John 17:18, 20:21)
On what basis did Christ select the apostles to bear witness of Him? (John 15:26-27, Luke 24:46-48)
How did Paul fit in according to Acts 9:3-6, Acts 26:13-15, and I Corinthians 15:7-9?
What authority did Christ give Paul? (Acts 26:15-18) How do we fit into this as witnesses?
The Apostles Wrote Under Christ’s Authority
Paul. What does he call himself at the beginning of the book of Romans? From whom did Paul receive what he preached? (I Corinthians 11:23, Galatians 1:11-12) What was Paul’s authority and purpose? (II Corinthains 5:20)
Read II Peter 3:15-16. What did Peter think about Paul’s writings? What did he think about those who misuse the New Testament?
Writer of Hebrews. Where did the writer of Hebrews get his authority? (Hebrews 1:1-2 )
James. What did this half-brother of Jesus call himself? (James 1:1)
John. What does John claim as the authority for writing his epistles? (I John 1:1-3) How was Revelation written? ( Revelation 1:1)
Jude. What does this other half-brother of Jesus call himself in Jude 1? What do you think Paul, James, and Jude meant by saying they were bondservants of Christ?
Peter. What does he call himself? (I Peter 1:1) What does Peter make known? (II Peter 1:16)
On whose writings is the foundation of the church of Jesus Christ established? (Ephesians 2:20) What is the Gospel of Christ according to the apostles in Romans 1:16.
Why were the apostles confident they they wrote correctly about Christ? (II Corinthians 4:5-6)
God has miraculously preserved His Word for us. Although this study should convince us that the New Testament is the Word of God, what is your greatest assurance that it is God’s Word? (John 16:13, 8:47, 18:37)
How does the information in this lesson help you trust the Bible more than you may have in the past? How will you use the deeper trust in witinessing? Praying? Daily living?
The Power of God’s Word
Step 5: The Bible
I believe that knowledge of the Bible without a college education is more valuable than a college education without the Bible.
– William Lyon Phelps
Former professor at Yale University
Lila and her husband were expecting their fourth child and looking forward to the new baby’s arrival with eager anticipation. Then, unexpectedly, their dreams were shattered by a miscarriage.
Not only was Lila grieved by the loss of the child, it soon became apparent that her life was in grave danger. Serious complications suddenly became evident, and she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.
Lila was vaguely aware of her surroundings as she slipped in and out of consciousness. Her family was at her side encouraging her, and many friends and loved ones were praying fervently.
During the crisis, she found it nearly impossible to focus her mind on anything except for one clear impression that persisted in her mind. “I can endure…I can survive…I can withstand…all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Somehow, in spite of the loss of blood and the close proximity of death, she was aware that she was not remembering the words just right. Yet, intuitively she understood that God was promising to see her through.
Two weeks later, she returned home weakened but alive. While reading her Bible, she suddenly remembered the exact Scripture.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
How she praised God for His Word, which had penetrated the fog of unconsciousness with a powerful promise of strength and provision! In the Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul records:
“The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (4:12)
God’s holy inspired Word has several characteristics that guarantee powerful results. First, it is infused with the power of the Holy Spirit. It has been said that a Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn’t. That is because God’s Word is energetic and active, speaking to today’s world and our own personal needs and circumstances.
Second, God’s word is truth. It awakens our conscience. With the power to reach into the private corners of our hearts, the Word bares our motives and secret feelings and reveals our hidden longings.
Third, God’s Word discerns our true character. It exposes the weakness in our attitudes and conduct, enabling us to correct ourselves by the power of His Holy Spirit.
As you study this lesson, I urge you to begin hiding the Word of God in your heart, drawing upon its wisdom for your life. Remember that God’s Word will never return to Him void, but will most certainly accomplish what it was sent to do. Share the Word with a friend, bearing witness to the faithfulness of our wonderful Lord and the power and authority of His Holy Spirit.
The Word of God
Tell what God’s Word is or what it does, or both, according to the following scriptures. (Use a dictionary for definition of key words if needed.)
What it is:
Hebrews 5:12-14, Philippians 2:16, Ephesians 6:17
What it does:
I John 2:5, John 12:48, Romans 10:17, John 15:3
I Peter 1:23, John 8:31-32, John 17:17, I Peter 2:2, Hebrews 4:12
How to Understand the Word of God
Read I Corinthians 2:14. No one can understand the Word of God by his own ability. Why?
Describe in your own words a natural man’s reaction to spiritual things.
Explain in your own words how one must come to understand the Word of God. See I Corinthians 2:7-12 and Romans 8:5-9.
Why do some individuals deny the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and other basic teachings in the Word of God? What should be our response to them?
When we approach the Word of God, what is the first thing we should understand? (II Peter 1:20-21)
What is one way the power of the Bible manifests itself according to II Timothy 3:15?
How have you experienced that power in your life recently?
The Need for God’s Word
Step 5: The Bible
Before I became a believer in Jesus Christ, God’s Word didn’t make any sense to me. I tried to read it occasionally during my high school and college days, but found it boring. Finally, I concluded that no really intelligent person could believe the Bible.
But when I becamse a Christian, my life was transformed, and my attitudes concerning the Scriptures changed. I realized that the Bible was truly the holy, inspired Word of God. For almost fifty years it has been more important to me than the thousands of books in my library combined.
Why is the Bible so important to the Christian? Let me share five basic reasons. First, the Word of God is divinely inspired. The Apostle Paul wrote, “All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16)
Second, Scripture is the basis of our belief. As the divinely-inspired Word, the Bible gives us God’s perspective on how we should live. If offers His pardon for our sins, reveals His purpose for our lives, shows us how to live peacefully in a world of turmoil, and commands us to appropriate His power so we can be fruitful witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many years ago, while I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, two gifted young evangelists came to speak during our chapel program. Both believed and preached the Word of God without questioning its authority. Later, however, they began to doubt that the Bible was truly inspired in every word.
One of these men finally rejected the integrity of the Scripture altogether. As a result, he had no moorings on which to base his life and ministry. He is now a skeptic and an outspoken opponent of the Christian faith.
The other young evangelist chose to believe that the Bible is truly the authoritative, inspired Word of God, and what he could not understand he entrusted to God and believed by faith.
Few remember the name of the first man. But the second is Billy Graham, whom God has used to touch the lives of millions around the world.
Third, the Bible is God’s love letter to man. From Genesis to Revelation, it tells of God’s great compassion for us and of His desire to have fellowship with us. John 3:16, perhaps the most beloved passage in the Bible, summarizes the depth of God’s love for us:
“God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son, so that whosoever would believe in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Fourth, the Bible reveals God’s attributes. It tells us that He is holy, sovereign, righteous, and just; that He is loving, merciful, and kind; that He is gracious, patient, and faithful. We have no trouble trusting Him if we really understand who He is and how holy, loving, and wonderful His purposes are for us.
Fifth, God’s Word teaches us how to live holy lives and to be fruitful witnesses for our Lord. The more we read and meditate on His precious Word — and let His Holy Spirit control our lives — the more fruitful we become.
Are you spending time meditating on God’s Word daily? If not, let me encourage you to begin today. As you study this lesson, ask God to reveal Himself to you in a fresh, new way, and let Him speak to your heart of His will for you. I encourage you to depend on God’s Word for your daily Christian living.
What We Should Know About the Bible
Read Psalm 119. What does the psalmist call God’s Word in verses 1-7, 43, 72, 105, 123?
What does this tell you about the importance of knowing God’s Word?
When does God discipline His children and what value does His word have for us? (Psalm 119:72, 126)
What is necessary in order to learn the Word? (Psalm 119:73)
How God’s Word Affects Our Feelings
According to Psalm 119:7-9, what does the psalmist recognize is accomplished by respecting and learning God’s Word?
From Psalm 119:10-16, list at least three attitudes of the psalmist that show his love for the World of God.
Why is adversity sometimes good for us? (Psalm 119:67,71)
From Psalm 119:136, 158 what is the reaction of those who love Christ when His Word is not kept?
How can we have great peace? (Psalm 119:165)
Results of Appropriating God’s Word
Read these verses in Psalm 119:98-100, 105, 130 and write down what affect the Word has on us when we do the following:
Know and memorize the Word. (V. 98)
Meditate on it. (V. 99)
Obey it. (V. 100)
Follow it. (V. 105)
What does the Word give us? (V. 130)
According to Psalm 119:11,32,63,74,157,176 , what should we do as a result of appropriating the Word?
What impresses you most about Psalm 119?
List three ways in which you recognize your personal need for God’s Word today?
Private Bible Study Methods
Step 5: The Bible
Martin Luther said he studied his Bible in the same way he gathered apples. He encourages us to:
Search the Bible as a whole, shaking the whole tree. Read it rapidly, as you would any other book. Then shake every limb — study book after book. Then shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters when they do not break the tense. Then shake each twig by a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences. And you will be rewarded if you will look under each leaf by searching the meaning of the words.
The Thompson Chain Reference Bible gives this suggestion:
Study the Bible as a traveler who seeks to obtain a thorough and experimental knowledge of a new country. Go over its vast fields to truth; descend into its valleys; climb its mountains of vision, follow its streams of inspiration; enter its halls of instruction; visit its wonderous portrait galleries.
Remember that many doctrinal errors have grown out of a lack of spiritual perspective, or a narrow view of scriptural truth. The Savior says, “You err not knowing the Scriptures, or the power of God.”
Seek to understand the deep things of God. Study the Word as a miner digs for gold, or as a diver plunges into the depths of the sea for pearls.
Most great truths do not lie upon the surface. They must be brought into the light by patient toil.
Every time you and I read and study God’s Word carefully, we are building up our storehouse of faith. When we memorize the Word, our faith is being increased.
Reading the Bible is vital for every Christian. How can we learn about God or grow spiritually if we do not spend time studying the Book in which He has made Himself known to us?
Taking a few minutes each day to read a chapter is a good way to start. But we should also block out extended periods of time for exploring God’s Word and reflecting on what He is saying to us.
Proper Attitude for Bible Study
When you personally received Christ as your Savior and Lord, you began a great adventure. That great adventure is mapped out in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. As you read and study the Bible in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will receive meaning, strength, direction, and power for your life. You will learn and claim the many great promises God has reserved for His own.
Approach the Bible in prayer, with reverence, awe, and expectancy; with a willing mind; and with a thirst for truth, righteousness, and fullness in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you come with a humble and contrite heart, you can trust God the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you, and you will experience the cleansing power of His eternal Word.
Above all, as you study God’s Word, be eager to obey all that He commands, and rejoice in the knowledge that you are an ambassador for Christ, seeking men in His name to be reconciled to God.
How do you feel about Bible study?
What do you see at this point as your main purpose in studying God’s Word?
Have you established a definite goal regarding Bible study?
First, obtain at least two translations of the Bible. If you don’t have access to printed Bibles in your country, you can use this web site to access multiple languages and translations of the Bible: www.biblegateway.org.
Study the various translations. You would not expect to learn much about the physical laws of our universe without diligent and persistent study. Should you expect to acquire much knowledge of God and the unsearchable riches of His Word without studying with equal diligence and persistence?
As funds are available, you will want to secure a topical Bible, a concordance, and a Bible dictionary. Additional Bible study books are helpful and can be added as convenient. However, always remember, Bible study involves just that — studying the Bible. The other items are merely tools to assist you in getting the rich truths God has for you in His Word.
As you consider each study of the Scriptures, may I suggest you record God’s Word to you in a journal. This will not only result in a deeper, more serious study, it will give you a written record of how God speaks to you and of your response to Him.
List the tools you have now.
List the additional tools you desire in the order in which you plan to obtain them.
Book study. The Bible contains many books. Yet the divine plan of God to redeem men in Christ Jesus runs through the whole of it. Be careful to consider each book as a part of the whole. Read it through. Following these suggestions will help make your study more meaningful:
- Mark and underline as God speaks to you through His Word.
- Outline it.
- List the names of the principal characters; tell who they are and their significance.
- Select from each chapter key verses to memorize and copy them on a card to carry with you.
- List teachings to obey and promises to claim.
- Consider the characteristics revealed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Which book would you particularly like to study using this method? (It is best to start with one of the shorter ones.)
Chapter study. To get a grasp of the chapter, answer the following questions:
- What is the principal subject of the chapter?
- What is the leading lesson?
- What is the key verse? (Memorize it.)
- Who are the principal characters?
- What does it teach about God the Father?
- What does it teach about Jesus Christ?
- What does it teach about the Holy Spirit?
- Is there any example for me to follow?
- Is there any error for me to avoid?
- Is there any duty for me to perform?
- Is there any promise for me to claim?
- Is there any prayer for me to echo?
Choose a chapter from the book, and apply these questions.
Topical study. Take an important subject – such as grace, truth, prayer, faith, assurance, justification, regeneration, or peace – and, using a topical Bible and a concordance, study the scope of the topic throughout the Bible.
You will find it necessary to divide each topic into sub-topics as you accumulate material; for example, forms of prayer, prayer promises, examples of prayer in Scripture, Christ’s teaching on prayer, Christ’s ministry as we pray, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
What topic do you plan to study first? How much time have you scheduled for it?
Biographical study. There are 2,930 people mentioned in the Bible. The lives of many of these make extremely interesting biographical studies. Why is it important to study the characters of the Bible (I Corinthians 10:11, Romans 15:4)?
Using a concordance, topical Bible, or the proper name index in your Bible, look up every reference in the Bible of someone you would like to study.
Name the person you would like to study. State your reason for choosing that particular person. Answer the following questions:
- What was the social and political atmosphere in which he (or she) lived?
- How did that affect his life?
- What do we know of his family?
- What kind of training did he have in his youth?
- What was accomplished by him during his life?
- Was there a great crisis in his life? If so, how did he face it?
- What were his outstanding character traits?
- Who were his friends? What kind of people were they?
- What influence did they have on him?
- What influence did he have on them?
- Does his life show any development of character?
What was his experience with God?
- Notice his prayer life, faith, service to God, knowledge of God’s Word, courage in witnessing, and attitude toward the worship of God.
- Were any particular faults evident in his life?
- Was there any outstanding sin in his life?
- Under what circumstances did he commit this sin?
- What was its nature and its effect on his future life?
- What were his children like?
- Was there some lesson in this person’s life that will help to enrich your life?
By the time you complete the studies outlined in this series, you will have been introduced to each of these four methods. Your already have taken the first step in the book study method by reading the Book of Acts. Lessons 2 and 4 of Steps 2: The Christian and the Abundant Life were chapter studies. You will soon be ready to apply these as well as the other two methods to more advanced work in your own individual Bible study.
What method interest you the most now?
How do you expect to benefit from serious study of the Bible?
Select one method and use it over the next week. Use the other methods the following weeks. Remember, always study the Bible with the following on hand: pencil, notebook, prayer, purpose.
Step 5: The Bible
The following questions will help you review this Step. If necessary, reread the appropriate lessons.
Write the divisions of the books of the Bible and the name of each book in each division. Review any division you do not know well.
How would you explain the statement, “Christ is the central person of the Bible?”
Who do you think is the real source of the authority of Scripture? Describe how this is evident in biblical history.
Name at least three things the Word of God accomplishes that indicate its supernatural power.
Write several changes that the Bible has made in your life. Be specific.
Why do you need the Word of God? What steps will you take to be fully prepared for serious study of the Bible?
Begin a journal of what you are learning through your Bible study. Buy a small notebook and record:
- The portion of Scripture you are studying.
- The method you are using.
- Lesson that is important to you.
- How you can apply it to your life.
- Results of previous lessons you have applied to your daily situations.Also, write prayer requests and answers as well as verses you have memorized. When you finish your study, begin with another portion of Scripture.
Periodically review your journal to see how you are growing spiritually and to remind yourself of important lessons you have learned.