Summary: Discovering the characteristics and divisions of the Bible.
The Bible Under Investigation: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Introduction: These two verses in 2 Timothy make two very controversial claims. What are they?
If you are a non-believer, how would you investigate these claims?
There are various names for the Bible in the Bible used interchangeably for the same thing: the Bible.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
- Ephesians 6:17, “…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
We see just in these few verses that the Bible can be referred to as not only the Bible, but the “Scriptures,” the “sword of the Spirit,” and the “Word of God.”
Remember that there is a Table of contents in the front of your bible. This is the best was to get acquainted with the order of the books. Turn to it when you are on your own every once in a while and just notice the order and the brake down. This helps get you familiar with how the Bible is put together in our English translations.
The Construction of the Bible: The Bible is composed of two main sections: The Old Testament, which contains 39 books, and the New Testament, which contains 27 books. Sometimes you will see the New Testament or Old Testament referred to by abbreviation: O.T. and N.T.
Keep this in mind when reading through your Scriptures. The Bible could be described as a Library that contains 66 books. When you go buy a book to read, you don’t just try to find your favorite quotes, do you? No! You read the whole book! It is overwhelming to think that you will eventually read the whole Bible, but think of it like you are going to read each book in the Library, one at a time. There is nothing wrong with finding your favorite Scriptures or looking for specific ones to help in specific situations, but it is always a good Idea to understand the context in which the verse is written, who is saying it, and who is listening.
Divisions of the Old Testament: The O.T. can be divided into 5 parts.
1. The Pentateuch. The first five books of the Bible, written by Moses, are also are called the books of the law or the “Pentateuch.” These five books are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
- Genesis records the creation of the universe and of man, and it shows how man was created to have fellowship with God, but because of man’s stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
- Exodus is the story of Israel’s leaving the bondage of Egypt and beginning their journey to the Promised Land. While on their journey, God gives the Law by which His nation is to live.
- Leviticus contains detailed instructions of the Law.