Summary: The Study Of “The Old Testament”
The Study Of “The Old Testament”
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The Bible has two main divisions. The first division is called the Old Testament. The second division is called the New Testament. The Old Testament includes the first 39 books of the Bible. It begins with Genesis and ends with the book of Malachi. The Old Testament tells the story of God’s dealings (working) with mankind from the beginning of the world until the birth of Jesus. Although we are not governed by the Old Testament today, it still has relevance and must be studied. (Romans 15:4) and (I Corinthians 10:11)
The writings of the Old Testament
The Old Testament was first written in the Hebrew language. The 39 books of the Old Testament were written by several different men. These men received the message which they wrote from God. In the New Testament, we learn how these writers received the message they wrote: "for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
The divisions of the Old Testament
We have learned that the Bible has two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament can be further divided into four main sections. These sections are: Law, History, Poetry, and Prophecy.
• The books of the Law
The first 5 books of the Old Testament make up the first section of Law. The books in this section are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These book were written by Moses, the great servant of God.
Genesis is the story of the beginning of all things. In Genesis we learn about the beginning of man and woman, marriage, sin, death, different languages, the nation of Israel, and God’s plan to save man from his sins.
Genesis also tells about men such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. These men are often called Patriarchs. The word “patriarch” means “a father,” or a “head of a family.” The book of Genesis tells us about the Patriarchal Age (from Adam and Eve to Moses’ receiving the Ten Commandment Law on Mount Sinai). In the Patriarchal Age the people did not have God’s commandments written down in the Bible. Instead, God spoke directly to the patriarchs and revealed His commandments and teachings to them.
Exodus tells about the nation of Israel. God had chosen Israel to be His special people. From Israel God planned later to bring Jesus to be the Savior of the world. The people of Israel had gone to live in Egypt during a time of famine (no food). The Egyptians made slaves of them. Exodus tells the story of how God sent Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Leviticus and Deuteronomy contain the first written law which God gave to mankind. This law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. It contains the Ten Commandments and many other laws. This law of Moses was given ONLY to the nation of Israel (Exodus 19:3; Deuteronomy 5:1). It was to last until the death of Christ on the cross. Christ fulfilled the law of Moses and took it out of the way. Read Matthew 5:17, 18; Galatians 3:23-28; Colossians 2:13, 14. Numbers is a book of history and also contains some of the laws which God gave to Israel. It tells about Israel’s wanderings in the desert for forty years before they entered the land of Canaan.