Summary: The Study Of An Introduction To The Old Testament
The Study Of An Introduction To The Old Testament
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
We are beginning a journey which will take us through the Old Testament. This will be an exciting journey. We will become acquainted with some of the greatest men and women who have ever lived. We will also learn about some of the most important events in the history of the world. We will study about the creation of the universe and all things in it. We will learn about the beginning of sin, and see the gradual unfolding of God’s plan to save man from his sins.
Our journey will begin with the creation of the world. We will travel to the Garden of Eden and then on to the Great Flood which covered the whole earth. We will watch as God chooses a man from whom He will make a nation. This nation will be the means by which God sends His Son into the world. We will see this nation become slaves in Egypt. We will watch as God delivers them and leads them to His Promised Land. We will see God’s people when they are ruled by judges and later by kings. We will observe the chosen people’s division into two nations. We will learn about the good kings of the two kingdoms as well as the bad ones. We will also become acquainted with great men God sent to His people who are known as prophets. We will study their prophecies which told of the coming of Christ and His kingdom.
However, before we start on our journey, we need to learn about the make-up of this book called “The Old Testament.”
The Old Testament is the First Part of the Bible
The Bible is one book which is made up of sixty- six separate books. The Old Testament has thirty-nine books in it. The New Testament has twenty-seven. The Bible can be summarized by three statements concerning Jesus Christ, its chief character:
1. “Someone is coming” is the message of the Old Testament;
2. “Someone has come” is the message of the first four books of the New Testament;
3. “Someone is coming again” is the message of the rest of the New Testament.
The Old Testament can also be divided into four sections according to the content of the books.
• The first section is known as “The Law.” These are the five books from Genesis to Deuteronomy. They are also called “The Pentateuch,” which means “five volumes.” The Books of Law were written by Moses.
• The next section of the Old Testament is called “The Books of History.” These twelve books begin with Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land. They tell about the judges, kings, priests, and prophets of God’s people. The Books of History are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.
• The next section of the Old Testament is known as “Poetry.” Sometimes it is also called “Wisdom Literature” because of the many wise sayings found in it. This section begins with the book of Job and includes Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. There are five books of Poetry and Wisdom Literature.
• The last section of the Old Testament contains the inspired writings of Prophets of God. There are seventeen books of prophecy. These are usually divided into two sections: (1) Five books known as “Major Prophets;” and (2) Twelve books known as “Minor Prophets.” The books of the Major Prophets are not more important than those of the Minor Prophets. They are simply greater in length.
The Old Testament is Inspired by God
The word “inspired” means “God breathed.” This shows that the Bible came from God not from men. The Holy Spirit revealed God’s word to men whom He had selected. These men wrote the books of the Old and New Testaments. God used thirty-two different men to write the books of the Old Testament. From Moses, who wrote the first book, to Malachi, who wrote the last book, was 1,000 years. Yet, all the books fit perfectly together. This shows there was one Source from which the message of all of them came.
The New Testament claims the Old Testament was given by inspiration (Please read 2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Apostle Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 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 1:20,21).
The Old Testament also claims it was given by inspiration of God. David, who wrote many of the Psalms, said: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). Jeremiah claimed that God gave him his message: “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth’” (Jeremiah 1:9).