Studying the Bible

The Bible is not meant to be only for scholars who can understand Greek and Latin. It is meant to be read and understood by everyone. It contains God's message for you. Below are some hints and resources to help you study the Bible.

> Why Study the Bible?
> Can You Trust the Bible?
> Overview of the Bible
> Tips and Resources for Bible Study

Did you know...
bible...the Bible was the first book ever printed?
> In 1454, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press and began printing the Bible.
> The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.
> The Bible has been translated into more than 1200 languages.

Why Study the Bible?

The Bible can answer the many questions you have in your life-"Where have I come from?" "Where am I going?" "What is my purpose?" "What is the truth?"

The Bible reveals to us the truth about God, the origin of humans, why sin and suffering exist and how we can have eternal life.

The reasons why God's Word is valuable

  • Doctrine (to instruct us)
  • Reproof (convict us of wrongdoing)
  • Correction (discipline)
  • Instruction in righteousness (learning to live by God's will in thought, purpose and action)

    By studying the Bible, you can learn what God thinks is most important for your life. It can be a life-changing experience.The Bible was written by human beings who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Can You Trust the Bible?

     

    The Bible says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16), and, "Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).

    Evidence that shows you can trust the Bible:

    • Prophecies in the Bible that have come true
    • Archaeological proof
    • Its power to changes lives

    To learn more about the accuracy of the Bible, take the free online Bible course offered at www.amazingfacts.org/school/af_logon.asp If you are interested in finding out the archaeological proof, take the Digging up the Past Bible correspondence course.

    To see the power the Bible contains, apply its teachings to your life.

to us can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. It says the Bible is given for:
Did you know?
> The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalms 117
> The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalms 119
> The chapter that is at the centre of the bible is Psalms 118
> There are 594 chapters before Pslams 118 and 594 chapters after Psalms 118, altogether this adds up to 1188 chapters.
> The verse at the exact centre of the Bible is Psalms 118:8, which states, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."
Overview of the BibleThe Bible is a collection of writings referred to as "books." These books are divided into two groups-the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each book is further subdivided into chapters and verses. For example, John 2:7 (KJV) means John is the name of the book, two is the chapter number, and seven is the verse number. The type of translation is in brackets.

 

The Old Testament begins with the book of Genesis, which details the creation of the world. Following this is the account of the Israelite people (later called the Jews). Their history unfolds from the books of Genesis to Esther. Interesting stories and miracles are told of how the Israelites came out of slavery and God's love for humankind is revealed.

A collection of poetry and books on wisdom follow. Job tells the story of suffering experienced by an innocent man. Psalms contains songs, prayers, petitions and praises to God. Proverbs features insightful sayings and counsel. Ecclesiastes looks at the meaning and purpose of life. The Song of Solomon is a book of poetry on love.

The Old Testament ends with books written by prophets outlining God's message to the Israelite people and also prophecies to occur now and in the future. For example, the book of Isaiah foretells the life of Jesus and the book of Daniel tells of events to happen at the end of time.

The New Testament opens with the four gospels. Matthew, Mark Luke and John the story of Jesus's birth, life, death and resurrection. The book of Acts follows the gospels. Acts explains how the early Christian church began. The books of Romans to Jude are letters written by early church leaders that give advice on problems experienced, developing faith in Jesus and living as a Christian. The Bible ends with the book of Revelation, which foretells events to happen now and in the future. It uses symbolic language and imagery to portray the prophecies.

Overall, there are 66 books in the Bible, which are written by 40 people over a period of 1500 years. Yet its consistency is amazing and concepts written by one author remains in harmony with concepts written by other authors.

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" 2 Peter 1:20, 21 (NIV).

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