The Bible - What´s in it?

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Every Christian knows about the “Bible”. The Bible is the book of the Christians. What is in the Bible? That is a good question. Here is an introduction to the Bible.  

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The theme of the Bible is: God wants to be among people.

Let me list and share some of the major things that the bible contains:

  • The Bible gives many commands and guidelines. For example it says to love your neighbor. The Bible gives also negative commands. For example it says not to break an oath. Jesus gave probably the most comprehensive list, when he preached his sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7 and when He was in the upper room with His disciples in John 13-17.
  • The Bible contains prophesies. Some of these are full filled; some are still to come true. Examples are Isaiah and Jeremiah speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, Daniel predicting the Greek Empire and what happens at the end of times, Ezekiel, Zachariah, Jesus speaking about the end of times,,Revelation.
  • The Bible contains history. It describes how God choose a nation (Israel), dealt with other nations, such as the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians.  How God dealt with individuals, such as Abraham, David, Nebuchadnezzar and others. We can read this in Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Some prophets also contain history, like Jeremiah.
  • The Bible explains our origin. It describes how people originally were created as "good", in a wonderful and perfect fellowship with God. It also describes how sin and evil entered the world. We read this in Genesis.
  • The Bible contains God’s plan with the world, including prophesies regarding the future/end of times.

BUT: Most importantly, the Bible contains the plan of God - reconciling us with Him through faith in Jesus. The Bible is a spiritual book, through which we can get to know God and understand His gift of forgiveness and accept His Grace.

Summary of the Bible:  

The Bible contains two parts. The first part is what people refer to as the “Old Testament”. I want to point out that the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) also contains these books, but in a different order. Also the Bible is not setup chronologically. It begins with Genesis, which describes many “beginnings”, including Creation, Noah’s Flood, God appearing to Abraham Isaac & Jacob and Jacob moving to Egypt. In the next books, it describes how God, through Moses, liberated Israel (Jacob’s descendants) out of Egypt and travels to Mount Sinai. At Mount Sinai, God reveals Himself to Moses & the Israelites, including giving Moses the Ten Commandments. 

After this Joshua conquers the Promised Land, they settle and God sends Judges when they stray. Eventually during the last judge, Samuel, the Israelites want a king. God choose Saul. After Saul, David becomes king and then his son Solomon. The bible contains great events and easy to read chronicles around the Judges, Samuel, Saul, David and Solomon. It also contains many songs David wrote (Psalms).

After Solomon’s death the kingdom gets divided between a northern and a southern kingdom. The North is called Israel and the south is called Judea. Although some kings were serving God, many were not. God sends many prophets, like Elijah, Elisha and others, to warn them and tell them to turn to back to Him. Both kingdoms continued into idolatry, turning their backs to God, worshiping idols and even sacrificing children. To discipline the Israelites, God lets them be conquered and sent into captivity. First the northern kingdom gets conquered by the Assyrians, than the southern kingdom conquered by the Babylonians. We can read about Daniel, appearing before the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. After 70 years of captivity, the Babylonians get overthrown by the Persians. The account of Esther, who married a Persian king is well known. The Persians let the Israelites return. First Zerubabel returns with a group, then Ezra, who completes reforms and the rebuilt of the Temple, then Nehemiah, who restores the wall around Jerusalem.

The second part of the bible is the “New Testament”. This describes the birth and public ministry of Jesus in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus public ministry starts with Jesus traveling in Galilea, calling His first disciples. Events like the the turning water into win in Cana, the miraclus fish catch, Jesus walking on water his trip to Sidon and tyre meeting the woman at the well are from His first year of ministry. His last year of ministry he contended a lot with the Pharisees and people where after Him. Eventually traveling to Jerusalem, knowing He would be captured, tortured and crucified. His ministry on earth ends when He raises from the dead, spends about 40 days with His disciples and is seen by many. Eventually He was ascended into Heaven. Then Luke continues to describe in the book of Acts how the first Christians spent time together in prayer waiting for the Holy Spirit. After the outpuring the book of Acts describes how the first christians lived and spread the gospel, including Paul’s Journey’s. Further the New Testament contains letters from Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John. It finishes with Jesus appearing and giving John Revelation.

Digging Deeper: Watch "God's Story"

 

Time-Line of Biblical Events

Year (Approx.)

 Biblical Events

 Described in Bible Book:

Some time between 10,000-4004 BC (?)

 Creation

 Genesis

Some time between 3500-2300 BC (?)

 Noah’s Flood

 Genesis

2166 BC

 God speaks to Abraham

 Genesis

1876 BC

 Joseph moves to Egypt

 Genesis

1446 BC

 Exodus under Moses

 Exodus (Egypt to Sinai)

 Leviticus (at Sinai)

 Numbers (Sinai to Canaan)

 Deuteronomy (Moses last speech)

1406 BC

 Conquest of Canaan under Joshua

 Joshua

1406 – 1050 BC

 Time period of “Judges”

 Judges

1050-1010 BC

 First King: Saul

 1 Samuel

1010-970 BC

 King David

 1-2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Psalms

970-930 BC

 King Solomon

 1-2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Eccles.

930 BC

 Period of divided Kingdoms of Israel  & Judea. Including Elijah.

 1-2 Kings & 2 Chronicles

722 BC

 Captivity of Israel by the Assyrian Empire

 Chronicles, Kings, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Nahum, Isaiah

586 BC

 Captivity of the Judean Kingdom by the Babylonian Empire

 Kings, Jeremiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Daniel, Ezekiel

538 BC

 Persian world rule and the return from captivity

 Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zachariah, Malachi

 

 Period of Silence & the Maccabees.

 

27-30 AD

 Jesus public ministry on Earth

 Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

30 - 90 AD

 The Apostles, including Paul,  spread the gospel throughout the world

 Acts and the letters from Paul, Peter, John, Jude and James

90 AD

 Jesus appears to John and showed him Revelation

 Revelations

 

 

 

 

 

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