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is often called the Law because these books
describe how God personally delivered his commands to the
people he had chosen as his own—the Israelites. The Pentateuch
tells the story of God’s people from Creation through Israel’s
arrival at the border of the Promised Land. In these five books we
see the beginning of God’s special plan to use one man’s family
and the nation that grew from him to create the setting for God’s
own visit to his creation.
The twelve books of
tell the story of the people of
Israel from the conquest of the Promised Land to the return
from the Exile. Here we read of Israel’s first king, Saul; its
greatest king, David, ancestor of Jesus; the division of the
kingdom due to King Solomon’s disobedience; the persistent
sin of the people; and the punishment of exile. Through it all,
God remained faithful to his people, and a small group of them
eventually returned to rebuild Jerusalem.
In the five books of
, the songs, proverbs, and other
writings address the full range of human experience—including
worship, suffering, romantic love, and work.
are the writings of men God used during
crucial times in the history of Israel to speak his messages,
calling people into a true relationship with God while also
foretelling future events.
are the writings of men who
served God before, during, and after the Exile. Jonah, Amos, and
Hosea were active in the northern kingdom of Israel. The rest
prophesied in Judah, the southern kingdom.
All about the
HOW THE BIBLE IS ORGANIZED
tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry. All of
them show us who Jesus is and what Jesus did—including his
death, burial, and resurrection. Each Gospel helps us understand
why Jesus came and that we need him as our Savior.
book of the New Testament, Acts of the Apostles,
tells the story of the birth of the church and the spread of the
Good News about Jesus throughout the world.
to churches (Romans,1and 2 Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 and
2 Thessalonians) were written to Christians in places where Paul
had started churches or where he planned to visit. They are filled
with explanations of Christian truth and helpful instructions
about working together as the church. Paul’s other letters (1
and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon) were written to individual
leaders with special instructions from Paul about how to live
faithfully for Christ.
were written by early church leaders
other than Paul and are filled with practical teaching about
Christ and the Christian life. Hebrews in particular helps us
understand how the Old Testament and the New Testament
work together in God’s story.
The one New Testament book of
, Revelation, not only
gives us a picture of what was happening in the world at the
end of the first century but also gives a long look ahead at future
events, as God brings the story of humanity on this earth to a
close and begins the story of the new heavens and new earth
that will never end.