Though we have 39 books in our current version of the Old Testament, Josephus reconciled the number back to 22 after reducing the number of split books such as 1 and 2 Kings as one book, Judges and Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations and the 12 minor prophets, each pair or group being counted as one book. Then the number of books is reduced to 22 which incidentally corresponds with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
Interestingly enough, if you combine some of the books of the New Testament such as 1 and 2 Peter, 1 and 2 and 3 John, 1 and 2 Timothy, Corinthians, and Thessalonians you come up with the number 22 again. No extra charge for that.
The Bible contains the written Word of God, communicated to mankind by God through various human writers, to explain the will of God, to explain the circumstances of life and history from eternity past to the end of time. The Bible explains the reasons why mankind is here on this earth, the consequences of sin and death, the method for recovery from spiritual death and of maintaining a relationship with God.
Communicated initially to man and handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation until Moses committed the first five books to writing, the Bible is the oldest record in existence in the world. Written primarily in Hebrew in the Old Testament and in Greek in the New Testament, it has survived thousands of years of wars, plagues, natural disasters, attacks from Satan, and attacks from man. The Bible has held up in its accuracy of content and completeness more so than any other document or philosophy from this world.
Rather than list the history of the various translations and versions of the Bible, I’ll set those up in the form of a chart to be included in the Image section of the Bible Index page on the web site (see below). There are a number of messages and contrasts set out in the Testaments.
From O. T. to N. T. as follows:
Longing to Realization
Creator to Redeemer
Majestic God to Father
First things to Last things
Spiritual darkness to Spiritual light
Satan’s victory to Satan’s defeat
Sins curse to Sins remedy
Death’s reign to Life’s reign
Animal sacrifices to Christ’s sacrifice
Bondage to Freedom
Law to Spiritual doctrine
Shadows to Reality
External ceremony to Inward edification
Written code to Spiritual Code
Prophecy to Fulfillment
Expected Messiah to Glorified Savior
Paradise lost to Paradise regained
The Old Testament sets the stage for the fall of man, the problem that faces mankind, the promises from God, the rejection of God by man and the resulting difficulties man experiences as a result of his rejection. God establishes the basic principles of life, the fundamental laws that regulate this world in a design to protect mankind and perpetuate him. Though the solution to mans problems are revealed as well in the Old Testament, however they are revealed in the form of the reality of Christ in the New Testament.
Numerous examples are given of mans failure, of God’s promises and provisions, of the prosperity that follows compliance with God’s will, as well as the tremendous suffering that follows rejection of God’s will. Mans plans and efforts are completely rejected in God’s plan. Man is a student without portfolio and it is God’s intention that we learn Bible doctrine and grow from what we learn and reap the benefits as a result of our spiritual growth, rather than try to make our own way through life and screw up things in our life as a result.
God is omniscient and knows all of the facts. We are not. We can’t see with certainty the events of tomorrow much less the details of the entire future of our daily life. We can only guess and hope, plan and budget, but the best laid plans inevitably change because of circumstances beyond our control.
Living in this world we are sailing through a dark and thick fog without compass or any instruments for guidance. Only Bible doctrine can set us on a straight course, and reveal the hidden things that are not seen by those who do not believe or are negative toward God.
The Bible reveals Gods Word, and is communicated by the Holy Spirit to our human spirit, but only if we are first saved, and second are in fellowship. Apart from salvation we do not have any kind of a relationship with God, we are eternally separated from Him. To remedy that God sent His Son to the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins and thus make a way for us to recover our eternal life and escape eternal death. By believing in Christ we obtain this salvation.
After salvation the issue is His Word. Will you continue to be positive toward God and learn His Word and therefore grow up spiritually, or ignore God’s Word and continue in the fog of life, producing your own misery. Our daily choices determine where our life will go – misery or happiness.
Thus the Bible is made available to us and has been available in one form or another throughout history for our benefit, or for our condemnation. From time to time you may wish to review the Bible Index page for updates in the Image section to help you follow a given concept. Sometimes pictures make things much clearer than pages of words. This Bible study is intended to provide you with a daily study, sent to you for your convenience and to help you discipline yourself in actually doing your homework in the Bible.
So much depends on your spiritual growth, that even spending a little bit of time each day will be beneficial. It will all compound eventually and stabilize your life in God’s spiritual strength. Our individual lives last only for a brief time here on this earth. We should not waste that time for even one day, because we do not know when God will take us from this world. Your daily attitude demonstrates your pattern of thinking whether you admit it or not. Therefore, change your attitude to that of a positive one toward God and advance in the spiritual life toward the goal of tremendous eternal rewards as well as blessings in this life.
We will begin our study in Genesis and Matthew, simultaneously moving through the Old and New Testaments over the next couple of years. In 1999, we covered the entire Bible and that was probably a bit of a push, so in this coming year we will shorten the daily study a bit. So curl up around your pillow and warm your hot chocolate, or schedule your group accordingly if you meet a couple of nights a week. You are certainly permitted to share this study and any of its content with others as the occasion arises. As well as supplement your study from other sources or use this study as a supplement to your other sources. I will be listing all of the sources that I use, on the web page eventually, for your referral as well as many more things of interest. If you have anything you would like to include or see on the Bible Index page, making it available for others, please feel free to submit it via e-mail or snail mail. Do not send attachments as they are automatically deleted in transit. Virus guards you know!
Bible – Outline
I. Pentateuch – Genesis to Deuteronomy
II. Old Testament History – Joshua to Ester
III. Poetry – Job to Song of Solomon
IV. Major Prophets – Isaiah to Daniel
V. Minor Prophets – Hosea to Malachi
VI. New Testament History – Matthew to Acts
VII. Pauline Epistles – Romans to Philemon
VIII. General Epistles – James to Revelation