The Bible is basic information before leaving earth and more importantly is God’s love letter to us. We can draw closer to God through Scripture reading and studying each day. Here are some helpful introduction notes to gain a deeper understanding.
The Word of God is God’s way of communicating with us, helping us to respond to His call in each of our individual and communal lives. The Bible is composed of books; each book is composed of chapters; each chapter is composed of verses. One can say the Bible is a library, 73 books written at various dates, over a period of a thousand years and in a variety of literary forms.
There are a lot of books about God – only one set – Bible of God – He is the author, not only about Him, yet at the same time every word comes from human beings and is subject to human limitations, particularly conditioned by time. In view of the human element, to determine what the author meant, we need historical, scientific and literary methods.
Inspiration: God’s Word in human words. A simple definition of inspiration – God’s moving the mind and hearts of writers, to say what God wanted, in the form, God wanted. By inspiration it is meant that God or the Spirit of God was at work in the community of Israel and in the early Christian community to produce through different authors, a series of books that witness to God’s revelation of Himself through history. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the biblical authors have rendered a true account of the history of salvation, the message of the prophets, the Wisdom sayings, the teachings and works of Jesus and the experiences of the first Christians.
It is helpful to know that the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) is divided into four groups: 1) the Pentateuch (also known as the Torah, Hebrew for the Law;) 2) the Historical Books; 3) the Wisdom books, or the Writings; 4) the Prophetic books, forty-six books in total. The Christian Scriptures (New Testament) four writings called Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one letters attributed to Paul, James, Peter, John and Jude and lastly the book of Revelation, twenty-seven books in total.
The Bible is like a radio – as we begin to use it, we may at first find it all confusing – like listening to all radio stations at random. As we get familiar with the different voices (radio, sports, talk, music) we understand what’s going on. In the Old Testament there are a great variety of voices. We need to sort out who is talking, as well as what is being said.
For example – 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Storyteller – God clearly at work in ordinary human affairs; Isaiah 1: 1-20 – Preacher, prophet – sent to shake people out of their complacency, false security or outright wickedness; Psalm 103 – Worshiper – Bible not a one-way conversation. It’s the record of Israel to God – sometimes joy and praise, but often in suffering and despair. It is worship from real life.
Psalms and other prayers and praises in the Old Testament are poetry, meant to be sung and danced to. Worshipping voice also calls us to join in and share its living flow of faith, praise and prayer.
Never miss an opportunity to study the Word of God. It settles the mind and calms the heart. God’s Word is the source of all true life. Know and understand it. The Word can heal your soul and unite it with Source.
Raising a Family
Starting to Pray
Struggling with Sin
Trying to Forgive
Scriptures to turn to when you are...
John 14:1;John 4:18
John 11:26; Timothy 1:10
Hebrews 9:14, John 3:3:19-20
Matthew 28:20; John 14:18
Matthew 10: 29-31
Psalm 127:3-5; Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Corinthians 13; John 4:10
Proverbs 8; James 1:5
Proverbs 15:30; James 5:14
Luke 11: 1-14
Genesis 4:7; Romans 6:2-23
1 Corinthians 10:13; James 4:7
Matthew 18:21-22; Colossians 3:13-14