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Overview of The Bible

What Are Demons?

What is God's Spirit?

Who Wrote the Bible?

The Resurrection

Miracles

The Names of God

The Atonement

What is Sin?

What is Heaven?

Explore the structure and key theme that runs throughout the entire Bible.

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The Bible

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An Overview of the Entire Bible

The Bible is a massive book and can be extremely confusing. So, in this video, we will briefly explain what the Bible is, how readers of any skill level can understand it based on one straightforward theme, and why we believe reading it consistently has the power to change your life for the better.


What is the Bible?

The Bible isn't just one book but a diverse collection of 66 ancient writings that primarily center around the nation of Israel. It has many formats, including laws, symbols, narrative history, poetry, wisdom literature, prophetic literature, discourse, and letters. At the most basic level, these ancient writings tell us everything there is to know about the creator of the universe – God, and they do so by telling the story of how God revealed Himself to and interacted with his specially chosen people – the nation of Israel. This is done in two parts. 


The first part – the Old Testament, or the Hebrew Scriptures – is itself divided into three parts. Within Judaism, these are called The Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim (or, in English, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings). These are the scriptures referred to in the New Testament and make up the Bible that the Jewish people used in the time of Jesus. Throughout these scriptures runs a critical theme that, once understood, opens up the entire Bible story for anyone to understand. But to understand this theme, you must go back to the very beginning of the Torah, or Law, to the book of Genesis. 


The Theme of the Bible

Genesis begins with the narrative of how God created the universe and made humans to care for everything He had made.God intended this creation to reflect his glory and goodness, and He created humanity to increase the size of His family – expecting that his "children" would bear a family resemblance and live like God. But the story goes on to show how the first humans weren't content with their role but rebelled against God and passed down their tendency to rebel to their descendants. 


And so, what God had created to be a place of peace and goodness where people reflected his character instead had spiralled into a place of wickedness where most people rejected God and hated each other. They didn't live like God at all. And so, at that point, God had a choice. He could wipe out all of humanity to start again or put into action a plan to restore his creation to its former glory, which is exactly what did.


The rest of the Torah shows how God started to implement his plan. He began by calling Abraham out of Babylon, who gave birth to the nation of Israel, God's chosen people. To them, God provided a whole bunch of laws, which we find in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which were intended to teach them how to live and think like His children. These laws were also meant to prepare them for a future day when God would bring out of His people a specially chosen saviour from the darkness that humanity had caused.


After the Torah, The Nevi'im and Ketuvim (or Prophets and Writings), go on to show that Israel wasn't content with God as their law-giver, so they set up their own Kings to rule them. Some of those kings (like David) were good and ensured the nation served God faithfully, but most were evil and turned the people to idol worship and many other terrible practices. Eventually, the people became so unlike God that God sent them into exile for a period of 70 years – but by the end of the Old Testament, many Israelites returned to the land and reformed their national identity. Still, most of them were not living as though they were part of God's family. 


The second part of the Bible (the New Testament, which combines with the Hebrew Scriptures to form the Christian Bible) resumes the story of the nation of Israel 400 years from where the Old Testament ended. It tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth, who fulfilled the Old Testament theme about a Messiah who would save the people from sin. Perhaps most importantly, Jesus was God's son, and he showed that family resemblance. Everything he did showed God's character and God's way of thinking. And so not only did Jesus provide salvation, but by finally showing that character, Jesus, for the first time in human history, showed the rest of humanity how to really live as though they were God's children. He gave them an example, even giving his life for God on the cross. 


So, this family resemblance, beginning in Genesis and shown in Jesus, is the core theme throughout the Bible. But the story didn’t end with Jesus. The Bible is full of God’s plan for the future – a plan that replaces the currently corrupt kingdom of men with the perfectly righteous kingdom of God – a time when everyone will learn to show God’s family characteristics, and when God’s will will be “done on earth as it is in heaven.”


How it can change your life

Now, the story of the Bible is unlike any other, but the Bible isn't just a bunch of cool stories that fit together with one nice theme. It's meant to change your life. The Bible is breathed out by God, meaning we hear God speak to us when we read it. Hebrews 4:12 says the Bible is "living and powerful, able to reveal the thoughts and intents of our heart." Psalm 19 says that the Bible is perfect, right, pure, trustworthy, righteous, more to be desired than gold, and sweeter than honey. It continues to say that the Bible converts the soul, makes the simple wise, causes rejoicing, enlightens the eyes, endures forever, warns of things we should and should not do, and promises a great reward if we keep it. That reward is most exciting. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 says that reward is ultimately salvation, and not just living forever, but living forever in a world of goodness and faithfulness––living forever with a mind and body that perfectly reflects God, just as Jesus did!


In other words, the Bible isn't just an old book about history, it is a book that tells the very purpose of history and, in doing so, calls to everyone who reads it. They're invited to join the story, to join the family. The Bible is unlike any other book in that it doesn't just present information; it gives an opportunity to be a part of God's plan of salvation and manifestation.


Conclusion

We started by saying that the Bible can be confusing, and that's true. But that's because it was designed to be read as a whole. Together, it reveals God's unique plan for the earth and everyone in it. And you can learn even more about that plan in our other videos.


STUDY NOTES
The Bible

Overview of The Bible

Explore the structure and key theme that runs throughout the entire Bible.

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