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2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
As a new believer or someone who has questions about God and His Son Jesus Christ, it can be an overwhelming journey. Let’s start with how the Bible is structured.
There are 66 books of the Bible. The Old Testament consists of 39 books. The New Testament consists of 27 Books.
The first 5 Books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) is the Book of Law (the Torah or Pentateuch).
The Next 12 Books of the Old Testament (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) is known as General History. This will give you an overview of tribes of Israel, the Rulers of Israel and the Kingdoms that came against them.
The Next 5 Books of the Old Testament (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) is the Book of Poetry.
The Next 17 Books of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) is known as the Book of Prophecy. The First 5 Books of Prophecy are known as the Major Prophets. The Last 12 Books of Prophecy are known as the Minor Prophets. They are called the Minor Prophets because they are smaller books, not because they are less important.
The First 4 Books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are the Gospels. It recalls 4 different accounts of the Life of Jesus. The writers were either followers of Jesus or people that were close to the apostles as eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus.
The Next Book of the New Testament, Book of Acts, is a book of History that records the spreading of the Gospel starting with Jewish Christians who spread out through the Roman Empire.
The Next 21 Books of the New Testament (Romans, 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st Thessalonians, 2nd Thessalonians, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1st Peter, 2nd Peter, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude) are known as the Epistles. These are letters written to Christians or Churches.
The Last Book of the Bible is Revelation. It’s a mix of prophecy and eschatology. It talks about the return of Jesus and the end of the world. It talks about how God wants us to live until that time comes. It is God’s vision of the end of the world and the rest of eternity.
Now that we have broken down the structure of the Bible, I want to answer some common questions:
Who is God (God the Father)?
Moses asked the same question in Exodus 3:13-15 and this is what God said: “I Am Who I Am“, “The God of Abraham“, “The God of Isaac“, “The God of Jacob“. If you are reading from Genesis 1, you will see that He created the Heavens and the Earth, Light and Darkness, Water, Wind and Man. Yes, He did that! He created everything! And it was good!
Who is Jesus (God the Son)?
Jesus asked Peter in Matthew 16:13-20 who people think He is. Peter answered that some believe He is John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. So Jesus asks Peter what He believes Him to be. Peter proclaimed that He is the Christ, Son of the Living God. Jesus responded that no living man revealed that to Him but The Father in Heaven. According to Luke 19:10, Jesus talks about His mission on earth to seek and save those who are lost.
Who is The Holy Spirit (God the Holy Spirit)?
According to Acts 1:4 & 8, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Promise of the Father. Not only is He the Promise but He gives spiritual power to be a witness of the transforming power of Christ and to live a holy life. This includes: Boldness to speak to others about Christ(Acts 4:29-31), Guides you into the truth about God (John 16:13), Produces fruit -Galatians 5:22-23-(Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control), Guarantees Inheritance-Ephesians 1:13-14-(when you have accepted salvation), Access to God (Ephesians 2:18) and Indwells in you (Romans 8:11) – (lives in you).
Who is The Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)?
Trinity is 3 persons with a divine nature working as One. According to Genesis 1:26, God the Father said “Let US make man in our own image”. Who is “US“? Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are One God working together (not separate) with each other and testifying of one another. The Father creates (Genesis 1), the Son redeems(Luke 19:10) and the Holy Spirit sanctifies (Romans 15:16).
So How do I start my Study?
Buy a Study Bible. A Study Bible will give references of how a certain scripture references back to the Old Testament and other New Testament Scriptures. It helps to give explanations of what the writer is speaking about if there is confusion.
We have just learned the character of the Holy Spirit and what He does. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you as you read the Word of God.
Start in the New Testament with the Book of John. It recounts the Life of Jesus on Earth. Follow it up with the Book of Acts. As you start to progress in your studies, start reading a verse or verses from the Old Testament and the New Testament.
There are stories and parables that Jesus speaks about and some reference back to the Old Testament. The Study Bible will reference it back so that you can expand your study.
Prayer: Father God, as your people and those seeking to know who you are studying your Word, open their spiritual eyes and reveal yourself to them. Teach them. guide them, sanctify them and set them apart for your work. In Jesus name. Amen.