A WALK THROUGH THE BIBLE
In Eleven Lessons
I. The Original Creation - The Creation of the Universe to the Creation of Man
II. The Age of Innocence - From the Creation of Man to the Fall and Expulsion
III. The Age of Conscience - From the Expulsion to the Flood
IV. The Age of Human Government - From the Flood to the Dispersion at Babel
V. The Age of Promise - From the Call of Abraham to the Egyptian Bondage
VI. The Age of Law - From the Exodus to the Reign of Solomon
VII. The Age of Law - From the Division of the Kingdom to the Captivity
VIII. The Age of Law - From the Restoration to the End of the Old Testament
IX. The Age of Law - From the Beginning of the New Testament to the Crucifixion
X. The Age of Grace - From Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ
XI. The Age of the Kingdom of God - From the Judgment of the Nations to the New Jerusalem
We are about to take a fascinating walk through Bible history. This study is designed to help us visualize the Bible as a progressive unfolding of divine revelation and truth. The Bible was not given to us in one great revelation, but as a gradual and progressive “unfolding”, sometimes centuries elapsing between the revelations given by God to man. Altogether about forty persons, from all walks of life were engaged in writing the Bible. The Bible writers spanned over sixteen hundred years from the first to the last writer.
The name “Bible”, is from the Greek, biblia, and means the books. The Bible is a book of books...sixty-six books, yet it is one harmonious whole.
The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Testament means covenant, or the declaration of the will of God. Although the Bible is one harmonious whole, there is a distinction between the two testaments. The mind of God through the Holy Spirit inspired the forty-some authors to write one message of God. The Old Testament is the prophecy of what came about in the New Testament; the New fulfills the Old. You need the New Testament to understand the Old Testament and the harmony that exists between the two covenants. The Old Testament tells of how God dealt with nations, and reveals His will for them. The New Testament tells how God deals with the individual and His will for us in the spiritual and eternal realm.
All the pages of the Bible point to one center figure...Jesus Christ. It points to one central event...His death and resurrection. The purpose of the Bible’s writing is: “These are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.” John 20:31
As to the original languages of the Bible, the Old Testament languages were Aramaic and Hebrew. It was written in Hebrew, from Genesis to Malachi. The New Testament languages were Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It was written in Greek, from Matthew to Revelation. The language of the day at the time of Christ was Greek, though many Jews still spoke Hebrew and Aramaic in the synagogues and the Temple.
There is a 400 year span between the Old and New Testaments where no inspired writings came from God. Religious books were written during this period, but they are not considered as inspired Scripture. There was no prophet sent from God during this period. This 400 year period is called the Maccabean period. This period is a time of Jewish struggle to free themselves from the tyrannical rule of Antiochus Epiphanes, who invaded Jerusalem, slaughtered forty thousand Jews in three days and desecrated the Temple. During this time, a Jew named Mattathias, with five sons, the “Maccabees”, became valiant leaders of the fight for Jewish independence. The Jews finally won and experienced about one hundred years of Jewish government when the period of the New Testament begins with the arrival of Jesus Christ.
THE ORIGINAL CREATION
The Creation of the Universe to the Creation of Man
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In this majestic explanation of the beginning of all things, we are immediately introduced to God. Though man wants to know more, and expound on their own ideas as to how this happened, this is all we have, or ever will know about it in this world. Isaiah the prophet said, “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name.” (40:26) In His infinite wisdom and power, God created the heavens and the earth. The fact of a material universe stares every creature in the face, and the word of God contains the only truly acceptable account of its creation. Geologists may explore and speculate on stratas and fossil remains, but “the secrets of the Lord are with them that fear Him.” (Ps. 25:14)
Through faith we come to understand that the world and the universe were framed by the word of God. The Hebrew word, bara, means an absolute creation without the use of pre-existing material. God called into being the things that were not by His divine decree. Psalms 148:5 says that “He commanded and they were created.”
When the beginning was we are not told, but without a doubt this refers to the event when it took place. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was without form and void, tohu and bohu, which means confusion and emptiness. How long the earth was in this chaos before He changed its physical features is not known; we are not told. But we are told in verse three that God began to renew the face of the earth to prepare it for man. The Psalmist said, “You sent forth Your Spirit and they were created, and You renew the face of the earth.” (104:30) Then He spoke, and there was light.
On the second day God separated waters and put water above the earth. This would be the clouds that envelope the earth.
On the third day it says that God divided the waters. Evidently this is when the dry land appeared, as He pushed up mountains out of the sea. With that done, He brought vegetation upon the face of the earth, with the design that plants would produce seeds which would reproduce their original design. That design has been there since the beginning.
The fourth day brought another wonderful design. Verse 14 says He spoke into being the moon and the stars in the heavens, and that they are there for signs and for seasons, days, and years. This amazingly accurate design has allowed us to this day to be able to calculate the seasons and years in the past and future. Without fail we have experienced the changing of seasons and that design will continue until God brings time to an end.
The fifth day brought fish and birds, but also, like seeds, His design was that they would reproduce after their own kind so that they would always stay unique, and that each animal would seek out it’s own for a mate.
On the sixth day God created cattle, the other animals, and man. But uniquely, God created man in His own image. All the things God created, He called good, but when He created man, the Bible records that He said it was very good. Verses 29-30 state that God gave the plants and animals to sustain created life.
All of creation declares the glory of the God who created it. It is there to give Him praise. To this day man is still trying to understand the mystery and marvel of this creation. And the deeper man digs to understand it’s design, the more marvelous is His praise.
For additional reading on the creation, read Ps. 148:1-5; Isa. 42:5; Ps. 19:1; Jer. 32:17; Heb. 11:3; Job 38:4-7.