Editor’s Note: The following article is a “survey” or outline, of the entire Bible. It will help you understand more about each book of the Bible. You will see that this section is in outline format. We have done this purposely in order to condense a large amount of information into less space. Please study this material closely. It is intended to be a study and teaching resource to you.
We have included this to enable you to gain a greater understanding of the Bible. Please keep this material close at hand so you can use it frequently.
This Bible Survey will be an invaluable resource to help you in teaching your people and giving them a better understanding of God’s precious Word.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
The word “Bible” comes from the Greek word for “book”. The Bible is a library of 66 books written by approximately 40 different authors over a period of nearly 1500 years (1400 B.C. to A.D. 100).
These books are divided into two major divisions:
- The Old Testament (Old Covenant)
- The New Testament (New Covenant)
THE BIBLE’S PURPOSE
One theme unifies all 66 books. The theme is “salvation” or “redemption”. The Bible is an account of what God has said and done in history to save (redeem) mankind from the bondage of sin and disobedience against his Creator. This theme is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
In II Timothy 3:14-17, the Bible clearly states that its purpose is to:
1) Make people “wise to salvation which is through faith in Jesus Christ.”
2) Equip such believers for “every good work.”
Thus, after a person comes to faith in Christ, the Bible is profitable for four things in equipping for “every good work”:
- doctrine (teaching)
- reproof (showing the wrong)
- correction (showing the right)
- instruction in righteousness (right relationships with God and man)
THE STORY THE BIBLE TELLS
The story the Bible tells may be summarized as follows. God created man in His own image for fellowship and rulership over the earth on His behalf. Through willful disobedience, man lost this unique relationship with God and the destiny for which God had created him.
The Old Testament tells how God actively sought to restore mankind to His intended purpose. He did this by choosing the Jewish nation, through whom He would reveal His salvation and bring it to the whole world. But the Jews, God’s specially chosen servants, violated the covenant by which God had promised to bless them with His salvation and make them a blessing to all nations of the earth.
Thus, they disqualified themselves as God’s servants, having been warned repeatedly by the prophets of the consequences of their idolatry and unfaithfulness to the one true and living God, the God of Israel.
The New Testament records the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation to redeem and restore mankind through His Son, Jesus the Christ (Messiah). As God’s perfect Servant Who fully met the requirements of God’s covenant, He took upon Himself the penalty of death and separation from God in His death on a Roman cross.
Upon His resurrection and exaltation, God now offers forgiveness of sins and restoration of fellowship. God’s children the Church – are all who, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, receive God’s salvation through the working of the Holy Spirit. Through them, the good news of God’s gift of redemption is to be brought to the whole world.
The last book of the Bible, Revelation, shows how God’s salvation of His Creation will culminate in a new heaven and earth wherein man’s fellowship and rulership shall be fully and completely restored …to the glory of God!