How To Read The Bible

This will show you how to read the Bible.  The Bible structure and the layout of the Bible.  The Bible books, testaments, literature genres and the plan of God.  You will know why the Bible is the ultimate authority for the believer.  This will show you how to read the Bible.  Where do we get the scriptures that make up the 66 books of the Bible?  The canon is the compiling of Bible books.  

What is the Canon?

The Canon of Scripture is a collection of books.  The word means “standard” or “rule”.  The word means straight rod that is explained as the “rule of faith”, “rule of Church” or “rule of Truth”.  The Protestant Bible is 66 books. The Old Testament is a total of 39 books and the New Testament is a total of 27 books.  The Canon was considered complete by 397 A.D.

Old Testament

5 books
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Historical Books
12 books
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.

5 books
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

New Testament

17 books
Major Prophets–Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
Minor Prophets–Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Historical Books
5 books
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts

Pauline Epistles
13 books
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

Non-Pauline Epistles
9 books
Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation

What are the divisions of Bible Literature?

Once again there are 66 books in the Bible.  There are 39 books in the Old Testament, and 27 books in the New Testament.  This is the protestant Bibles.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic languages.  The Hebrew language is a poetical language.

The Hebrew culture relies heavily on content.  Hebrews thinks linear, that there is a beginning and an end.  New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek language paints pictures.  The Greeks are expressive visually in their language.  Greeks rely heavily on philosophy and cycles.  Greek mind set is circular; they talk in circles with reason.  Things are built new, age, torn down and rebuilt.  Everything’s a cycle in the Greek mind.

What are the 4 divisions of Old Testament literature?

The Pentateuch is Genesis-Deuteronomy.

The Historical is Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

The Poetical is Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastics and Songs of Solomon.

The Prophetical is divided into two sections.

The Major Prophets is Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Lamentations.

The Minor Prophets is Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

What are the four divisions of New Testament literature?

The Gospels is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The History is Acts.

The epistles are Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

The apocryphal is Revelation.

Why is the Bible divided into two covenants? 

The Bible was written in two parts:

Old Testament 39 Books

New Testament 27 Books

The books were written with a 400 year gap between the two sections. God was silent from Malachi to until the announcement of the birth of the savior.  The Old Testament is the Law and the Prophets.  The Lord gave commandment to the first Adam and through disobedience sin entered the world.  The Serpent is the Devil that deceived Eve and her husband to disobey.  The Lord gave the first prophecy that the SEED of the woman would crush the seed of the serpent.  The Lord did everything in the Old Testament in a mystery to hide His purpose to destroy the works of Devil from the Devil.  The Prophets spoke 333 prophecies concerning the arrival, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Law of Moses is the ceremonies, feasts, types, pictures, shadows and duties.  These things are a tutor that point to Jesus.  The Old Testament with its instructions was for the Earthly Tabernacle.  The Lord instructs mankind on the physical in order to relate it to the spiritual.  The natural comes first and then the spiritual.  The First Covenant was for the first Adam and his offspring that are sinful.  The law was not made for the righteous but for the sinner. God established a chosen people for the Messiah.  The Old Testament is a tutor to point to Jesus.

The New Testament is the revelation of the mystery. Jesus is the revelation.  Hebrews 10:1 says, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things.” Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Jesus is the substance of things hoped for and Jesus is the evidence of the things that were not seen.

Jesus in His birth, life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection fulfills prophetic with the law.  The Lord triumphs over the devil at the cross.  God reveals His purpose in the cross to destroy the works of the Devil.  I Corinthians 2:8-9 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”  The second Adam becomes a life giving spirit to those that believe creating a spiritual race.

How are the types, pictures and shadows related to the Spirit? 

Hebrews 9:1, 9-10 says, “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.  Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

The Old Testament ordinances were for the earthly tabernacle pertaining to the first Adam’s offspring under the mystery.  The Lord speaks to us on an earthly perception.  God reveals the spiritual intention in the New Testament.  The born again believer through the second Adam makes us a new creation in the spirit.

The temple is a type of the Heavenly Temple that Jesus entered in for us. The Earthly Priesthood is replaced by the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Law is fulfilled bringing about the blessings of mount Gerizem and righteousness. The Earthly Israel is a type of Spiritual Israel created by faith in Jesus.

God created the earthly realm to create a physical people and the spiritual realm to transform them into literal sons and daughter in the spirit.  God will purify the Earth in the end establishing the eternal on Earth in the spirit to rule forever.

What does the term covenant mean?

Covenant is defined as a mutual agreement between two parties.  The Hebrew word for covenant comes from the word “berith” meaning a cutting.  The cutting of an animal in two and passing between the two parts to establish the covenant (Genesis 15).

The Strong’s Greek word for covenant is “diatheke” meaning a set-agreement having complete terms determined by the initiating party, which also are fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement.

The Lord made covenant with man and delivered it to man through the Angels on Mt. Sinai. Mankind was not capable of keeping the covenant. (Law)

The promise of a new covenant was made between the Heavenly Father and Son that would be an everlasting Covenant. (Grace)

What are Bible example explaining covenants?

Galatians 4 states for it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman.  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.  Which things is an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai, which brings forth to bondage, which is Hagar.  

For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.  For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.  

Nevertheless what says the scripture?  Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

What covenants were made by God?

These covenants relate to the Old Covenant showing the ways that God will establish the New Covenant.  

  • Edenic Covenant: (Genesis 1:28-30; 2:15-17)
  • Adam: The covenant of sin and judgment. (Genesis 3:14-19)
  • Noahic Covenant: (Genesis 9:1-17)
  • Abrahamic Covenant: (Genesis 12:1-3; 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-21; 22:15-18)
  • Mosaic Covenant: (Exodus 20:1-31:18)
  • King David Covenant: (2 Samuel 7:4-17)

The New Covenant is based off of the Abrahamic Covenant.  The Covenant is made between the Father and the Son.  The Covenant is made 430 years before the Mosaic Law was given on Mt. Sinai.  The Law does not nullify the promise.  The law is fulfilled by Jesus.  The unregenerate life will be judged by the law.  The regenerated life through Jesus will be made righteous through Christ’s obedience to the law.  The new covenant is an everlasting Covenant that we are set free from sin through Faith in the finished work of Jesus. (Romans 3; 5; Galatians 3)

What is the plan of the Bible?

The plan of God was in the two Adams. God created the first Adam out of the dust of the Earth. The first Adam was given dominion over the Earth. Lucifer deceived Eve to eat the forbidden tree that God commanded not to eat. Sin enters the world and death.  God sent the second Adam to Earth.  The Lord from Heaven was sent to die for sins and to fulfill the law.  It was the disobedience of the first Adam that made us sinners, and the obedience of the second Adam that made those that would believe righteous.

Revelation 13:8 says, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (KJV).”  The point to comprehend is that Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the world in the mind of God.  This means that the cross is not the result of the fall of Adam.  It is the plan of God for a specific purpose.  The purpose is to create literal sons and daughters of God in Christ the literal Son of God. God must make the physical for mankind to be created.  God can transform the physical into the spiritual.  As stated in the passage below.

I Corinthians 15:42-49 says, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (KJV).”

What is the purpose of the Bible?

The purpose of the Bible is to testify of Jesus Christ.  John 5:39-40 says, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”  The message of the Bible is the revelation of Jesus (Revelation 1:1).  The Scriptures Prophesied His arrival, ministry, death and Resurrection.  The prophetic reveals that Jesus is God in flesh with the end fulfillment of the restoration of all things.  The Spirit of prophecy is the revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:11).  The Law and the Prophets testified of Jesus.
Luke 24:44-49 says, And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
This is the purpose of the Bible to tell us the testimony of Jesus.  He died for sins and rose on the third day.  Whoever believes in His finished work on the cross for their sins will be saved.  When we hear the testimony of Jesus, it produces faith.  We are to mix our hearing of the gospel with faith.  Repent and believe it for our sins accepting Jesus as Lord and savior.  We will be saved.  We are to be His witnesses to preach this gospel to every living person.

The Bible is the ultimate authority for the believer in Jesus.  The Bible does not contain the Word of God; it is the Word of God.  The believer must approach the whole Bible as the final authority. The believer is to test all things by the Word of God.  The Bible is truth, so let it tell you what is true through the Holy Spirit while rightly interpreting the Word.  Every scripture is inspired of God, so there is no picking which ones you want to believe.

The Bible is the only truth pertaining to God, salvation and Godliness.

2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God (means God breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.  2 Peter 1:21 says that prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  I want to systematically layout a quick lesson to show how the scriptures came from God.  Jesus being God created all things and He is called the Word. In Exodus 24, Moses says that he wrote down everything that the Lord said.  The word of the Lord came to him and said write down this date and the reason why. The Old Testament scriptures were penned by the Lord to tell the writers what to write.  These were God’s anointed people called with the laying on of hands by other prophets that were told to do so by God.

The Word (Jesus) becomes a man in the likeness of sinful flesh having no sin and He knew no sin.  Emmanuel that means God come down to be with us.  Jesus taught with authority like they have never seen before.  After they said that about Jesus, He commands a devil to come out of a person that was possessed.  The people were astonished when the demon said that it knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God. Jesus in Matthew 5 expands the commandment that God told Moses to write down in Exodus.

Jesus says that you have heard it said of Old, but I say unto you.  Jesus expounds the Law to show that they are guilty of breaking the law.  Only God can do that.  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.  All of the Prophets of Old wrote concerning the testimony of Jesus.

Jesus teaches the disciples for three years.  Jesus fulfills the law and dies on the cross. Jesus rises from the dead and ascends to Heaven.  He sends the Holy Spirit to teach the disciples and to bring to their remembrance all of the things that Jesus taught to them.  The Apostles pen the scriptures through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.  The conclusion is that the scriptures are the Word of God and must be viewed as the supreme authority for all believers.  Here are some of the scriptures that were quoted below.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1).

They were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.  In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon.  He cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!”

And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.  And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message?  For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out (Luke 4).”

These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14).

© Copyright 2012, Martin Williams

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