THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part One
A. Lesson Text: 2 Timothy 2:15
1. (KJV)– “Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2. (NKJV) – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
3. (NASB) – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman
who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
4. (NLT) – “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who
does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
B. The Bible is the Mind of God in print. It is a love letter from home.
C. Suppose a person believes the Bible to be the Word of God, but is completely unfamiliar with its divisions. Someone advises him to just “read in the Bible
anywhere and do what it says . . . It is all good!”
1. What if he read the command given to Noah in Genesis 6:14 to “Make yourself an ark of gopher-wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside
and outside with pitch.” Would he conclude that he was to do so?
2. Reading on he would read about:
a. Offering animal sacrifices. Leviticus 1-7
b. Observing special feasts. Leviticus 23:1-44
c. A routine of marching around the city walls of Jericho. Joshua 6
3. Might he not conclude that he is responsible for obeying the commands of these and other passages?
a. How would he know which ones he should obey?
b. How would he know which ones he should not obey?
c. It is difficult to rightly divide the word of truth if one is not acquainted with the word of truth he is endeavoring to rightly divide.
D. The Bible is an intelligent book . . . from an intelligent God . . . to an intelligent people . . . give to be read, understood, and obeyed.
E. Confusion has come and division has resulted from man’s not rightly dividing the word of truth.
1. The Bible was not given to us to confuse us or to divide us.
2. The Bible was never intended as a “You read it your way and I will read it my way” book. It was intended to be read God’s way.
3. It was never intended to be a “You believe it your way and I will believe it my way” book. It was intended to be believed God’s way.
4. We are to read it God’s way and believe it God’s way.
– “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible”
F. To understand and use the Bible effectively, one must be acquainted with its structure and contents.
1. One cannot be skillful in the use of the Word of God unless He knows how the word of God is arranged.
2. Attempting to use the Bible without an understanding of its arrangement will be of little benefit.
3. Many fail to receive much benefit from a study of the bible because they have never taken time to acquaint themselves with it.
4. To effectively study the Bible and understand it, we need to know its arrangement, and what it contains.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BIBLE
A. to understand the mechanical composition of your Bible is both interesting and useful.
1. If reading only casually, about 90 hours are required to read through the entire Bible. You can read through the entire Bible in a year if an average of about 3 chapters are read daily.
2. The Bible is a library of 66 books written by over 40 men (authors).
a. The writings took place over a period of some 1600 years (16 centuries).
b. The writers were separated by distances that spanned some 1500 miles.
c. The Bible was written on three continents.
3. The Bible contains:
a. 66 Books.
b. 1,189 chapters.
c. 31,102 verses.
d. 773,746 words.
e. 3,566,480 letters.
4. Although the Bible contains 66 books, the Bible is but one book. It is the Word of the living God, and it is:
a. Indestructible. Matthew 24:35
b. Incorruptible. 1 Peter 1:23-25
c. Indispensable. Matthew 4:4
d. Infallible. Matthew 5:18
e. Inexhaustible. Psalm 92:5
5. It is divided into parts.
a. The Old Testament
1. 39 books
2. 929 chapters
3. 23,138 verses
4. 602,582 words
b. The New Testament
1. 27 books
2. 260 chapters
3. 7,957 verses
4. 169,751 words
– “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible”
6. The Old Testament is approximately 3x larger than the New Testament.
7. The longest book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms with 150 chapters.
8. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses . . . And the shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with 2 verses containing some 30 words.
9. The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 with 90 words in the King James rendering . . . Some 60 words longer than the shortest chapter in the Bible. Note: The NKJV translation uses 81 words rather than 90 words in translating Esther 8:9.
a. The shortest verse in the Bible, in English, is John 3:16 – “Jesus wept” (2 words, 9 letters).
b. The shortest verse in the Bible (in Greek) is 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – “Rejoice always.”
10. The Middle verse of the whole Bible is Psalm 118:8.
a. The middle verse of the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 20:3.
b. The middle verse of the New Testament is Acts 17:17.
B. Five books in the Bible contain only one chapter. One is in the Old Testament
and the remaining four are in the New Testament.
1. Obadiah . . . The only one chapter book in the Old Testament.
3. 2 John
4. 3 John
C. The Bible is written in simple language. When you omit the proper names, the length of the average word in the Bible is fewer than five letters.
D. Three most frequently used words in the Bible are:
1. “And” – Occurs some 46,277 times.
2. “Jehovah” – Occurs some 6,855 times.
3. “Lord” – Occurs some 1,853 times.
E. The Bible was originally written in paragraphs without chapters and verses.
1. Divided into chapters by Cardinal Hugo in 1250 A.D.
2. Divided into verses by Robert Stevens in 1551 B.C.
3. The whole Bible divided into chapters and verses, first appeared in 1560 and was called the Geneva Bible.
4. Note: In 1560, italics were first used to indicate words used in the transitions which were not found in the original transition
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part four
F. Concerning Bible languages:
1. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the common language of the Jewish people at that time.
2. The New Testament was written in Greek, the common language of the world at that time.
G. Concerning the 66 Books of the Bible.
1. They do not appear in the order in which they were written.
2. They are logically arranged.
3. The are classified according to the nature of their contents.
H. The Old Testament deals largely with the religion and history of the Jewish Nation.
I. The New Testament reveals:
1. The work of Jesus Christ on the earth.
2. The establishment of the Lord’s church.
3. The history of the church during the 1st century.
J. The only acceptable interpretation of any Scripture is the interpretation that God gives it. 2 Peter 1:20-21 – “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of
Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
1. Over 2500 times the writers of the Scriptures claim to be inspired.
2. More than 3,800 times in the Old Testament, the claim is made that the Scriptures are the Word of God.
3. In the Old Testament, there are over 1,300 places which present the plea for inspiration.
4. The Scriptures are exalted as the Word of God some 175 times in Psalm 119.
5. Only Divine Guidance could produce such a book as the Bible.
K. Additional interesting Facts about the Bible.
1. The word “Scripture” is derived from the Latin meaning “the writings”
2. “Testament” means “Covenant” or “Agreement”
a. Old Testament is:
1. Old Covenant.
2. Old Agreement.
b. New Testament is:
1. New Covenant.
2. New Agreement.
3. There are about 350 direct quotations from the Old Testament that are found in the New Testament.
4. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus that have been fulfilled . . . 29-33 of them on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.
5. The Bible claims God as its author . . . And God claims the Bible as His Word.
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” part five
DIVISIONS AND CONTENTS OF THE BIBLE.
A. Concerning the two major divisions of the Bible . . .
1. The Old Testament was written for our learning.
a. Romans 15:4 – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
2. The New Testament is clearly distinguished from the Old Testament.
a. Hebrews 8:6-7 – “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. A New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
b. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 – “ . . . But our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
c. Colossians 2:14 – “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
d. Ephesians 2:15 – (NLT) – “By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles . . .”
B. There are five classes of Books in the Old Testament.
1. PENTATEUCH - LAW (5 Books)
2. HISTORY (12 Books)
a. Joshua g. 2 Kings
b. Judges h. 1 Chronicles
c. Ruth i. 2 Chronicles
d. 1 Samuel j. Ezra
e. 2 Samuel k. Nehemiah
f. 1 Kings l. Esther
3. POETRY (5 Books
e. Song of Solomon
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part six
4. MAJOR PROPHETS (5 Books)
5. MINOR PROPHETS (12 Books)
a. Hosea g. Nahum
b. Joel h. Habakkuk
c. Amos i. Zephaniah
d. Obadiah j. Haggai
e. Jonah k. Zechariah
f. Micah l. Malachi
C. There are four classes of Books in the New Testament.
1. BIOGRAPHY (4 Books)
2. HISTORY (1 Book)
3. EPISTLES (21 Books)
a. Romans l. Titus
b. 1 Corinthians m. Philemon
c. 2 Corinthians n. Hebrews
d. Galatians o. James
e. Ephesians p. 1 Peter
f. Philippians q. 2 Peter
g. Colossians r. 1 John
h. 1 Thessalonians s. 2 John
i. 2 Thessalonians t. 3 John
j. 1 Timothy u. Jude
k. 2 Timothy.
4. PROPHECY (1 Book)
D. The Bible covers three dispensations of time.
1. The Patriarchal Age – Lasted 2511 years.
2. The Mosaical Age (Jewish Age) – Lasted 1481 years.
3. The Christian Age – Still in existence and will continue until the end of time.
E. The Bible covers some fifteen different historical periods.
1. ANTEDILUVIAN PERIOD – Before the Flood
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” 7
a. From Adam to Noah
b. B.C. 4004-2348
c. Covered 1656 years
2. POSTDILUVIAN PERIOD – After the Flood
a. From Noah to the call of Abraham
b. B. C. 2348-1921
c. Covered 427 years.
3. ABRAHAM, ISAAC, & JACOB
a. From the call of Abraham to the Descent of Jacob into Egypt
b. B.C. 1921-1706
c. Covered 215 years
4. LATER PART OF EGYPTIAN BONDAGE
a. From the entry of Jews into Egypt to the Exodus Totals 430 years
b. B.C. 1706-1451
c. Covered 215 years
5. PERIOD OF WILDERNESS WANDERINGS
a. From the Exodus to the entry into Canaan
b. B.C. 1497-1451
c. Covered 40 years
6. PERIOD OF THE JUDGES
a. From the entry into Canaan to the period of the Judges
b. B.C. 1451-1400
c. Covered between 300 and 375 years
7. PERIOD OF THE JUDGES
a. From the first of the Judges to the United Kingdom
b. B.C. 1400-1095
c. Some 17 Judges are named . . . 13 named in Judges with 4 additional
ones name in 1 Samuel.
1. Othinel 10. Ibzan
2. Ehud 11. Elon
3. Shamgar 12. Abdon
4. Deborah (with Barak) 13. Samson
5. Gideon 14. Eli
6. Abimelech 15. Samuel
7. Tola 16. Joel
8. Jair 17. Abijah
8. THE UNITED KINGDOM PERIOD
a. From the establishment of the kingdom to the division of the kingdom.
b. B.C. 1095-975
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part seven
c. Covered 120 years
d. Three kings reigned.
1. Saul (reigned 40 years)
2. David (reigned 40 years)
3. Solomon (reigned 40 years)
9. THE DIVIDED KINGDOM PERIOD
a. From the division of the kingdom to the fall of Israel.
b. B.C. 975-722
c. Covered 263 years
d. 19 kings reigned over the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
1. Jereboam – 22 yrs. 11. Jehoahaz – 17 yrs.
2. Nadab – 2 yrs. 12. Jehoash – 16 yrs.
3. Baasha - 24 yrs. 13. Jereboan ll – 41 years
4. Elah – 2 yrs. 14. Zachariah – 6 mos.
5. Zimri – 7 days 15. Shallum – 1 mo.
6. Omri – 12 yrs. 16. Menahem – 10 yrs.
7. Ahab – 22 yrs. 17. Pekahiah – 2 yrs.
8. Ahaziah – 2 yrs. 18. Pekah – 20 yrs.
9. Jehoram – 12 yrs. 19. Hoshea – 29 yrs.
10. Jehu – 29 yrs.
10. THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH PERIOD
a. From the fall of Israel to the fall of Judah
b. B.C. 722-605
c. Cover 117 years
d. A total of 20 kings ruled over the Southern Kingdom. 12 kings and one
over Judah (Southern Kingdom) before the fall of the
Northern Kingdom and 7 after it.
1. Before the fall of the Northern Kingdom, these thirteen Southern
Kingdom kings reigned.
a. Rehoboam – 17 years
c. Abijah – 3 years
d. Asa – 41 years
e. Jehoshaphat – 25 years
f. Jehoram – 8 years
g, Ahaziah – 1 year
h. Athaliah (Queen) – 6 years
i. Joash – 40 years
j. Amaziah – 29 years
k. Uzziah 52 years
l. Jotham – 16 years
m. Ahaz – 16 years
n. Hezekiah – 29 years
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part eight
2. After the Fall of the Northern Kingdom, these seven Southern
Kingdom kings reigned.
a. Manasseh – 55 yrs.
b. Amon – 2 yrs.
c. Josiah – 31 yrs.
d. Jehoahaz – 17 yrs.
e. Jehoiachim – 7 yrs.
f. Jehoiachin – 3 mos. 10 days
g. Zedekiah – 11 yrs.
11. PERIOD OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY
a. From the fall of Judah to the return to Jerusalem
b. B.C. 587-537
c. Covered 70 years
12. THE RESTORATION PERIOD OF THE JEWS
a. From the return to Jerusalem to the end of Old Testament history
b. B.C. 537-445
c. Covered 92 years
13. BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS – The Intertestimental Period
a. From the close of the Old Testament to the beginning of the New
b. B.C. 400-4
c. Also called:
1. The Intertestimental Period
2. The Maccabean Period (Actually just a part of the Intertestimental
14. THE LIFE OF CHRIST
a. From the birth of Christ to the ascension of Christ into Heaven
b. B.C. 4 - A.D. 30
c. Covered 34 yrs.
15. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH PERIOD
a. From the establishment of the Lord’s church to the end of the 1st century
b. A.D. 30-100
c. Covered 70 years
INTERESTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE BIBLE
A. “Bible” comes from the Greek word “Biblos” meaning book . . . And has as its grand theme of the story of human redemption.
1. The Bible is the “Book of Books.”
2. It is one of the oldest books in the world.
2. It remains the world’s best seller year after year.
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” part nine
3. The Bible is the most translated book in the world. The Bible has been translated into about 1200 languages and dialects which are used by about
97% of the world’s population.
B. The Bible was the first book printed on moveable type.
1. Printed by Johannes Gutenburg (inventor of the printing press) in 1455.
2. Required five years work to do it.
3. One of the three existing copies in the world is in the Library of Congress, and was purchased in 1930 for $305,000.
C. The largest book in the world is a Bible measuring eight feet across.
1. It contains 8,948 pages.
2. It weighs 1,094 pounds.
D. The smallest Bible is the world was printed in 1895 by Daivd Bryce & Son in Glascow, Scotland.
1. Its pages are half the size of a postage stamp.
2. Cannot be read without a magnifying glass.
E. The Bible is the only book ever cabled across the ocean.
1. On May 20, 1881, the British Committee finished the revision of the New Testament.
2. The following morning the books of Matthew through Romans were printed in the Chicago Times and the Chicago Tribune.
A. The Bible contains what God wants each of us to know. It deserves to be read and studied in view of eternity.
B. When all of the factors are weighed, it must be admitted that the Bible was written by one hand and produced by one mind. The Bible is an
intelligent book . . . from an intelligent God . . . to an intelligent people . . . given to be read, understood, and obeyed.
C. This Book which we call the Bible contains:
• The mind of God;
• The way of salvation;
• The mind of God;
• The way of salvation;
• The doom of sinners;
• And, the happiness of believers.
• Its doctrines are holy;
• Its precepts are binding;
• Its histories are true.
And, its decisions are immutable
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” part seven
• Read it to be wise
• Believe it to be safe
• And practice it to be holy.
• Light to direct you;
• Food to support you;
• And comfort to cheer you.
• The traveler’s map;
• The pilgrim’s staff;
• The pilot’s compass;
• The soldier’s sword;
• And, the Christian’s charter.
• Paradise is restored;
• Heaven is opened;
• And the gates of hell disclosed.
• Christ is the grand object;
• Our good is its Design;
• And the glory of God its end.
• It should fill the memory;
• Rule the heart;
• And guide the feet.
• It is a mine of wealth;
• A paradise of glory;
• And, a river of pleasure.
• It is given to you in life;
• It will be opened at the judgment;
• And it will be remembered forever.
• It involves the highest responsibilities;
• It offers the greatest rewards . . . The greatest labors;
• And condemns all who trifle with its contents.
THE BIBLE – “Becoming Acquainted with Your Bible” Part ten
D. THE BIBLE PALACE
With the help of the Holy Spirit as my Guide, I entered this wonderful Temple called the Bible. I entered the portico of Genesis, walked down through the
Old testament art gallery, where pictures of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, and Daniel hung on the wall. I passed into the music room of
Psalms, where the Spirit swept the keyboard of nature and brought forth a dirge-like wail of the weeping prophet Jeremiah to the grand impassioned
strain of Isaiah, until it seemed that every reed and pipe of Gods great organ of nature responded to the tuneful harp of David, the sweet singer of Israel. I
entered the beautiful chapel of Ecclesiastes, where the preacher’s voice was heard into the conservatory room of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valley’s sweet
scented spices filled and perfumed my life. I entered the business office of Proverbs, then into the observatory room of the prophets, where I saw
telescopes of various sizes, some pointed to far-off events, but all centered upon the Bright and Morning Star which was to rise above all the moonlit hills
of Judea for our salvation.
I entered the audience room of the King of Kings and caught a vision of his glory from Matthew, mark, Luke, and John; passing on into the Acts of the
Apostles where the Holy Spirit was performing His work in forming the infant church. Then into the correspondence room where sat Paul Peter, James,
John, and Jude penning their letters. I stepped into the throne room of Revelation where all towered in glittering peaks and I got a vision of the King
sitting upon His throne in all His glory and majesty on high, and I cried:
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
E. THE STORY OF WILLIAM McPHERSON
William McPherson was severely injured when a charge of dynamite exploded in front of his face. Although he survived the blast, he lost his eyes,
hands and the feeling in parts of his face. He realized how much the Bible meant to him and he greatly needed the its strength. He could not read it in
Braille because of his artificial hands. He tried to place his lips on the dots but they were numb. He found he could use his tongue to decipher the Moon
Type System of dashes. Although the metal left his lips and tongue bleeding and very sore, he prayed to God to help him continue to learn just one letter of
the alphabet. In the 65 years that followed, he read the Bible through four times with his tongue. What love for the Bible! His example leaves us without
F. Are you a student of the Holy Scriptures? . . . Are you obedient to God’s will
for your life?
By Donnie S. Barnes
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