The Bible is God’s speaking of his truth to us in human words. It is one book which contains sixty-six smaller books (Thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament) that were penned by over forty authors, inspired by the one God, across a span of over 1,500 years, on three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three different languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). Our current 1,189 chapter separations were created by Cardinal Hugo of St. Cher in 1240 AD and the 31,173 verse separations were made by Robert Stephanus and published in 1557.
In the Old Testament, we read about God working and speaking in history - primarily with the people of Israel - from the beginning of time until about 450 BC. It tells the story of our coming into being and our fall from God’s favor as a result of sin. We read about God calling his people out from slavery in Egypt and into the promised land which is modern day Israel. After their nation is established they fall into and out of captivity as a result of their rebellion against God. Prophets and kings are raised up to warn and rule over the people to keep them in line, but they never seem to listen, so God judges them.
When we open the New Testament we first read in the four Gospels about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the long anticipated Messiah of Israel. From then on we are instructed by the apostles as to how to live out our lives as servants of Christ and at the very end, we read the prophetic book of Revelation which tells us how everything will end with Christ as King and Satan defeated.
To display the continuity of the Bible from the first page to the last, we see in the Old Testament numerous promises and references to a savior who would come to take away the sins of the world. In the New Testament, we see those promises fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the New Testament quotes the Old Testament three-hundred times and alludes to it upwards of four-thousand times.1
Our Bible is not the result of a secret book club of people who liked what the pages said. It is the divinely inspired word of God.
- Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2010. 41-43. Print.