The Bible – A short description
Here we want to explain something about the structure of the Bible, which is the ‘Manual for life’.
The Bible is divided into two large sections, i.e. the Old Testament (O.T.) and the New Testament (N.T.).
THE OLD TESTAMENT.
The Old Testament is the first section of the Bible.
The first pages describe how the world is came into existence, or put differently, how God created the world.
After that follows the coming into existence and the history of the people of Israel.
It is through this nation that God has wanted to reveal Himself to the world.
He did so by letting them know how to live in relationship to Him.
God also gave them rules as to how to live together, in a healthy society.
A large part of the O.T. has to do with the history of this nation, the Israelites.
Then there are 150 songs, written by king David and others, collected in the Book of Psalms.
Many chapters on wisdom for life are to be found in the Book of Proverbs.
God also revealed, through prophets, what was going to take place in world history.
Many of these prophecies were fulfilled in the past. Others await their fulfilment in the future.
The coming of a Man, Who is to be a great blessing to mankind, is foretold in many prophecies.
These prophecies were fulfilled in the time of the New Testament Gospels, in the person of Jesus.
THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The first four authors of the N.T. each describe the life of Jesus in their own way.
These four books give a complete account of His birth and His public life.
They describe how He taught the people, how He healed the sick, drove out demons and brought the dead back to life, until He died on a Roman cross.
Three days after His death He rose again physically from the grave however, and he visited His direct successors several times, during a period of 40 days.
The last time He was with them He blessed His followers, after which they saw Him physically ascend to heaven.
The next book, Acts, describes the coming into existence of the first Christian church.
Thereafter we find several letters, written by different authors, addressed to different local churches in the Roman Empire of the time.
The N.T. closes with a prophetic book, a vista of the time in which we are now living.
The books of the O.T. were written roughly between 1550 B.C. and 400 B.C. and they were written in Hebrew.
The books of the N.T. were probably written between approximately 50 and 100 A.D. and they were written in Greek.
With the exception of the Psalms, these writings originally consisted of continuous text. The text was later divided up into chapters and the sentences numbered. This facilitates looking things up.
For example: the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 11, verses 28 tot 30
(Abbreviation: Matthew 11:28-30)
Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The Bible has been translated into more than 450 different languages.
Parts of the Bible have been translated into more than 2,800 languages.
The are currently 1,500 translation projects underway.
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The Bible – A short description.