Chapter 2: How Is the Bible Organized?

The Bible is a book comprised of sixty-six individual books that are divided into two main sections: the Old Testament with thirty-nine books and the New Testament with twenty-seven. The word testament means covenant. Covenants are solemn agreements that have attached conditions and promises. The Old and the New Testaments constitute two connected covenants, with the old fulfilled by the new. Therefore, what begins in the Old Testament is completed in the New Testament. Both moves humanity forward towards God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose.

Although the books are not entirely in chronological order, the Old Testament begins with the creation account and then moves on through God’s covenant relationship with the community of Israel. The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus and then moves into Jesus’s covenant relationship with the community of the church.

As a later invention, each of the sixty-six books were subdivided into chapters and verses, in order to make the large volume of material more manageable. Scripture references are noted first by the name of the book, followed by the chapter number and a colon, and lastly by the verse number, as in John 3:16.

Since God used humans to write the Bible, it was written in the language of the people. The Old Testament was written by the Jews in Hebrew with a sprinkling of Aramaic. The New Testament was written by the church in Koine Greek, which was the universal language of their Mediterranean world. Only the original texts are inspired by God. Translators do their best to transmit the message from the original languages into modern languages. Since each translator has wrestled with the text to offer his or her best efforts, it is often beneficial to consult several different translations for a more full-bodied view.

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation

Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs

All rights reserved.

Reprinted 2017

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Chapter 2: What Is Unique about the Bible?

There are at least three unique features about the Bible that point to its divine origin. First, it gives real answers to the most important questions of life, such as:

  • Why were humans created?
  • Why does evil exist?
  • What is God doing and what will He do about evil?

Secondly, the Bible is anchored in real time and space. This is no fairy tale. Real people and places are referenced with historical accuracy, which has been confirmed through archaeological evidence. In the March/April 2014 edition of Biblical Archeology Review, fifty biblical character names are listed that were found inscribed at archaeological sites. This makes the Bible a resource for ancient history. 1

Lastly, it gives an accurate portrayal of its heroes. In fact, its display of honesty is totally foreign to any other ancient work. Usually in those accounts, the accomplishments of heroes are exaggerated, and their failures are not included in history. In contrast, biblical heroes smell human with all of the hopes and failures common to humanity. If this were purely a human work, it would have never exposed those failings.

For example, the Bible records that Peter, who was a leader among the disciples, was terrified and perplexed as he stood in the high priest’s courtyard where Jesus was on trial. Afraid for his own life, Peter denied even knowing Jesus to those around him. Yet in spite of this failure, Peter found forgiveness and went on to be a prominent leader in the church.2

 

Notes:

  1. Lawrence Mykytiuk, “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible.” Biblical Archaeology Review (2014 March/April).
  2. John 18:15–27.

Questions:

Why is it important that the Bible is anchored in real time and space?

 

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation

Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs

All rights reserved.

Reprinted 2017

 

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Chapter 2: What is God’s Purpose for The Bible?

God’s purpose for the Bible is:

  • to share His identity, character, and nature with humanity
  • to share with them everything they need to know, in order to have a relationship with Him
  • to share His Eternal Plan and Purpose.

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation

Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs

All rights reserved.

Reprinted 2017

 

 

Chapter 2: What Is God’s Purpose for the Bible?

God’s purpose for the Bible is:

  • to share His identity, character, and nature with humanity
  • to share with them everything they need to know in order to have a relationship with Him
  • to share His Eternal Plan and Purpose.

 

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
All rights reserved.
Reprinted 2017

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Chapter 2: Are the Books in the Jewish Apocrypha Inspired by God?

The fifteen Jewish books of the Apocrypha were written during the four hundred years between the writing of the Old and the New Testaments. That time period is called the silent years, because God did not inspire any writings. The Jews have never viewed those writings as inspired, nor did the early church. They are more like a best-selling Christian book. Such a book may have many good things to say, but there is no guarantee that its teachings are accurate. Yet even though the Apocrypha is not inspired and should never be used to determine the official teachings of the church, it does contain wisdom and it gives insight into the silent years of Israel’s history.

 

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
All rights reserved.
Reprinted 2017

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Chapter 2: What Does Inspiration Mean?

Inspiration means God-breathed. The Hebrew word for spirit and wind are the same word. So, just like the wind empowers a boat’s sails, the humans who wrote the Bible were empowered to do so by the Spirit of God who gave them supernatural insight and knowledge. He then directed them to write using their own vocabulary and writing style. Although some parts might have been quoted from God, generally the Bible is the result of this God-breathed process where God’s thoughts are transmitted through the Holy Spirit and expressed through the words of a human agent. It is because of this God-breathed process that the Scriptures are both reliable and trustworthy. As the Bibles states:

All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

Questions:

  1. Do you believe that the Bible is divinely inspired? How would you explain your belief?
  2. There are five ways to personally interact with God’s Word, the Bible. How are you doing in using them?
    1. Read/Listen
    2. Study
    3. Meditate
    4. Memorize
    5. Pray the Scriptures

 

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
All rights reserved.
Reprinted 2017

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Journeys of the Incredibly Human book

 

My husband, Jeff and I are trying to place a copy of Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation in as many U.S. states and cities as possible, as well as internationally. As you vacation, would you place a book in the hotel room where you stay, leave it at a restaurant, or give it to someone you meet? This past week another copy was left in New Orleans. Remember that even though it’s just one book, God can do a lot with just a little and when He gets it into the right hands, lives are changed. It is like putting a message in a bottle, and then sending it out to sea. Consider  giving a copy with your message inside the cover and see what happens. Then, email me or post here to let me know – the city/state or city/country – so that I can track where the books are placed. So far, we have books placed in five states and eight countries. Will you join us?

2018 Denver Colorado
2015 Weston Florida
2017 Weston Florida
2018 New Orleans Louisiana
2016 Boston Massachusetts
2015 Cleveland Ohio
2015 Medina Ohio
2016 Toronto Canada
2017 Toronto Canada
2017 London England
2017 Northumberland, Felton England
2017 Berlin Germany
2016 Milan Italy
2017 Glasgow Scotland
2018 Madrid Spain
2015 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
2016 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
2017 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
2016 ? Zimbabwe

Join us and spread the egalitarian message of God’s love and purpose for humanity.

Blessings +
Diana

Summary for Book 2 – Incredibly Human: Community Through The Fallen Creation

The series moves forward in Book 2 when the earth becomes a spiritual war zone after God’s enemy leads Adam and Eve astray. It chronicles God’s continuing love and what God has done on humanity’s behalf, as well as pointing forward to what He will do to remedy the human condition, end the war, and fulfill His Eternal Plan and Purpose.

BOOK 2 UPDATE:

Chapter 8  is completed and has been sent to the editors for comments. There are only six more chapters to complete. Then, the book will be in its last phase of development. The projected completion date is still the end of 2019.

Chapter 2 – The Bible

Before the world began, God had a plan and purpose for humanity. Of course, He wanted them to know about it. After all, what would be the point in keeping it a secret? So, He chose to use the Bible, also known as Scripture, to be the vehicle of that divine communication.

Although to many the Bible is just a record of unrelated stories and events, a serious study reveals that it contains a purposeful disclosure of God’s plan. He has unfolded that plan step by step, and He invites us to come closer to understand it. He invites everyone to become a part of it.

As one would expect, the Bible goes back to ancient times. Some of its stories were first transmitted orally from one generation to the next until Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote them down on scrolls around 1300 BC. From that point on, there have been over forty human writers—both Jewish and non-Jewish, prophets, priests, kings, and church leaders—who wrote over a period of nearly fifteen hundred years. The result of such diversity over such an extended period of time could have easily produced a work of mass confusion and contradictions, but that is not the case. Instead, there is a focused continuity in its message of God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose. This was only made possible because behind its text is the divine author, the Spirit of God, who provides the inspiration to human writers.

Questions

What have you learned today about the Bible that is noteworthy to you?

Have you ever read the Bible?

Do you have a favorite verse?

 

Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation

Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs

All rights reserved.

Reprinted 2017

Join us and spread the egalitarian message of God’s love and His purpose for humanity

 

My husband, Jeff and I are trying to place a copy of Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation in as many U.S. states and cities as possible, as well as internationally. As you vacation, would you place a book in the hotel room where you stay, leave it at a restaurant, or give it to someone you meet? Our granddaughter, Diana took a book to Spain last week. Even though it’s just one book, God can do a lot with just a little and when He gets it into the right hands, lives can be changed. It is like putting a message in a bottle, and then sending it out to sea. Great idea! Put your message inside the cover of the book and see what happens. Then, email me or post here to let me know – the city/state or city/country – so that I can track where the books are placed. So far, we have books placed in five states and  six countries. Will you join us?

 

Chapter 1, Gave an overview of God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose, the three creations and the days associated with each.

Chapter 2:  Next week starts a new study about the Bible. It will teach how to study the Bible, so that we don’t misunderstand God or His message.

Blessings +

Diana