The Bible is put together much like a newspaper. Think of the way a newspaper is laid out. All the news stories are placed in one section, the sports reports and statistics are put in another section, the business or lifestyle stories are group together in net another section, and the want ads are in another. Likewise, in the Bible, the Old Testament begins with the books of ancient history-from Genesis to Esther. Following that section, the books of poetry appear together-from Job to Song of Solomon. Finally, in the last part of the Old Testament, we come to the books of prophecy-from Isaiah to Malachi. These three major sections representing three types of literature comprise the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. The New Testament is set up in a similar way. The Gospels include the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and tell the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Acts is a book of history, and it covers the establishment of the church. Then come all the letters, which are usually divided into the letters of Paul (Romans through Philemon), and the general letters (Hebrews through Jude). Finally there’s Revelation, which is a book of prophecy.
Archives For Bible
This article was significantly revised submitted for publication at New Identity Magazine. I’ll post a link to the article if they accept it.
Great Study Bibles
Which study Bible you have is not as important as the fact that you have one which you regularly use. I recommend the following study Bibles:
When I facilitate various small group Bible studies I have found it helpful to keep a paper Bible nearby and ready. I know that I can read any version of the Bible that I want from a tablet or phone, but there is something special about reading the Bible from a paper Bible. In this week’s facilitator tip, I want to encourage you to always have a Bible within reach when you facilitate a small group.
ALWAYS HAVE A PAPER BIBLE WITHIN REACH
“The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.” ~ Patrick Henry
A paper Bible limits distractions and there is something special about reading from a real paper Bible versus a Bible on a phone or tablet. “The Word of God is a weapon Satan cannot overcome, but our responsibility is to know it, obey it, and trust it” (Warren Wiersbe, The Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study, p. 227). Therefore we should have one nearby at all times ready for reference and use.
L is for Learning: Instilling the Word of God
We are to constantly nourish ourselves in God’s Book. The longer we do God’s work, the more need we have to be nourished. The greater the pressure, the more the problems, the more the calendar gets filled with other things, the more we must devour this Book so our minds stay sharp with the truth and so we can deliver it-personally as well as publicly. Most important, only then will we be able to live it out.
The Bible is the book Christians live by and follow. It provides guidance about how to live a Godly life in a fallen and corrupt world.
I’ve found the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to be powerful about the role of the Bible in the lives of Christians. It reads,
“We affirm that the holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God. We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the church, tradition, or any other human source.” ~ The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, Article I.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Bible as the ultimate authority for Christians.
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Bibliology: The Bible as the Ultimate Authority
I. WHY THE BIBLE IS AUTHORITATIVE AND ACCURATE
I’m not sure about you, but I like to be sure of something before I use it and follow it. When purchasing things I like to research online what is best, ask friends for their feedback, and then make sure I am getting a good product. Anyone who becomes a Christian or is wrestling with the Christian faith should study the Bible and ask, “Why is the Bible authoritative and accurate?” Here are four reasons that I believe the Bible is authoritative and accurate.
A. It’s Breathed out by God
The first reason the Bible is authoritative and accurate is because the Bible contains the words of God. Paul tells us about this in his second letter to Timothy. Continue Reading…
A. Summary of Previous Weeks
Today we look at Paul’s present situation. The last two weeks we have studied Paul’s past (Phil 3:1-11), today we will study his present (Phil 3:12-16), and next week we will study his future (Phil 3:17-21).
If you have missed past studies in Philippians you can read them below:
- An Introduction to the Book of Philippians
- Paul’s Greeting, Gratitude, and Group Focus (Phil 1:1-11)
- A Leader Rejoices When His Cause Advances (Phil 1:12-18)
- Paul’s Life for Christ (Phil 1:19-26)
- Leaders Lead and Live in an Ethical Way (Phil 1:27-30)
- Leaders Focus on Others (Phil 2:1-4)
- Have the Same Attitude as Christ (Phil 2:5-11)
- Leaders Shine Brightly for Christ (Phil 2:12-18)
- Christian Leaders Have Confidence in Christ (Phil 3:1-6)
- Righteousness Is Through Jesus Christ (Phil 3:7-11)
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B. Philippians 3:12-16
12I do not mean that I have already attained it, or that I have been made perfect, but I keep pressing on to attain it, for which I have been won by Christ. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this, but I focus on one thing: by forgetting the things behind while stretching for the things ahead. 14I press on toward the goal, to the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore, let all those who are mature think about these things. If you think anything different, God will reveal it to you. 16In any case, to which we have attained maturity on this issue, let us stay there. ~ Phil 3:12-16
C. Introduction of Passage Today
While I normally try to share jokes that relate to our passage and topic for the day, these are unrelated.
Christian Pick-up Lines
- “My parents are home, wanna come over?”
- “I didn’t believe in predestination until now.”
- “Is it hot in here or is that just the Holy Spirit burning inside of you?”
- “I was reading my Bible the other day, and I was wondering if you know what Paul meant by ‘greet one another with a holy kiss?’”
- “How many times do I have to walk around you before you fall for me?”
- “So I was reading the book of Numbers the other day and realized I don’t have yours.” (from charlesspecht.com)
One of the most fruitful things I do is read the entire Bible every year. In this post I share with you four ways you can read the entire Bible in a year as well as which method I prefer.
Photo Credit: Steve Spinks
4 Ways to Read the Bible in a Year
1. 4 Chapters a Day
Reading four chapters a day as a way to read through the Bible in a year was the original “challenge” from Dr. Jeff Harrington while I was a student at Fresno Pacific University working on my Christian Ministry & Leadership degree. In our Spiritual Formation class Dr. Harrington suggested that we have a regular schedule for reading through the Bible every year. His basic suggestion was that we read four chapters a day. Continue Reading…
In 2009 I endeavored my first attempt teaching a Bible study. It was for a men’s Bible study consisting of myself and three other men of various ages. I began leading us through the book of Nehemiah and then we spent half of a year looking at the fifteen years of David’s life before he became king.
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This experience teaching the Bible showed me two things:
- I loved teaching the Bible.
- I had to improve my ability to study and teach the Bible.
Recently I read the book, The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Teaching. It was a great book which outlined ten tips that can help you study and teach the Bible better.
1. Be a diligent Bible student (pp. 269-272).
Every teacher should carefully study the Bible because the Bible helps the teacher grow spiritually, it guides him, guards him against sin, and encourages the teacher to move toward spiritual maturity. Continue Reading…
A leader must be a person of wisdom.
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Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. – Proverbs 24:7 (NLT)
This verse provides a reminder that fools do not have wisdom but leaders do. In fact, when fools are around leaders they do not have anything to say because leaders live lifestyles different from fools. The wisdom leaders have has places them in a different position and social level than fools. Again, leaders must be men and women of wisdom.
What happens when leaders have wisdom:
As a book that was written and compiled from 15th century B.C. until the 3rd century A.D., the Bible can be difficult to interpret and teach. Yet, the Bible is God’s inspired and authored Word. As the manual and rulebook for Christians to follow it must be taught effectively.
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I recently read the book, Effective Bible Teaching by Jim Wilhoit and Leland Ryken. It was a fantastic book written to help any Christian teach the Bible effectively. Here’s the ten things I found most helpful in the book.
10 Essential Tips for Effective Bible Teaching
1. Charisma does not always equal effective Bible teaching (p. 19).
Research shows that students are poor at assessing the effectiveness of Bible teaching. Students will sometimes rate a Bible teacher as effective even if the Bible teacher only entertains the audience instead of instructing. This is important because a Bible teacher’s job is to focus on teaching truth, not on how to be entertaining and charismatic. Continue Reading…