THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK by Josiah Blake Tidwell Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Some Introductory Studies.
|Chapter I.||Why We Believe the Bible.|
|Chapter II.||The Names of God.|
|Chapter III.||The Sacred Officers and Sacred Occasions.|
|Chapter IV.||Sacred Institutions of Worship and Seven Great Covenants.|
|Chapter V.||The Divisions of the Scriptures.|
|Chapter VI.||The Dispensations.|
|Chapter VII.||Ages and Periods of Biblical History.|
|Chapter VIII.||Some General Matters and Some Biblical Characters.|
The Bible Book by Book.
|Chapter VII.||Judges and Ruth.|
|Chapter VIII.||First and Second Samuel.|
|Chapter IX.||First and Second Kings.|
|Chapter X.||First and Second Chronicles.|
|Chapter XI.||Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.|
|Chapter XIII.||Psalms and Proverbs.|
|Chapter XIV.||Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon.|
|Chapter XVI.||Jeremiah and Lamentations.|
|Chapter XVII.||Ezekiel and Daniel.|
|Chapter XVIII.||Hosea and Joel.|
|Chapter XIX.||Amos and Obadiah.|
|Chapter XX.||Jonah and Micah.|
|Chapter XXI.||Nahum and Habakkuk.|
|Chapter XXII.||Zephaniah and Haggai.|
|Chapter XXX.||First and Second Corinthians.|
|Chapter XXXI.||Galatians and Ephesians.|
|Chapter XXXII.||Philippians and Colossians.|
|Chapter XXXIII.||First and Second Thessalonians.|
|Chapter XXXIV.||First and Second Timothy.|
|Chapter XXXV.||Titus and Philemon.|
|Chapter XXXVI.||Hebrews and James.|
|Chapter XXXVII.||First and Second Peter.|
|Chapter XXXVIII.||First, Second and Third John and Jude.|
Why We Believe The Bible.
There are two lines of proof of the reliability of the scriptures, the external and the internal. These different kinds of evidences may be put down, without separation, somewhat as follows:
1. The Formation and Unity of the Bible. There are sixty-six books written by nearly forty men, who lived at various times, and yet these books agree in making a perfect whole. These writers were of different classes and occupations. They possessed different degrees of training and lived in widely different places and ages of the world. The perfect agreement of their writings could not, therefore, be the result of any collusion between them. The only conclusion that can explain such unity is that one great and infinite mind dictated the scripture.
2. The Preservation of the Bible. That the Bible is a divine book is proven in that it has survived the wreck of empires and kingdoms and the destruction of costly and carefully gathered libraries and that, too, when there was no special human effort to save it. At times all the constituted powers of earth were arrayed against it, but it has made its way against the tide of fierce opposition and persecution.
3. Its Historical Accuracy. The names of towns, cities, battles, kings, empires and great events, widely apart in time and place, are given without a blunder. The ruins of cities of Assyria, Egypt and Babylon have been unearthed and tablets found that prove the accuracy of the Bible narrative. These tablets corroborate the stories of the creation and fall of man, of the flood, the tower of Babel, the bondage in Egypt, the captivity, and many other things. This accuracy gives us confidence in the reality of the book.
4. Its Scientific Accuracy. At the time of the writing of the Bible. there were all sorts of crude and superstitious stories about the earth and all its creatures and processes. It was humanly impossible for a book to have been written that would stand the teat of scientific research, and yet at every point it has proven true to the facts of nature. Its teachings areas to the creation of all animal life is proven in science, in that not a single new species has come into existence within the history of man and his research or experiment. David said the sun traveled in a circuit (Ps. 19:6), and science has proven his statement. Job said the wind had weight (Job 28:25) and science has finally verified it. That the earth is suspended In space with no visible support is declared by Job, who said that “God hangeth the earth upon nothing”, Job 26:7. Besides these and other specific teachings of science which correspond to Bible utterances, the whole general teachings of the scripture is sustained by our investigations. Many theories have been advanced that contradicted the Bible (at one time a French Institution of Science claimed that there were eighty hostile theories), but not a single such theory has stood. Wherever a teaching of science contradicting the Bible has ever been advanced, it has been proven false, while the Bible was found to correspond to the facts.
5. Its Prophetic Accuracy. At least sixteen prophets prophesied concerning future events. They told of the coming destruction of cities and empires, calling them by name. They told of new kingdoms. They told of the coming of Christ, his nativity, the place of his birth, and the result of his life and death and made no mistake.
Christ himself showed how their old prophecies were fulfilled in Him. He told the destruction of Jerusalem and the nature of his Kingdom and work, all of which has been shown to be true. No other but a Divine book could have foretold the future in detail.
6. The Richness and Universality of Its Teachings. Its contents are fresh and new to every age and people. Its teachings furnish the highest standards for right human government and for personal purity of character. Its virtues are superior to all others. Every generation finds new and wonderful treasures in it, and while hundreds of thousands of books have been written about it, one feels that it is still a mine, the riches of whose literary excellence, moral beauty and lofty thought have scarcely been touched.
7. The Fairness and Candor of Its Writers. In portraying its heroes, the Bible does not attempt any gloss. Their faults are neither covered up nor condoned, but condemned. This is unlike all other books.
8. Its Solution of Man’s Difficulties. What is the origin of the world? What is the origin of man? How came sin in the world? Will there be punishment of sin that will satisfy the unfairness and inequalities of life? Is there redemption for weak and helpless man? Is there a future life? These are some of the questions that have troubled man in all ages. The Bible alone answers them in a simple yet adequate way. It alone gives us the knowledge of the way to secure happiness. Its remedies alone furnish a certain balm for bruised human hearts.
9. Its Miracles. The Bible, which records how God sent his son and others on special missions, also tells how He attested their work by signs or miracles. These miracles were performed in the presence of creditable witnesses and should, therefore, be believed. Moreover, they are so different from the superhuman deeds of ancient mythology as to stamp them as divine and true and at the same time to discredit all the false.
Bible miracles are never for mere exploitation or for personal profit to the one who performs the miracle. They are for the good of others. The blind and deaf and lame are healed. The sick and dead are raised. Lepers are cured and sins forgiven. Moreover, those who perform the miracle claim no power of their own, but attribute it all to God and only perform the miracle that God may be exalted.
10. Its Spiritual Character. It is evident that man alone could not have conceived the lofty ideas of the scripture. All his experience proves that he can not produce anything so far beyond himself. These high truths therefore, have come from a greater than man.
11. Its Fruit. No other book will do for man what the Bible does. The spread of its truths makes man better. Wherever the Bible goes civilization and enlightenment follow. This is so, no matter what the former condition of the people. Where everything else fails, the Bible succeeds in lifting men out of ignorance and shame.
12. Its Own Claims to Divine Origin. (1) It clearly claims to be the the word of God. (a) All scripture is given by inspiration Of God. 2 Tim. 3:16. (b) God spake unto the fathers by the prophets, Hebrews 1:1. (c) Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21. (d) He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Luke 1:70. (e) Which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake. Acts 1:16. (f) God showed by the mouth of all his prophets. Acts 3:18. (g) By the revelation of Jesus Christ, Gal. 1:12. (h) Not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God, 1 Thes. 2:13. (2) It claims to be a good book and to be given for man’s good. Both of these claims have been amply justified. But it could not be a good book and claim what is not true. This it would do if it ware not the Word of God.
The Names of God.
The Names of God.
Several names are used for God, each having its own significance, and every Bible reader should in some general way know the meaning of each name. We cannot always distinguish the exact meaning, but the following, while not all, will be of use in reading the English translation.
1. God. This comes from one word and two of its compound or forms and will mean accordingly: (1) The Strong one used 225 times in the Old Testament; (2) The Strong one as an object of worship; (3) The Strong one who is faithful and, therefore, to be trusted and obeyed. This last is a plural term and is used 2300 times in the Old Testament. It is the name used when God said. “Let us make man” and “God created man in his own image,” etc., Gen. 1:26-27. It was by this name that God the Trinity covenanted for the good of man before man was created.
2. LORD. Small capitals in the old version and translated Jehovah in the in the revised translation. It means: (1) The self-existing one who reveals himself; (2) God as Redeemer. It was under this name that he sought man after the fall and clothed him with skins. Gen. 3:9-17; (3) God who makes and keeps his covenants. It is used more than 100 times in connection with the covenants, as in Jeremiah 31:31-34 where he promises a new covenant.
3. Lord. Small letters except the L and always denotes God as Master in his relation to us as servants. There are two kinds of servants- hired and bought servants, the latter being always superior and more beloved. The servant is expected to obey and is guaranteed protection and support for his service.
4. Almighty God. This means a Strong-breasted one, the Pourer or Shredder forth of spiritual and temporal blessings. It refers to God: (1) As a nourisher, strength-giver, satisfier and a strong one who gives; (2) As the giver of fruitfulness which comes through nourishment. He was to make Abraham fruitful, Gen. 17:1-8; (3) As Giver of chastening. This he does in the way of pruning that there may be more fruit.
5. The Most High or Most High God. This means: (1) The Possessor of heaven and earth, who as owner distributes the earth among the nations; (2) The one who, as possessor, has dominion and authority over both, Dan. 4:18, 37; Ps. 91:9-13.
6. Everlasting God, This represents him as: (1) The God of the mystery of the ages and, therefore, (2) The God of secrets; (3) The God of everlasting existence whose understanding is past finding out, Is. 40:28.
7. LORD (Jehovah) God, This name is used: (1) Of the relation of Deity to man, (a) as Creator, creating and controlling his destiny, especially of his earthly relations, (b) as having moral authority over him, (c) as redeemer; (2) Of his relation to Israel, whose destiny he made and controlled.
8. Lord (Jehovah) of Hosts. This refer: Usually to the host of heaven, especially of angels; (2) To all the divine or heavenly power available for the people of God; (3) The special name of deity used to comfort Israel in time of division and defeat or failure, Is. 1:9, 8:11-14.
Note. Drill on the use of these names and find some scripture passage illustrating the use of each.
The Sacred Officers and Sacred Occasions.
The Sacred Officers.
The following facts about the officers of the Bible should be familiar to all Bible students.
1. The Priests. They represent the people to God. The head of the household was the first priest. Gen. 8:20. Later the first born or oldest son became priests of the chosen people, Ex. 28:1. They served in the tabernacle and later in the temple where they conducted religious services, offered sacrifices for public and private sins and were teachers and magistrates of the law.
2. The Prophets. These speak for God to the people. They received revelations from God and made them known to men. They were selected according to God’s own will to impart his spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11) and extended down through those who wrote prophetic books to Malachi. They were philosophers, teachers, preachers and guides to the people’s piety and worship. Abraham was the first to be called a prophet (Gen. 20:7) and Aaron next (Ex. 7:1).
3. The Scribes. The word means a writer and Seraiah is the first one mentioned, 2 Sam. 8;17. As writers they soon became transcribers, then interpreters and teachers or expounders. They became known as lawyers and were accorded high standing and dignity. In the time of the kings they were supported by the state as a learned, organized and highly influential body of men. In Christ’s time they were among the most influential members of the Sanhedrin.
4. The Apostles. These formed the beginning of Christ’s church. They were separate from the old order and were, therefore, under no obligation to any caste. Nor were they tied to the old administration of divine things. The word means a messenger or one sent. They were, therefore, to be with him and to be sent forth to preach. Twelve were chosen, and when Judas, one of them, betrayed him, Matthias was chosen in his place (Acts 1:15-26). Paul was appointed in a special way (Acts 9:1-43) and perhaps others. Barnabas was called an apostle (Acts 14:14).
These men led the new movements (Acts 5:12-13) and devoted themselves especially to ministerial gifts (Acts 8:14-18). They had first authority in the church (Acts 9:27; 15:2; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 12:28; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 12:12; Gal. 1:17; 2:8-9).
5. Ministers or Preachers-They are: (1) Those who minister to or aid another in service, but as free attendants, not as slaves; (2) They became the teachers and hence our term ministers (Acts 13:2; Rom. 15:16); (3) Today they are preachers and teachers of the word and minister to the spiritual needs of God’s people and of others.
Note. Read all the scriptures here referred to and invite others to be given by the class. Then drill on these facts until they are familiar.
The Sacred Occasions.
1. The Sabbath. For the meaning and use of the term see Levitcus 25:4; Math. 28:1; Luke 24:1; Acts 25:7. The first mention is Gen. 2:2-3 and the first mention of the weekly Sabbath is Ex. 16:22-30. It is suggested in the division of weeks. Gen. 8:10-12; 29:27-28, and Israel was directed to keep it, Ex. 20:8-11.
2. The New Moons. They were special feasts on the first day of the month (Numbers 10:10) and were celebrated by sacrifices (Numbers 28:11-15). Among the ten tribes it was regarded as a time suitable to go to the prophets for instruction, 2 K. 4:23. 3. The Annual Feasts. There were several of these. (1) The Passover, April 14 (Ex. 12:1-51), commemorating the exodus from Egypt and the saving of the first born. (2) Pentecost, June 6 (Ex. 34:22; Levitcus 23:15-16; Deut. 16:9-10; Numbers 28:26-31), commemorating the giving of the Law.
(3) The Feast of Trumpets, October 1 (Levitcus 23:23-25; Numbers 29:1-6), the beginning of the civil year. (4) The Day of Atonement, October 10 (Levitcus 16: 1-34; 23:27-32), atonement made for the sins of the people. (5) The Feast of Tabernacles, October 15, lasting a week (Levitcus 23:34-43; Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Deut. 16:13-15), commemorating the life in the wilderness. (6) The Feast of Dedication, December 25 (1 Kings 8:2; 1 Chron. 5:3), commemorating the dedication of the temple. (7) The Feast of Purim, March 14 and 15 (Esher 9:20-32), commemorating the deliverance through Esther.
4. The Sabbatical Year. The land of Israel should rest every seven years as the people rested every seven days. No seeds must be sown or vineyards pruned. All that grew was public property and the poor could take it at will. All debts must then be forgiven except to foreigners (Ex. 23:10-11; Levitcus 25:2-7; Deut. 15:1-11).
5. The Year of Jubilee. Every fiftieth year was known as Jubilee, Levitcus 25:8-55. It began on the tenth day of the seventh month and during it the soil was unfilled just as on the Sabbatical year. All alienated land went back to the original owner and the Hebrew bondmen became free if they desired.
6. The Lord’s Day. It is the first day of the week and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and the finished work of redemption as the Sabbath commemorated the finished work of creation.
Note. Find other scripture references to each of these occasions and become familiar with the name, date and import of each.
Sacred Institutions of Worship and Seven Great Covenants..
The Sacred Institutions of Worship.
1. The Alter. Make a careful study finding: (1) The first mention of it. (2) The different persons who are recorded as erecting altars, Gen. 1-Ex. 20. (3) The materials of construction, Ex. 20:24-25. (4) The purpose for which they were erected, including that of Joshua, Josh. 22:10, 22-29.
2. The Tabernacle, Ex. chs. 25-29. Study: (1) The instructions to build it, including the offerings and articles to be given. (2) Its furniture. (3) Its erection. (4) Its purpose, Ex. 29;42-45; Hebrews Chs. 9-10. (5) Its history, when first set up, how long used, etc.
3. The Temple. (1) Solomon’s Temple. Study David’s desire to build and his preparation for it. 2 Sam. 7:1-2; 2 Chron. 28, 29; its material, erection and dedication, 1 Kings 5-8; 2 Chron. 2:6; its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar’s general, 587 B. C. (2) Zerubbabel Temple. Study the decree of Cyrus, return of the Jews, rebuilding and dedication, Ezra Chs. 1-6; its destruction by Pompey 63 B. C. and by Herod the Great 37 B. C. (3) Herod’s Temple. It was begun 20 or 21 B. C., John 2:20; Matt. 24:1-2; Matt. l3:1-2; Luke 2l:56, and destroyed under Titus, A. D. 70.
4. The Synagogue. Greek work meaning an assemblage. There were synagogues wherever there were faithful Jews, about 1500 in Palestine and perhaps 480 in Jerusalem. The officers were (1) Ruler. Luke 8:49; 13:14; Mk 5:15, etc; (2) Elders, Luke 7:3; Mk. 5:22, etc; (3) Minister, Luke 4:20. The service was one of prayer and reading and expounding the scriptures. It was through the worship at the synagogue that the apostles everywhere had opportunity to teach Christianity.
5. The Church. The word means an assemblage and is most commonly used of a local congregation of Christian workers. It is sometimes called the church of Christ, Church of God, Saints, etc. Churches were established in cities and in homes. It is not proper to call all the Christians of a particular denomination a church. Nor can we call all of any denomination in a given territory a church. It would be wrong to say the Baptist church of the south. In the New Testament we can get a rather clear idea of it as an institution by a study of a few principal churches and leaders of the Christian movement after the ascension of Christ.
The Seven Great Covenants.
There are two kinds of covenants. (1) Declarative or unconditional, example, Gen. 9-11, “I will.” (2) Mutual or conditional, example, “If thou wilt.” All scripture is a development of or is summed up in seven covenants.
1. The Adamic Covenant, Gen. 3:14-19. Outline the elements of the covenant, showing the persons affected and the results or conditions involved.
2. The Noahic Covenant, Gen. 8:20-9:27. Outline the elements of the covenant, and the results affected.
3. The Abrahamic Covenant. Gen. 12:1-3; Acts 7:3. other details, Gen. 13:14-17; 15:1-18; 17:1-8. Outline, giving the elements, blessings proposed, temporal and spiritual or eternal. This is sometimes called several covenants but it seems best to consider it one that is enlarged upon from time to time.
4. The Mosaic Covenant, Ex. 19-30. Given in two parts: (1) Law of Duty (10 commandments), (2) Law of Mercy, Priesthood and Sacrifices Levitcus 4:27:31; Hebrews 9:1-7. (3) To whom given, Ex. 19:3 and to all, Rom. 2,12; 3:19, etc. (4) Its purpose: (a) Negative, Rom. 3:19-20, Gal. 2:16-21. etc; (b) Positive, Rom. 3:19, 7:7-13. (5) Christ’s relation to the Mosaic Covenant: (a) was under it, Gal. 4;4; Matt. 3:13, etc; (b) Kept it, Jno. 8:46; 15:10; (c) Bore its curse for sinners, Gal. 3:10-13; 4:45; 2 Corinthians 5:21, etc; (d) Took the place of and ended the Priesthood and sacrifices, Hebrews 9:11-15; 10:1-12, etc; (e) New covenant provided for believers in Christ, Rom.8:1; Gal. 3:13-17.
5. The Deuteronomic Covenant, Deut. 30:1-9. Outline its elements, giving things promised and prophesied.
6. The Davidic Covenant, 2 Sam. 7:5-19. (1) Elements of the covenant and summary in the Old Testament. (2) In the New Testament.
7. The New Covenant. (1) Formed, Hebrews 8:6-13. (2) In prophecy. Jer. 31:31-34. (3) It is founded on the sacrifice of Christ. Matt. 26: 27-28; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 9:11-12. (4) It is primarily for Israel, but Christians are partakers, Hebrews 10:11-22; Eph. 2:11-20. (5) Jews are yet to be brought into it, Ezek. 20:34-37; Jer. 23:5-6; Rom. 11:25-27.
Note. Try to see how all of these covenants met in Christ.
The Division of the Scriptures.
In language and contents, the Bible is divided into two main divisions.
1. The Old Testament, 39 Books. 2. The New Testament, 27 Books. Total. 66 Books.
The Jews were accustomed to divide the Old Testament into three main parts, as follows:
1. The Law-the first five books, Genesis to Deuteronomy, otherwise called the Pentateuch and books of Moses.
2. The Prophets. These are divided into the “former prophets” or historical books and the “later prophets,” or books, which we commonly call the prophetic books.
3. The Writings, which was made to include; (1) Poetical books-Psalms, Proverbs and Job; (2) Five Rolls-Song of Solomon, Ruth, Esther, Lamentations and Ecclesiastes; (3) Other Books: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and I and II Chronicles.
The Bible itself divides the Old Testament into the three following divisions:
1. The Law, which includes the first five books of the Bible, also called the books of Moses.
2. The Prophets, which includes the next twelve books, commonly called historical books and the seventeen books we know as the prophetic books.
3. The Psalms, including the five poetical books.
The Books of the Bible
The books of the Old and New Testaments may each be divided into three or five groups as follows:
First Into three groups.
(1) Old Testament-Genesis-Esther (17 books).
(2) New Testament-Matthew-Acts (5 books).
(1) Old Testament-Job-Song of Solomon (5 books).
(2) New Testament-Romans-Jude (21 books).
(1) Old Testament-Isaiah-Malachi (17 books).
(2) New Testament-Revelation (1 book).
Second, into five groups.
1. Old Testament.
(1) Pentateuch-Genesis-Deuteronomy (5 books).
(2) Historical Books-Joshua-Esther (12 books).
(3) Poetical Books-Job-Song of Solomon (5 books).
(4) Major Prophets-Isaiah-Daniel (5 books).
(5) Minor Prophets-Hosea-Malachi (12 books).
2. New Testament.
(1) Gospels-Matthew-John (4 books).
(2) Acts-Acts (1 book).
(3) Pauline Epistles-Romans-Hebrews (14 books).
(4) General Epistles-James-Jude (7 books).
(5) Revelation-Revelation (1 book).
Direction For Study. (1) Drill on the Scripture divisions, Jewish divisions and the three and five groups of each Testament. (2) Drill on the number of chapters in each book and on the abbreviation of each. (3) Drill on books having the same number of chapters, as all those having one chapter, two chapters, etc.
A dispensation is a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in the matter of sin and responsibility. The whole Bible may be divided into either three or seven dispensations.
1.The Patriarchal Dispensation. From creation to the giving of the Law, Gen. 1-Ex. 19 and Job.
2. The Mosaic Dispensation. From the giving of the Law to the birth of Christ, Ex. 20-Mal. 4.
3. The Christian Dispensation. From the birth of Christ to his second coming, Matt.-Rev.
In each of these, man is put in a given state or condition, has a responsibility in it, fails to meet the responsibility, and suffers consequent Judgment.
1. The Dispensation of Innocence. From creation to the expulsion from the garden, Gen. 1-3. In this period. Adam and Eve were under obligations to keep their innocence by abstaining from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their failure has been the most destructive and for reaching of all man’s failures.
2. The Dispensation of Conscience. From the fall to the flood, Gen. 4-9. Man had a natural conscience, or knew good from evil, and was under obligation to do good and not evil. The time covered B. C. 4004-2348=1636 years for 1 and 2.
3. The Dispensation of Human Governments. From the flood to the call of Abraham, Gen. 10-12. God gave the eight persons saved from the flood power to govern the renewed earth. The time covered, B. C. 2348-1921.= 427 years.
4. The Dispensation of Promise. From Abraham to the giving of the law. Gen. 12-Ex.19. God promised Abraham land, natural seed, spiritual seed and other conditional promises. For the sake of study, this dispensation is divided into two sections. (1)