What is the Bible ?
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years. The Bible claims to be inspired and inerrant. This means that the Bible claims to be from God and that it is without error in everything it addresses.
The Bible contains many different styles of writing such as poetry, narration, fiction, history, law, and prophecy and must be interpreted in context of those styles. It is the source of the Christian religion in that the Bible contains the words of God and how the Christian is to apply the words of God to his life.
Basically, the Bible describes the origin of man in the Garden of Eden along with his fall into sin and out of fellowship with God. It then describes how God called out a special people to Himself, the Israelites. He promised the Israelites a future Messiah who would restore mankind's relationship with God.
The Bible is the account of the work of God in history bringing to fruition His prophetic declarations concerning Jesus. Jesus was born of the Virgin, died on the cross, and paid for sins, just as the Bible prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. In short, the Bible points to Jesus, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me," ().
Furthermore, the Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is found in Jesus alone, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved,” ().
Some say that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales. But this cannot be for it contains great wisdom and truth and it has been verified throughout history as being accurate. Its historical accounts are flawlessly accurate. In fact, archaeology routinely demonstrates the accuracy of the biblical records concerning locations and events recorded in the Bible.
The structure of the Bible:
The Christian Bible contains 66 "Books." The Books are divided into Chapters. The Chapters are divided into Verses. So, if you wanted to locate John 3:16, you would open the Bible to the Book of John, then turn to Chapter 3, and then look for Verse 16. And there you would find one of the most popular Bible passages:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16 (from the New International Version (NIV) English translation)
The Old Testament has 39 books:
1. Genesis (50 chapters).
2. Exodus (40 chapters).
3. Leviticus (27 chapters).
4. Numbers (36 chapters).
5. Deuteronomy (34 chapters).
6. Joshua (24 chapters).
7. Judges (21 chapters).
8. Ruth (4 chapters).
9. 1 Samuel (31 chapters).
10. 2 Samuel (24 chapters).
11. 1 Kings (22 chapters).
12. 2 Kings (25 chapters).
13. 1 Chronicles (29 chapters).
14. 2 Chronicles (36 chapters).
15. Ezra (10 chapters).
16. Nehemiah (13 chapters).
17. Esther (10 chapters).
18. Job (42 chapters).
19. Psalms (150 chapters).
20. Proverbs (31 chapters).
21. Ecclesiastes (12 chapters).
22. Song of Solomon (8 chapters).
23. Isaiah (66 chapters).
24. Jeremiah (52 chapters).
25. Lamentations (5 chapters).
26. Ezekiel (48 chapters).
27. Daniel (12 chapters).
28. Hosea (14 chapters).
29. Joel (3 chapters).
30. Amos (9 chapters).
31. Obadiah (1 chapters).
32. Jonah (4 chapters).
33. Micah (7 chapters).
34. Nahum (3 chapters).
35. Habakkuk (3 chapters).
36. Zephaniah (3 chapters).
37. Haggai (2 chapters).
38. Zechariah (14 chapters).
39. Malachi (4 chapters).
The New Testament has 27 books:
1. Matthew (28 chapters).
2. Mark (16 chapters).
3. Luke (24 chapters).
4. John (21 chapters).
5. Acts (28 chapters).
6. Romans (16 chapters).
7. 1 Corinthians (16 chapters).
8. 2 Corinthians (13 chapters).
9. Galatians (6 chapters).
10. Ephesians (6 chapters).
11. Philippians (4 chapters).
12. Colossians (4 chapters).
13. 1 Thessalonians (5 chapters).
14. 2 Thessalonians (3 chapters).
15. 1 Timothy (6 chapters).
16. 2 Timothy (4 chapters).
17. Titus (3 chapters).
18. Philemon (1 chapters).
19. Hebrews (13 chapters).
20. James (5 chapters).
21. 1 Peter (5 chapters).
22. 2 Peter (3 chapters).
23. 1 John (5 chapters).
24. 2 John (1 chapters).
25. 3 John (1 chapters).
26. Jude (1 chapters).
27. Revelation (22 chapters).
The Old Testament:
Books 1-5: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
These books were written perhaps as long ago as 3400 years ago, by Moses. These five books are sometimes called the Pentateuch or the Torah.
Books 6-16: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah.
These books explain the history of Israel from the time that the nation was established about 3400 years ago. It includes information about the time when the nation was conquered by the Assyrians about 2700 years ago, and when it was conquered by the Babylonians about 2600 years ago. The Assyrians and Babylonians forced many Jews out of their homeland. But, many Jews returned during the next few centuries, shortly before the time of Jesus.
Books 17-22: Ester, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
These books are sometimes called the books of Writings, or the books of Poetry, or the books of Wisdom.
Books 23-27: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel.
These books contain prophecies that were delivered by prophets named Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. These prophets lived about 2700 to 2500 years ago. Some of their prophecies found fulfillment more than 2500 years ago. Christians believe that many of the prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus about 2000 years ago. And many of their prophecies have found fulfillment during the past 200 years.
Books 28-39: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
These books are sometimes called the books of the "minor" prophets. They are called "minor" because their books are short in length.
The New Testament:
Books 1-4: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
These four books are sometimes called the Gospel, or the Gospels. They were written about 2000 years ago by the followers of Jesus. These books contain details about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Books 5-26: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude.
These 22 books are sometimes called Letters or Epistles. They were written by followers of Jesus. They often were sent to other people to help explain Christianity. Sometimes they were written to counter heresy, or wrongful interpretations of the teachings of Jesus.
Book 27: Revelation.
This book was written by John about 1900 years ago. He was shown visions of the future by Jesus. This book contains many prophecies about the End Times, or the Apocalypse.